Hump day hot takes: NFL’s take on domestic abuse hasn’t changed, MLB pitchers need to suck it up and more

It’s August, and MLB pitchers like Stephen Strasburg and Eduardo Rodriguez need to sack up with their “injuries.” And the NFL makes yet another disgusting move. I’m not shocked. 

Ah yes, the second to last week of August. It’s starting to feel like fall already in New England, and the Summer Olympics have come and gone. That means a couple of things: Idiot swimmers can flee the country, MLB postseason races are heating up and NFL decision makers continue to piss me the fuck off. Ready for this? Here come five hot takes for you to chew on. Don’t forget to check out last week’s edition too.


1. Josh Brown beats his wife, gets a one game suspension from the NFL. They’ll never change

It seemed like it was only a matter of time until another NFL player was caught up in some sort of domestic abuse once again. Remember a couple years ago, when Ray Rice was dragging his fiancee out of an elevator unconscious? It seemed like one NFL player a week was doing something horrible to their significant other. While the league pursued other punishments on steroids and ball deflation, New York Giants kicker Josh Brown threw his name into the domestic abuse hat, and jumped pretty high in the asshole rankings.

Here’s what we know. Brown’s wife reported over 20 different instances of domestic abuse over the past several years. Repeated phone calls to the police across multiple states led to a protection order being filed in 2013. That seems like enough fucking evidence to put this scumbag away, or at the very least suspend him from the NFL. But nope, and here we fucking are.

It’s 2016, and Brown got a one game suspension. ONE GAME. What planet am I on? Over 20 different documented instances of police calls regarding abuse. A restraining order and a letter sent by Brown to friends admitting that he physically beat his wife leads to missing 60 minutes of regular season football? If you thought the Deflategate suspension was unreal, this one takes the fucking cake.

And that leads me to my next point. Brendan’s football team, the New York Giants, haven’t said a goddamn word about this . Oh, other than Jason Pierre-Paul (aka Stumpy) saying “It doesn’t matter.” Talk about one scumbag defending another. Hey JPP, I don’t think you want this to blow up against you – see what I did there – but it does matter, and it matters a fucking lot.

Want to repair your image to the average fan? How about disciplining players who are beating women and children. Don’t say you weren’t able to collect enough evidence for an investigation. How about putting the pieces of the puzzle together and take a firm stand that you won’t employ, celebrate or allow women-beaters to play in your league.

It’s not that fucking hard.

Editor’s note: Hey hey wo wo hey, lets not start casting blame wildly here. Fuck Josh Brown, and yeah, it’s not a great look for the Giants, who hold themselves as the classiest organization in sports. I’ll take that one on the chin. And yeah, I would’ve liked to see them release Brown a bit earlier, like, I don’t know, immediately. But they are trying out kickers this week. In the NFL, I’ll take what I can get (more on that later.)

Eduardo Rodriguez

2. Minor injuries have shelved Eduardo Rodriguez and Stephen Strasburg. It’s August. Suck it up. 

Let me get this off my chest before the rest of this take: I’m a hockey player. I have a hockey player mentality when it comes to athlete injuries. BUT, this is not a hockey viewpoint on this matter.

Eduardo Rodriguez of the Boston Red Sox missed his scheduled start on Sunday in Detroit with tightness in his left hamstring. Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals missed his start on Monday with right elbow soreness.

Tightness and soreness. Two words that more align with bumps and bruises than tears and strains. One needs a day off or two, or maybe a dip in an ice bath or some extra time with the athletic trainer. The other requires surgery, prolonged absences and rehab. One needs to recognize that he’s hurt and unable to perform at a high level. The other needs to suck it up and pitch for his team in a pennant race.

Rodriguez and Strasburg, both who have had their injury history, are doing a great job of screwing their respective teams late in the season by not playing hurt. Position players are doing it everyday, and I’m sure other pitchers have some kinks that impact their ability this late in the season. The MLB season is way too long. That’s an argument for another time, but nobody expects these players to be 100 percent healthy this late in the season.

Rodriguez telling Red Sox manager John Farrell on Saturday night that he couldn’t pitch on Sunday was the biggest reason why Boston got blown out by Detroit. The Nationals lost on Monday as well, falling to rival Baltimore with Strasburg on the bench. He’s headed to the DL, while Rodriguez remains in limbo.

Especially on E-Rod here, as the Red Sox are fighting for their playoff lives: go out and pitch. You’ve already been ripped into by Dustin Pedroia earlier this season for pussying out in a blowout against Tampa. Now you’re backing out of games and watching your team get smoked with Henry Owens on the mound? That’s pretty shitty. The Nats are in great shape for the playoffs, but Strasburg can help that team move ahead. Just go out there and pitch gentlemen.

Editor’s note: So much for temperance, huh? If I’m a Nats fan, I’d rather Strasburg week off in August when Washington has an eight-game lead on the Stanton-less Marlins and 11 on the meager Mets, than a week off in the divisional series.


3. Team USA won the gold medal, but they didn’t play anybody good. USA Basketball is just ugly to watch. 

Carmelo Anthony cried. Coach K retired. The Star Spangled Banner echoed through the arena as Team USA blew out Serbia to win yet another Gold Medal at the Rio Games. But guess what – It means absolutely nothing.

I mentioned this in my column last week. When the US has head-and-shoulders better talent than any other country out there, a Gold Medal should be a given. And guess what, it was. Outside of a couple of inexcusable close games with Australia and France in the Olympics, the Americans destroyed everyone in their path. Serbia took home the silver medal with one NBA player on the team (Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets). Team USA wiped the floor with Serbia just like they should have. So Melo can cry and exclaim that a Gold Medal is just as important as an NBA Finals win.

Hey Melo – at least in the NBA you’re playing against guys in the same talent pool. You aren’t playing against competition that makes a living in Russia and Spain playing second-tier basketball. Moron.

Another takeaway from Team USA in these Olympics is that the Americans really play an ugly type of basketball. It’s all isolation, limited ball movement and letting the best players in the world go one-on-one with overmatched competition. Greg Popovich needs to change that moving forward, because teams with much less talent will close the gap by playing actual team basketball in 2020 and beyond.


4. Time for Notre Dame football to admit they’re just like everybody else in Division I football

Notre Dame football is in the same level of hatred for me as the New York Yankees, New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens, Peyton Manning and LeBron James. They’re all behind the Montreal Canadiens on my hatred list, but I can’t stand the Fighting Irish, and the aura of arrogance associated with that football program.

We get it. Rudy was an awesome movie. Play like a champion today is neat. Your fight song is copied by pretty much everyone. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But guess what? Your team hasn’t been fucking relevant since the 1990s. Unless you want to count getting eviscerated by Alabama in 2013. But ND fans probably don’t.

Even outside the on-field stuff, I hate hearing the narrative of Notre Dame holding their football players to a higher standard. They don’t have the same level of bullshit that other power conference schools have. Blah, blah fucking blah.

Well guess what ND – time to eat your own words. Six players were arrested over the weekend for gun and weed possession, and also assault. I guess the “fighting” part in the nickname was taken pretty literally there. Now coach Brian Kelly suspended the biggest name from that group – cornerback Devin Butler – indefinitely, and has already met with the other players that were involved.

Hearing ND fans have to backtrack on how their players don’t get involved in instances like this reminded me of the sexual assault allegations on the team in 2012 and 2013. It’s about time they got knocked down a peg, and be reminded that their athletes do very similar things to the other schools that aren’t held as high as the “Notre Dame standard.”

Fighting Irish indeed.


5. Remember kids, if you lie like Ryan Lochte did, don’t get caught on camera. 

Brendan hit on this earlier in the week, but man, is Ryan Lochte dumb or what. Listen, everybody gets drunk at different times in their life. Everyone does stupid shit in their life too. But what Lochte and his swimming buddies did in Rio to a gas station extends beyond drunk shit. Every stereotype of the loud, arrogant American was pretty much summed up to a “T” by Lochte and his cohorts.

Maybe he thought that in a place like Rio didn’t have security cameras everywhere, capturing him wrecking the bathroom and causing significant damage. Or, most likely, he didn’t think at all.

As his sponsors dropped left and right, I couldn’t help but smile. as Lochte’s transgressions get played out all over the globe. He looks like a moron with his hair, and his swimming career (and probably speaking career) are over. If you’re going to be a drunk asshole, then you need to be aware of the ramifications. Or don’t be aware, and concoct a dumb story and grip a nation with your stupidity.

Editor’s note: Kids, listen to Tim’s headline. How many current parolees could have avoided that status by not posting about it on Facebook. To paraphrase Biggie, true bad boys move in silence (and violence.)

jones camel

6. Camel of the Week: Jerry Jones

God, I kind of love Jerry Jones. Even when the G-men are having an admittedly bad week, Jones swoops in to remind us that he’s still the holder of the NFC East stupidity belt.

If you want  a guy who’s looked the other way straight up allowed such characters as known terrible yet “legally innocent” accused abuser Greg Hardy to not only play, but start, thrive and be a star, he’s your man. If you want a guy who’s been outed as a womanizer himself, he’s your man. If you want a guy to claim that concussions might not have long term, despite every ounce of evidence, he’s your man.

Here’s to you Jerry. You are, now and always, the Camel of the Week.

That’ll do it for us. We’ll be back next week with some more hot takes for your Wednesday reading enjoyment. Follow Tim on Twitter@culvey13 and Brendan at @MurraySportTalk for more, or to tell me us we’re morons. Either way, have at it.


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