Training Camp, Boot Camp, or Judge Judy?
~ Amy Lignor
Oh, yes…remember the time when the ‘buzz’ coming out of training camp was actually regarding football? Well…some of it remains true. Sometimes the ‘buzz’ does have to do with injury, as well as who is returning and who is out because of being booted, or losing their spots because they just weren’t good enough. But along with the ‘buzz’ in 2014 are a whole lot of stories about juries and judgments, which have seen the NFL land headlines the entire off-season that they really didn’t want to have.
Ray Rice, who has been in the news for his arrest on assault charges back in February of this year, apologized. He owned up and used more than fifteen minutes this past Thursday at the training camp of the Baltimore Ravens to let people know that what he did was: “The biggest mistake of his life.”
Striking his fiancée (who, now, actually has become his wife…you figure it out), is what Rice wanted to make amends for. He has been accepted into a program that could make sure that the charges are dropped completely. He received a two-game suspension from the NFL, but Rice made sure to take the time to address the fans and the world. After all, publicity is everything and all teams want their ‘buzz’ to be about football and nothing else. In 2014, that simply doesn’t happen.
The 49ers news (besides the fact that Kap is a millionaire who truly needs to win the Super Bowl this year so that one and all see the reason why he landed the contract he did), has to do with another ‘bad boy’, Aldon Smith. Smith has a list as long as his arm when it comes to things that Commissioner Roger Goodell could take him out for – permanently out of the game, in fact. From gun charges to a DUI to something that landed on the moronic side instead of the legal, when Aldon decided to yell ‘Bomb!’ inside LAX. All this summed up could lead to a four game suspension or a six game suspension; however, it also could lead to Aldon Smith no longer being a part of the NFL. It just depends on if Goodell wants to make him a player who needs to shape up, or a ‘poster child’ for other players to learn that their summer vacations should be treated with decency, or they will face a career end.
There are, however, actual headlines regarding the game of football to report. The Giants are feeling more than upset that an injury to David Wilson that led to neck surgery off-season has left him in a place where he may be looking at a career end.
And, we must never forget Michael Vick (whether speaking about football ‘bad’ or ‘good’). He did not actually take a snap with the Jets’ first-team offense at training camp, leaving many to believe that the Jets are just leading the fans and reporters on. It looks like Vick is definitely not in the race with Geno Smith for the starting QB position…but with the NFL, you just never know.
Retirements have also been announced…but this time around, it is more than a little odd. Peria Jerry is the defensive tackle for the Atlanta Falcons. He has also not reached thirty years of age. Took in the first-round in 2009, Jerry announced his retirement and allowed it to remain a mystery as to why. He has stated no reason for his retirement so early on; all one can hope is that the young man is not seriously ill in any way, shape, or form, and simply decided that the NFL was not the career he decided to have.
Before checking out here, we must talk about ‘Johnny Football’. After all, he may just be the most interesting character to either jeer or cheer for in the upcoming season. Manziel is in the spotlight whether he likes it now, or not. Apparently…he does still like it, because he stated to a reporter that once preseason begins, he fully expects to give veteran QB, Brian Hoyer, a definite run for his money. Well…it would be something to see. Especially for Cleveland who doesn’t get a whole lot of headlines.
Kap was the rookie that could a couple of years back…Johnny Football just may be the new one that will take the gridiron by storm. At least he hasn’t been suspended, fined, or arrested yet – so that definitely counts for something,