Avery is a rookie, but is progressing to become more of a role player in the NFL. Listen here to learn about the former Wildcat and current Tennessee Titan on the first few months of his career, as well as his relationship with former Wildcat Wesley Woodyard.
All the way from San Diego, California Bernie D'Amato joins Matthew on Back Spin Golf. Bernie a writer for Southland Golf, gives his insight on topics with Matthew. Visit and chat with Bernie on twitter @bdamato711.
This has been the hottest topic over the last 24 hours and I've come up with a few opinions from a few different angles. As always, I encourage interaction with you!
-Ray Rice and his punishment:
The video is pretty concrete. It's painful to watch because in my eyes, he didn't seem to have much if any remorse after striking his then faience (now wife). He looked down at her after delivering the hit, no sign of "Oh what did I just do?" and as he was dragging her, his feet kept making contact with her body, with lack of caring. I was getting the vibe of "look at what you made me do". The video is disturbing and extremely disappointing.
The punishment was well deserved but should have come long before, even without video. If he would have been suspended the entire season, would there have been as much outrage? I don't know.
Janay Palmer and her response:
-This is the confusing part for me. I feel bad for her but at the same time, I'm disappointed in her. After this incident, she not only stayed with him but married him! The overall perception is she did it for money. "He's a professional athlete, therefore she will take the abuse or however you want to word it because she will be able to live a lavish life." This seems to be popular opinion of those who are not familiar with her situation. On the other hand, she loves the man and this is one incident, therefore she is giving him a second chance. I don't know, as I stated, this part confuses me. No matter what, due to Ray's release, and potentially being black balled from the league. Her life has certainly changed.
He has taken a large hit in the PR department. Recently being reported he and the league didn't ask to view the camera footage in the elevator. Goodell, I believe was trying to be a good boss essentially. He wanted to take Ray and Janay's word on the incident. What ever their word may have been. Did Ray lie? Did he tell him exactly what we saw in the video? Only they know, but I firmly believe Goodell was taking what he was told as the complete truth of his employee. Wouldn't you want that as employee with an employer?
Regardless of the video, they should have suspended Ray a longer period of time after the NFL's ruling. Again, I believe they were trying to make a smart investment in their employee, taking his and Janay's word on what happened. What I really don't like was the push on social media, quoting Janay, regretting her role on the matter. Then turning around to start marketing Ray Rice pink jerseys on their website.
Janay wrote a scathing instagram message pointing the finger at the media for ruining her's and Ray's life. In many ways, she's right, the media unveiled the ugliness of the incident. Is this right? To me, it is, because Ray Rice is out of the league and the NFL shouldn't have a person like this in the league. This opinion was voiced by many players in the league on twitter when the video was released. Same instance, I feel remorse. This is a private manner with a family, but here is the silver lining. If an athlete wants to be professional then they and their family become more public to the world. Is this fair? Well, hindsight is 20/20, when an athlete signs contracts worth millions of dollars then this becomes a part of it. The athlete's salary to take care of their family is paid for by sponsors who are trying to reach fans and the fans themselves are paying to see the athlete perform, by default are paying the salary as well.
Take what you want from this, all I know is this is one big mess for all involved.
Well it has started, with the season opening for our Cincinnati Bengals and once again it opens on the road. Starting the season in Baltimore never sits well with anyone, not only is this a Divisional Rival but since the Andy/AJ era, it has always been a loss. The daunting task of beating the likes of John Harbaugh and Ray Rice and Joe Flacco on their home turf can finally be put behind them, at least for this season. With all the news coming in and out about both teams before the season started, everything from contract extensions and injuries to domestic violence cases. This may be the first time the Bengals are opening the season with a player not in trouble with the law, the Ravens on the other hand. Well if you have been under a rock for the last 2 months then you didn't see Ray Rice dragging his unconscious fiance out of an elevator and you haven't heard about the new NFL punishment for domestic violence (6 game suspension for first offense and then a 1yr suspension for a second offense). With Rice's case, Roger Goodell levied a 2 game suspension (which is drawing lots of outrage but thats another story) starting on opening day, this undoubtebly helped the Bengals since Rice tends to rack up at least a 100yds when playing the Bengals at home. The sun was shinning, the stands full of fans and everyone was ready for the 1pm kickoff. Then the soccer game started, wait WHAT?!? Yes thats right, the Bengals decided to play soccer instead of football. The changing of the guard from Jay to Hue and the revamp of an already explosive offense and we got 5 FG's instead of 5 TD's. Granted the entire time the offense was stalling out before the endzone, the defense was keeping the Ravens from scoring too BUT and the but is in all caps because it took till the 4th quarter and the opposing team to score first before the Bengals could muster a touch down. Hue and Andy and the rest of the 1st team offense need to and probably are going to only be practicing scoring and giving Mike Nugent a rest. Each march down the field held the expectation of a very fluid touchdown yet would only yield 3 points at a time. The loss of Tyler Eifert in the 1st Q was a blow to the majority of the offensive scheme, there goes 1 of the 2 in the two tight end set not that Alex Smith is a competent TE but he doesn't catch like Eifert. The word on the street is Eifert is suffering from a dislocated shoulder which could have him out of play till well after the week 4 bye. Then it seemed like it was going to all fall apart, the heart and soul of the defense, Vontaze Burfict went down with a concussion. The sack leader from last year was doing what he does best, destroy an offense. He broke through the Ravens O-line and did a little Goldeberg spear action (you like that throw back, don't you) and hit Flacco so hard he self inflicted his concussion. As SOP for concussions now, he was escorted off the field and I'm sure a full course of test were run to determine the extend of the damage. With Burfict out for what could be an undetermined timetable, other members on the defense will need to step in and fill the physical and emotional hole left. One of those players that shined bright in the absence of Vontaze was Emanuel Lamur. Lamur had 11 tackles and his first INT . The first touchdown of the game came from Justin Forsett, WHO??? Remember there used to be this guy in 08 that was drafted by the Seahawks. Forsett has travelled around the league in his 7 years and on Sunday he was traveling all over the field. His TD was the spark the Ravens needed to mount an offensive comeback and when Flacco connected with Steve Smith (yes Steve Smith from the Carolina Panthers, its like Hines Ward came back but for the Ravens) in the 4th Q it looked like the nail in the coffin. Then it happened, Andy long bomb to AJ, the defender on Green gets at least a finger or two on the ball because the ball pops up instead of into AJ's hand. The Juggle is nothing to Green and we are used to seeing his gecko like hands glueing a ball into security. AJ juggles the ball just once and then jukes the safety twice, leaving him on the turf helpless to TD he can't stop. This game winning drive was less than a minute after the Flacco Smith TD. I honestly was skeptical, I'm not alone in saying we have seen our beloved Bengals crumble when its all on the line and with this win I might just have to get a cup of that orange Kool Aid in the thought we could and will win a post season game for the first time in 15 years. Lets all hope the home opener is without injuries and nothing but a blowout of what is a high scoring explosive Atlanta Falcons offense. WHO DEY!