Monday, September 22, 2014

Ravens Owner Says Rice Leaked Info To ESPN for Investigation

By now, if you are following the ongoing saga of the NFL and Ray Rice, you are probably aware of a story released by ESPN's Outside the Lines saying the Ravens knew everything and tried help hide the existence of the damning "elevator" video.

In case you haven't read it, you can read the Don Van Natta and Kevin Van Valkenburg investigation RIGHT HERE

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti came out firing, accusing Rice, his friends and his defense team of leaking information, trying to help build a case for Rice to return to football at some point in time.

He also publicly apologized for not following through and trying to look at the video inside the elevator at the New Jersey Casino. He admitted he was wrong and and wishes he could do it over again.

Bisciotti simultaneously released a letter to the Ravens fan base which is posted on their website: (A brief summary)

--Bisciotti reiterates this: "As I stated to you in my letter on September 9th, we did not do all we should have done and no amount of explanation can remedy that. But there has been no misdirection or misinformation by the Ravens"

--A statement by Ravens head of security Darren Sanders who is been alleged to have seen or informed of the inside the elevator video shortly after Ray Rice punched Janay Rice in the elevator:

“I did not receive an account of what happened in the elevator “within hours” of the incident.  Within a couple of days, I asked the casino and the Atlantic City Police Department for a copy of any videotape of the incident.  They said they could not release a copy of the videotape to me.  Some days later—I believe it was on February 25—I spoke to an Atlantic City police official again, asking again whether I could get a copy of the tape or, if not, whether I could come to his New Jersey office and view it. He said I could not, but he did offer to view the tape and describe what he saw."

---A statement by team G.M Ozzie Newsome who is alleged to have been told exactly what happened by Rice.

“I did not receive an account of what happened in the elevator “within hours” of the incident.  Within a couple of days, I asked the casino and the Atlantic City Police Department for a copy of any videotape of the incident.  They said they could not release a copy of the videotape to me.  Some days later—I believe it was on February 25—I spoke to an Atlantic City police official again, asking again whether I could get a copy of the tape or, if not, whether I could come to his New Jersey office and view it. He said I could not, but he did offer to view the tape and describe what he 
saw. "

--And then this, countering the allegation Bisciotti offered Rice a job after releasing him. And that the offer was made for "hush" money:

“I did not receive an account of what happened in the elevator “within hours” of the incident.  Within a couple of days, I asked the casino and the Atlantic City Police Department for a copy of any videotape of the incident.  They said they could not release a copy of the videotape to me.  Some days later—I believe it was on February 25—I spoke to an Atlantic City police official again, asking again whether I could get a copy of the tape or, if not, whether I could come to his New Jersey office and view it. He said I could not, but he did offer to view the tape and describe what he saw. "

You can read the entire statement countering all points of the article RIGHT HERE

Bisciotti spent a good portion of the time talking about his surprise the NFL did not know about the video and not thinking to ask Rice's lawyer, who DID have the tape, to see it.

He also got emotional denying that he lobbied NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for a shorter suspension for Rice initially saying, "Why would I do that?" "I played golf with the commissioner but nobody has ever accused us of being friends" "I expected a 4-6 game suspension for Ray, not 2"

Another strong statement: The NFL has never escalated domestic violence to the level of bar fights and drugs. And to be honest, he's right. He's done a strong job of stating the NFL's weakness, inequity and lack of a strong discipline policy. He also said this is a great opportunity for the league and for Goodell to take the lead and change and elevate the response to domestic violence.

To his credit, Bisciotti was quite a bit more open and emotional than NFL commissioner Roger Goodell when talking about the issue. He did not hide behind vagueness, he was upset he and his team's integrity was being questioned. And his team came prepared to repute every aspect of ESPN's report.

We suspect the truth in this matter, like most, lies somewhere between these two stories. But props to Bisciotti and the Ravens team for being prepared and able to explain every accusation.

We hope to god this is the end of the lengthy press conferences about this subject. It happened. It was horrible. A lot of people made a lot of mistakes. Let's find out who did and when the time is right, release the information.

But until then, we are ready for the Sports world to move on.




D3 Records Fall In LaVerne-Whitworth Game

((HT: LaVerne Leopards))

Whitworth University out of Spokane played LaVerne over the weekend.

In a 59-of-83 performance for 589 yards, Bryan Peterson threw six touchdowns without an interception. He also threw the game-winning 14-yard touchdown with 30 seconds left for the 50-48 win.

Peterson broke the D3 records for completions in a game and most consecutive passes without a pick. He set team records for single-game yardage, completions and attempts.

On the flip side for LaVerne, Billy Livingston threw for 469 yards and 7 TD's while Jon Lilly caught 6 touchdowns and had 274 yards receiving on the afternoon.

Here's the highlights- presumably edited for TV sake...

Change Begins: Braves Fire Frank Wren

For Braves fans, it's necessary change.

The Atlanta Braves did something Monday they haven't done since 1990, they fired someone before a season ended, in this case, their General Manager.

The Braves announced they've parted ways with Frank Wren, who's been overseeing the team since his boss John Schuerholz was promoted to team president in 2007.

Wren has an odd resume during his Braves tenure as the team seemed to excel at finding guys like Aaron Harang and other players who underachieved and getting the most out of them.

But he was horrible at big ticket signings. Wren was responsible for the Dan Uggla and BJ Upton signings, leaving the Braves on the hook for some $45 million in contracts to one player who's no longer with the team and the other, likely to join him shortly.

But the overriding issue was an apparent rift with people inside the organization. There's been rumblings for the past month that he (Wren) may have been running off people like Dave Wallace and others and was responsible for some of the discord bubbling to the surface over the past couple of weeks.

The Braves had been contending and as recently as the end of August were potential leaders for a wild-card berth. But the team continued their habit of September falls and now sit at 76-79 on the season and are officially out of the playoffs.

John Hart, former GM in Cleveland and Texas and special assistant this year to Schuerholz takes over as interim GM with no clear frontrunner for the permanent job.

Rumors say team manager Fredi Gonzalez is safe...for now, but is likely going to have to make wholesale changes in the coaching staff.

We will see.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

BASTA: Offense Sputters Again As Giants Swept At Hands Of Padres

((HT: BASTA their own selves/Leonard))

The Giants came into Petco Park on Friday full of confidence and enthusiasm. They leave on Sunday demoralized and broken, swept by the hapless San Diego Padres, whose team wOBA starts with a two (.282). San Francisco made these Padres look like world-beaters, giving up eight runs on Sunday to the worst offensive team in the major leagues. They have scored fourteen runs in their last eight games, dropping six of eight in the process. With the loss, all hopes of winning the NL West are essentially lost; with the Dodgers’ win on Sunday, San Francisco fell 4.5 games back in the divisional race. They are now tied with Pittsburgh for the first wild card spot; Milwaukee sits 4.5 back, likely an unsurmountable deficit.

Despite the fact that the Giants are practically a lock to make the postseason (98.8% chance), they are no lock to advance far beyond the wild card play-in game (if that). The offense has been silent without Angel Pagan in the lineup, putting four runs across the board in the three-game series. They weren’t much better on Sunday, as their sole runs in an 8-2 loss came on rookie Chris Dominguez’s homer, the first hit of his career. Dominguez launched a 3-1 fastball from Ian Kennedy off of the Western Supply Company Building in left field, cutting the Padres’ lead to 5-2. He became the first Giant to have a homer for a first career hit since Adam Duvall in June.

Besides the homer, the offense was lifeless, failing to get their first hit until two outs in the forth on a Buster Posey infield single. (Yes, you read that right) Unlike San Francisco, the Padres looked very comfortable at the plate, tagging starter Ryan Vogelsong for four runs in five innings. Petco Park continued to haunt the righty, who had posted a 9.37 ERA at the park before Sunday. He was a 5.53 ERA on the season against NL West opponents. Yasmani Grandal had a big day at the dish, going one for two with three RBI’s. His sacrifice fly in the sixth contributed to a four-run outburst from San Diego, chasing Vogelsong from the game.

The Giants now head to Los Angeles full of uncertainty and despair. They will have to take two out of three from the Dodgers to avoid watching them celebrate a division clinch. Luckily, Dodger Stadium does not have a pool.
((HT: FOX Sports))


After being the hottest team in baseball for a stretch, the Giants find themselves facing a postseason possibly without Angel Pagan or an offense. This series against Los Angeles will define the Giants’ season. Can they be resilient? It will be certainly be a test, facing Haren, Greinke, and Kershaw. Haren (13-11, 4.14) will open the series on Monday against Jake Peavy (6-4, 2.16).

Here's A Way To Celebrate A Win In Seattle...

((HT: Alex Flanagan))

Seattle Seahawks corner DeShawn Shead proposed to his girlfriend after the team's 26-20 overtime win over the Denver Broncos.

Evidence below


About 30 minutes after the game he told his girlfriend, Jessica Martinez, to meet him to the field. Shead was successful in his questions and answer session and you saw all the teammates and family that were there to witness the moment.

Good deal and a way to finish the day...

OSG High: Kevin Turner's HS FB Team Honored On Anniversary

((HT: WSFA-TV))

It's the 30th anniversary season of the Prattville (AL) High football state championship and they were honored Friday night in front of their home crowd.

One of the stars of that squad was Kevin Turner- whose life the HQ has chronicled with his diagnosis of ALS and his battles over recognition of the disease by his former employer.

Full disclosure- the HQ donates to the Kevin Turner Foundation regularly as we do for other ALS charitable organizations.

Turner and his team were celebrated- as they should...

Here's the tribute of the special team with an equally special man in attendance
WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Others who graduated with Turner and the Prattville High Student Government Association raised more than $4,000 for his foundation and presented him the check at the game.

Here's the ceremony in full from Stacy Mills Facebook page

How About Another FCS Win Over FBS...???

((HT: Patrick Netherton his own self))

We include this one because we can...

P-Netherton is the pay-by-play voice for the Northwestern State (LA) Demons and they were on the road last night at Joe Aillet Stadium to take on Louisiana Tech.

All we needed was a last-second field goal for the upset
The HQ got it...


Well called, sir... congratulations...

And that win puts a big dent in the La Tech bowl ideas...