NFL Notes: What's Taking Goodell So Long With Rice's Punishment?
USA TODAY's Chris Korman wrote it is "fair to ask what has taken so long for the NFL to come up with a ruling" following the arrest of Ravens RB Ray Rice this offseason for aggravated assault on his wife. Rice has "already met with league representatives," so the NFL and the Ravens "should have been prepared to act swiftly and boldly to send a real message about Rice's actions." NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been "criticized in the past for acting rashly, but this case is clearly different." Continuing to wait "hints at ambiguity that is no longer there." Rice "knocked a woman out and, through the judicial system, is getting help." It is "not OK for the most influential sports league in the country to sit by and ponder that fact." It is "not OK for a franchise that, for better or worse, influences the way fans think and feel about so many things to not be more decisive -- and public." Korman: "Hinting at internal actions is not good enough" (USATODAY.com, 7/21).
THE CALIFORNIA ROLL: ESPN's Andrew Brandt said it is important to have an NFL team in L.A. because it's the "capital of Hollywood, the capital of entertainment, the capital of business all meeting together." Brandt: "It does seem odd with the nation's most popular sports league ... not having a team in the nation's second-largest market. That always has been an issue." He added L.A. could be "something used as a negotiating ploy," as it has "always been out there for owners that aren't getting their way" in their markets. The L.A. Times' Sam Farmer said the city has been "more valuable to the NFL without a team arguably than with a team." The idea of two teams moving to the L.A. market allows the league to "maintain that leverage point to get deals done in other cities, and you can make a stadium two-team compliant" ("Outside The Lines," ESPN, 7/21).
OR THE FISH & CHIPS: ESPN's Dan Graziano said placing a franchise in London is "something that the league and the owners want to happen in theory." But he added, "When you start talking to people about the logistics of it and what's actually involved in having an NFL team in London, as opposed to playing a game there once or twice a year, you're talking about people having to move their families, you're talking about differences in everything from currency to cost of living and then the travel. The London team has a minimum six-hour flight to get to any other team." Graziano: "It sounds great as a money-making opportunity and an expansion of the brand, but I don't think it's something they could actually put into practice" ("NFL Live," ESPN2, 7/18).