Game of the week

No hesitations here! It’s Nick Saban’s ‘Bama versus Les Miles’ Tigers of Louisiana State. The game is in Tuscalooussa, which gives Alabama an edge. Many experts are saying that the game pits LSU’s very special running back Leonard Fournette against Alabama’s defense, a defense that is considered the best in the country. But my suspicion is that Alabama’s interior seven on defense and LSU’s running game will play each other to z standstill and the game’s outcome, therefore, will pivot on quarterback play and special teams. And here the Crimson Tide hax the advantage. In any case, it should be a great game.

Football at this level is anything but amateur. It’s a big time cash cow for universities, such as Alabama and LSU, and a full time occupation for players (who don’t get paid) and coaches (who do and quite well). And we’re finding out, moreover, that the danger of long-term brain trauma for players is acute. But this blogger has to admit that he still likes the sport. And for now I have a lot of company. If we have a national pastime it’s football – professional as well as college. Baseball fell off that perch years ago.

What our society needs to learn from the Ray Rice scandal

“What our society needs to learn from the Ray Rice scandal” first appeared on on September 17, 2014. Read it on

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” Sir Walter Scott (Marmion, 1808)

Last week, I wrote that a fading story surrounding the violent assault on Janay Palmer Rice by her then-fiancé and now husband, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, had gotten new legs.

What triggered this renewed attention was the public release of a new tape – a second tape – that shows Ray Rice knocking out Janay with two powerful blows to her face in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino hotel in February. The first tape had shown Ray Rice dragging her unconscious off the elevator, but not the actual assault.

Ray Rice and his enablers: why men must speak out

“Ray Rice and his enablers: why men must speak out” first appeared on on September 9, 2014. Read it at

On Sunday night, TMZ Sports released a new video showing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking out Janay Rice, his then-fiancée and now his wife, on an elevator in a casino hotel. By Monday morning, sports networks and morning talk shows were abuzz, talking again about what is far too familiar in our national life – male violence against women – and the mishandling of this gruesome incident by National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Ravens football team – not to mention the entire National Football League.

Richard Sherman and a changing story line

“Richard Sherman and a changing story line” first appeared on on January 31, 2014. Read it on

Much has been said since Richard Sherman, the outstanding African American cornerback for the Super Bowl bound Seattle Seahawks, dissed San Francisco’s wide receiver 49ers Michael Crabtree in an interview immediately after the playoff game between the two teams ended. Only seconds earlier Sherman had leaped high into the air to deflect a pass away from Crabtree in the closing seconds of the game, crushing 49er hopes of going to this weekend’s Super Bowl.