Jul 032013
 

GiRIt has been a while since I penned one of these articles, and our summer has not been as active as I would have liked, but we have survived through a full season and off-season, and training camp is now just a couple of weeks away! There is still plenty more to write to get people caught up with their favorite teams and with current NFL news, but I thought I’d take a moment to bring you up to get our readers caught up on our current plans.

32 Previews
Yes, we still have more previews coming. We’ve made it through 13 teams so far and have 19 more to go, but the pace is slowing a bit as time has become an issue. The Rat is working on his dissertation proposal, and some work related projects, as well as getting ready for some time away, so the articles will resume shortly but at a slower pace. Keep checking back for your favorite team!

Time Away
The Rat and Rat’s Widow are heading off on a tropical holiday to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. Let me tell you folks, the Rat is a lucky man, and I am looking forward to a week away where we can relax and re-charge our batteries. We’ll share a picture or two once we are there.

FILE:  Indianapolis Colts Fire Vice Chairman Bill PolianBill Polian is a &%$&%#% hypocritical moron
OK, perhaps this is a topic worthy of its won article, but I want to get this off my chest now. Yesterday the Wall Street Journal published an article about Aaron Hernandez, and interviewed the former Colts general manager for the piece. According to Polian, “There were questions there, which is why a guy of that talent lasted until the fourth round,” he said. The Colts  “never got that far” in their evaluation of the player. “We were not in the Hernandez business.”

Wow… isn’t Polian prescient? If only every general manager could predict that someone who has a history of marijuana use and fighting might escalate to murder… well, then that person would be a genius. Apparently Bill Polian is a genius.

So… Genius… maybe you can explain to the rest of the world why it is that you drafted Rae Carruth with your first round pick in the 1997 draft. That’s right… the same Rae Carruth who went on to hire a friend to murder his girlfriend (Cherica Adams) and their unborn child so that he would not have to pay child support. Adams spent a month in the hospital after being shot five times, and Carruth posted $3 million bond on the condition that he would turn himself in if Adams died. When she did die he then fled, and was found hiding in the trunk of a car in Tennessee.

At the time of the draft, Polian stated that Carruth was simply too good a talent to pass up, and the Panthers grabbed him up. So where was your Spidey Sense then, idiot? It’s not surprising to me that Polian would take a shot at the Patriots, given his former roles with the Bills (division opponent), Panthers, and Colts (conference rival). But maybe next time Polian should consider whether or not his own history drafting a troubled player should temper his comments about the decisions of other teams. Unfortunately, Polian’s desire for the spotlight seems to preclude any consideration of reason.

A note on Aaron Hernandez
Let’s sum up my feelings on Aaron Hernandez and the New England Patriots. First, Hernandez’ talent made him a steal in the fourth round, and none of his earlier behaviors suggested that the guy would become a(n) (alleged) murderer. In his three seasons with the Patriots, Hernandez caught 175 regular season passes for 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns, which compares quite favorably to the three year career stats of Rae Carruth, who caught 62 passes for 804 yards and four touchdowns, but I digress…

The Patriots took a calculated risk to select Hernandez, just as many teams take such risks in every draft and in every free agency period. If the Patriots are to be questioned at all, it is for signing Hernandez to a big money extension based solely on his word that he was a changed man. Patriots’ players are freely describing Hernandez as a loner with an angry streak who chose to hang around high school friends rather than spend time with his teammates. This also didn’t suggest that Hernandez would become a murderer, but raises questions as to why the Patriots felt he was worth a big money extension similar to the one given to Rob Gronkowski.

But to suggest that this situation speaks poorly of the Patriots’ organization is rubbish. When the news first broke that Hernandez was being investigated, Patriots’ brass got together and decided he would be released if he was charged with any crime; that is quite a statement when there is as much money at stake as there is in this case, but the Patriots felt the public relations perception was more important than the money. It took the Patriots only ninety minutes to push the paperwork through for his release on the day of his arrest, and the Patriots immediately offered a jersey exchange program so that parents would not have to explain why their children could not wear the jersey of their favorite player. It’s a small gesture to be sure, but one that the Patriots control, and which is in keeping with a conscientious organization. Hernandez may have made a mockery of the public perception of the Patriot Way, but the organization  proved it was bigger than any of its players. That’s all I can ask for as a fan.