From time to time, SportsChump will invite guest authors to contribute their opinions on this website. The purpose of this is two-fold. One is that so others can use the site as a portal to express their views and generate healthy discussion. The other is so you don’t get tired of reading my shit.
Dr. Milhouse has written for other online publications which shall remain nameless. Now he makes a special guest appearance on the Chump. I ask that you grant him a hearty welcome as he discusses the eventual, hypothetical yet inevitable return of Ray Rice to the National Football League.
Sports writing isn’t all that difficult, as long as you’ve got a taste for BS. All you need are some cliches, maybe a one sentence paragraph, followed by sentence fragments lacking any grammatical correctness, all for the sake of “relaying the story.” As we all know by now, Ray Rice was released by the Ravens and suspended “indefinitely.” And as awful as his crime was, there are football players playing today, and players that have played in the last decade, that have done far and beyond worse than he did, with a far lighter sentence. Heck, Rice isn’t even going to get a criminal conviction out of this, thanks to his pre-trial diversion program. So, anyone who thinks that “indefinitely” means anything other than “for this season” is deluding themselves. Rice will serve his suspension, get picked up by some team in desperate need of a solid running back, and get his chance to change the narrative from “scum-sucking woman beater” to “man in need of a second chance.”
Since everyone is going to be scrambling to write that story this time next year, I figured I might as well beat them to the punch. So, I figure we can publish this now, and come back in twelve months and fill in the blanks, like Mad Libs. The hackneyed quotes will be the same. No sense in waiting to actually put the words on paper. Someone let me know when Sports Illustrated needs me to fill in their “About Me” section at the end of my cover story.
The Long Road to Redemption for Ray Rice
The familiar stocky build of a professional football player is difficult to miss. It’s even more difficult when the figure is walking around the quiet town of New Rochelle, New York. But that is what the residents of New Rochelle became all too familiar with in the last year. Ray Rice, having spent the last year in exile due to his arrest for aggravated assault in March of 2014, went back to his roots and back to his home, as he tried to come to terms with his trials, tribulations, and mistakes. All of his reflection and penance paid off when he was offered a one year deal by the <<INSERT TEAM NAME HERE>>.
“It was incredibly difficult to have the world crash down around me like it did,” Rice said, in an exclusive interview just before the season started. “One moment, I was on top of the world, living out my childhood dream of playing professional football. Then, one night and one mistake later, and it all came down like a ton of bricks.”
The fateful night Rice mentions is one that has been discussed and debated repeatedly over the last 18 months. His wife (then-fiancee) was knocked unconscious during an argument at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City. Both of them were arrested, and he was entered into a pre-trial diversion program. After completing the program, the charges were dropped, leaving him without a conviction, but not without the grim specter of a title that will follow him forever, “Domestic Abuser.”
“To have the league and my team, who insisted they would stand behind me, turn on me like they did, it was tough. It hurt. But I’ve done my time, and I’ve put it behind me. I may have been knocked down, but I wasn’t knocked out. I got up, dusted myself off, and moved forward. I received forgiveness from my wife and God, and now I just want to move forward with the new season.”
The new season started well for Rice. He ran for over one hundred yards and a touchdown in the <<TEAM NAME>> Week 1 win. After the game, Coach <<COACH NAME>> said, “Ray did well, like we knew he would. He had his demons and worked to get past them, and now that he’s been reinstated, we’re happy to have him as part of our family.” Asked about the controversy surrounding the signing, teammate and All-Pro <<TEAMMATE NAME>> said, “He’s done what the league wanted him to do. He sat on the sideline, he worked out his stuff with his wife, he kept in shape, he got himself together. He’s a whole new person now. I look forward to seeing him help our team win.”
Rice begins his journey following in the footsteps of the athletes who came before him, all working to get back in the fans’ good graces after brushes with the law. At Age 28, he begins his 9th season in the league as the player no fan base wanted. But like Jerramy Stevens and Michael Vick before him, he hopes that playing time, victories, and championships can make the bad taste fade away.
Please allow me to be the first to comment on Dr Milhouse’s post.
The good doctor is an avid sports fan just like the rest of us.
But he brings up a valid point.
Rice, just like Michael Vick and any of those athletes who have done stupid shit in the past, get second chances because of their skill set.
I don’t think Milhouse is blaming anyone or anything (perhaps the system) in particular. He’s just pointing out that’s the way things are.
Of course no team would touch Rice right now with a ten-foot pole. Heck, they can’t. The league has suspended him indefinitely.
But when this all blows over, some team will take a flyer on him, citing forgiveness and second chances.
My thoughts? I am wondering what everybody thought it looked like when an NFL player punches a woman. The video should not have been a surprise to anybody and I see a whole bunch of fake outrage…wtf? Two games was light for his suspension but as the good Dr. alludes to, we have far worse in the league and have had far worse in the league. When you employ shady people and lets be honest, you need players with a sort of nasty disposition to be successful in a violent sport you will get violent players.
The video gets released and people completely melt down. Domestic violence is horrible and needs to be nipped in the bud. I just find it amazing the amount vitriol over something we have known for months. Boot him forever as far as I am concerned.
Donte Stallworth kills a guy while drunk in a car and it generates hardly a pulse on the outrage meter compared to this fiasco. Ocho-Cinco head butts his wife and nothing…just more selective outrage…be consistent people!!
At this point, D, I’m not sure if we’re upset more with Ray Rice or with the Commissioner.
Everybody from here to Timbuktu is blasting the guy for his (mis)handling of the situation. Sure, we’ve got some troubled souls in the league, and we accept that, but we expect better from the commissioner and his law degree when it comes to having the final say on what goes down in his league.
We must protect the shield at all costs? Perhaps it’s time for the Commissioner to leave some post-it notes all around his house to remind himself of that.
I have no idea what is really the truth honestly. The video shouldn’t matter to the punishment. We all know he punched her. Roger clearly made a mistake in the punishment and general handling of said event. That said are people really wanting him to step down? That is crazy to me! He didn’t punch anybody and made an executive mistake and will attempt to rectify it.
I have mentioned it before but mob rules, lynching mentality is really not healthy for society in the long run IMO.
The President of the National Organization for Women has asked Goodell to step down, as has Keith Olbermann.
Olbermans ratings on msnbc should have reminded Keith that nobody cares what he thinks. That said if there is a coverup to what the nfl knew than heads should roll…including Rogers amongst others.
I’m not sure what Olbermann’s ratings are since he’s been back on ESPN but he moves the meter, that’s for sure. That’s one reason they brought him back. I don’t mind him all that much as I generally take him with a grain of salt. I’ll listen to his opening rants and not much more.
I will admit he takes things to extremes. This whole calling for Goodell to resign thing, which he’s said on multiple occasions, yeah, he’s gonna lose that argument. But at least he’s publicly holding the league accountable which is refreshing considering the network he works for has their mouth wrapped so firmly around the NFL’s johnson, it’s hard to believe they ever did anything wrong.
I am finally home and not typing on my cell phone. I see there is a story from the AP that they sent the elevator tape to the NFL in April. If true then Goodell is toast. I watched a minute or so of the interview on CBS and Roger looked like he was not telling the truth about never seeing the tape. It will play out very quickly I am guessing as it seems to unfold before our very eyes nowadays.
Don’t like Keith or any other political pundit for that matter. Interesting Keith fact, he dated Ann Coulter at one time. Your head will explode just trying to think about it.
That’s a sex tape I just don’t want to see.
But back to the Rice fiasco. I find it impossible to believe Goodell knew about the video, or had it in his possession and covered it up. What could he possibly have to gain from that?
Now is he guilty of not researching the matter properly? Sure. Or did he see the video then only assign Rice a two-game suspension based on that evidence. That ain’t good either.
If he didn’t see it (which he should have), clearly based on the first video we saw, he must have known what went down in that elevator wasn’t good.
Either way, the NFL has bungled this thing to near epic proportions. I bet you, Mr. Goodell would really like to take a vacation right about now.
As long as some owner thinks he has the chance of adding a few wins Rice will be employed same time next year (unless the NFL grows a hefty pair and bans his ass). That said, I wonder what Rice (and his loving, supportive wife) would do if given a chance to play the game he loves so much if offered a roster spot for the league minimum.
The good doctor has pretty much laid out the blueprint for Rice’s return…and what a shame it will be.
If Marion Berry, Michael Vick, Marv Albert and Ray Lewis can get their jobs back, so will Rice.
If his wife forgives him, so can the rest of the world. It may be a bitter pill to swallow, but it will happen.
She played a role here too. Before getting in the elevator she smacked him. Once in the elevator, right before he decked her, she lunged at him.
Not saying she deserved to go beddy-by like that, but like Chris Rock once said, I understand.
A quick look at the poll show most everyone agreeing that Ray Rice will eventually play again.
Here’s the amazing thing about this whole story. We’ve gone from talking about Rice hitting his girlfriend and being the bad guy to Goodell being the bad guy for not properly investigating what happened.
You’re doing your best Stephen A.
A closer look at the video shows Rice spitting on her, twice. That’s what causes her to react.
Ray Rice coming back? This is a death sentence for his career. Why? Most running backs “hit the wall” in their early 30’s with few exceptions. The year off might as well be 10. I hope he invested wisely.
Oh, Commish Goodell? He’s following dad’s footsteps…. as a politician. Elder Goodell was undermining our Nam War efforts while we were getting shot at. F’em both.
Goodell is becoming more like Mitt Romney and John Kerry by the minute . First they voted for it before they voted against it . No wonder the NFL has no frigging credibility , Then you add in NFLPA Director DeMaurice Smith’s statement on the issue and it makes you wonder what world this league is living in . Less we forget Roger Goodell is likely to fu#k up his decision making concerning the Niners’ Ray McDonald and all he did was , to punch his pregnant fiancee in the head and face . Jim Irsay meanwhile gets a six0-gane ban and a $500,000 fine for his indiscretion . Chump change to guy with a net worth exceeding $1.5 billion .
Danny Ferry of the Hawks uses racial epithets to describe Luol Deng a certain way and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver doesn’t believe it warrants a reprimand because the Hawks’ general manager was simply reading a statement given to him . That is utter bull#hit . But you like you said Chris , racism in the US is no longer being seen and the NFL is still a great sport even if an a#shole like Goodell is running thing because the owners are making money while alienating female fans . Great PR for the NFL don”t you think ?
Missed him sharing saliva…Nasty bastard…All that and she’s still pulling a Tammy Wynette? This chick is incredibly stupid or incredibly loyal. Most likely both.
BTW, fuck you…Calling me Steven A is worse that spitting on me or hitting me in an elevator and dragging me out, exposing my butt cheeks.
Seriously though, sometimes a woman can earn a smack…Not a punch like Rice did, but quick open hand smack to the cheek to bring them back to reality. Automatic arrest with 6 months of anger mgmt and domestic violence classes these days, but in some cases, with some women, I think it can be warranted.
…But so can the ensuing divorce papers.
Rice seems way wrong here but I’m sure she didn’t play completely fair in this either. Seems to me volatile relationships should be abandoned before they reach this point, not consummated on the heels of an incident like this…Whatever….I wish them both well and hope they keep their next fight private and off TMZ.
What’s the line on Rice ever carrying the ball again?
Tough week for sports altogether, Al.
It’s enough for me to leave my television off.
Don’t forget their impending reality TV show, Bleed.
God, let’s hope that never happens.
Some sorry-ass franchise will pick him up for the pulicity spike but he won’t last training camp. His career as we knew it is history. His #s were in decline prior to this fiasco. Running backs that create extra longevity are the bigger bodies that can block and pass protect e.g Bradshaw and even OJ Anderson.
Odds to complete a season on a NFL roster? 3-2 won’t last.
Probably a good call, Bets.
Hey, I’ll probably look to you to make picks against KP and me for a week if you’re interested.
“The President of the National Organization for Women has asked Goodell to step down, as has Keith Olbermann.”
May I speak for all and be the first one to ask both the President of NOW and Keith Olbermann to step down themselves. Nothing good comes from either set of vitriol.
Goodell’s not going anywhere, Tree. Not unless there’s another huge scandal which he bungles entirely which at this point, I can’t see happening.
Look, this guy has a huge opportunity to set things straight. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with holding players, and coaches, and owners accountable for their actions.
Playing for the league or working for it in any capacity should be a privilege. So let everyone know that and let them know what sort of behavior is tolerable and what kind is not.
That can’t be all that difficult, can it?