Author Archives | Paula Duffy

Who says the Yankees missed the post-season?

Today in New York, Alex Rodriguez began his time in front of an arbitrator to appeal his 211 game suspension by Major League Baseball.

MLB is there to defend its decision and describes the allegations against A-Rod this way:

Alex Rodriguez used performance-enhancing substances obtained from the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic, and that he also recruited other players for the now-defunct South Florida business and interfered with its investigation into the case.

What’s a bit shocking is that by the end of the day, there were no leaks coming out of the proceeding. The case for and against Rodriguez was played out in media after one or both sides planted stories to shore up their positions.

In a related matter, it was reported today on the Miami News Times’ website that Tony Bosch, founder of Biogenesis can add a new investigation to his list. The State of Florida has begun an inquiry. An attorney for one athlete mentioned in Bosch’s records tells New Times his client recently received a subpoena from the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.

Mr. Bosch is in New York to testify at the arbitration and it is presumed, and hoped for by MLB, that he will be consistent with his previous statements on the subject of supplying PEDs to more than a dozen professional baseball players, all of whom were suspended.

Only one, Rodriguez appealed the suspension, reflecting A-Rod’s belief that the mountain of evidence including Bosch’s testimony will not support the suspension as a whole, or at least reduce it.

Would he consider a reduction in the number of games as a victory? As is his custom, the Yankees third baseman could not get to the point, preferring to spout dialogue that could easily be ripped from a script of a schmaltzy film.

“I’m not going to get into that,” said Rodriguez. “I’m not going to get into my expectations. I’m fighting for my life and my whole baseball legacy.”

To be continued…

 

 

Posted in Duffy's Court, MLB0 Comments

Jerry Sandusky guilty of 45 counts

Jerry Sandusky who was fighting 48 counts of criminal behavior related to sexual misconduct with 10 children over the course of almost 15 years, was found guilty Friday of 45 of the 48 counts. The jury in the Centre County Court in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania deliberated for less than two full days to reach the verdict that many were expecting.

Many in the jury pool were either employed by, attended or had been to Penn State University which made some think it more difficult to get a conviction against a man who had been considered and called “a local hero” during times of testimony.

Jurors were facing a weekend away from their homes and families when they unanimously agreed to convict the former Penn State coach and founder of The Second Mile charity.

Sandusky was taken away in handcuffs for processing and later posed for the mugshot shown here. As he faced the cameras and lights during what is called the “perp walk” Sandusky was solemn, without the jocular look he would display at times in court and to media members on his way in and out of the courthouse.

Sandusky faced eight of his victims who took the stand despite having to speak in detail about what could be considered unspeakable. Years of abuse that seemed to follow a pattern from friendship to physical intimacy that was unwanted all the way to forced intercourse was put forth by young adults who were all children as young as 10 when they began being violated by Sandusky

Joe Amendola, lead attorney for the Sandusky family commented afterwards:

“The Sandusky family is very disappointed about the verdict but we respect it. From the beginning of this case we said we had an uphill battle, trying to climb Everest from the very bottom.”

His co-counsel also commented saying:

“Jerry rose and saw some tears in his eyes. He’s always been a law abiding citizen, except for these allegations. We knew whatever the jury’s verdict was we’d have to honor it. “

Both attorneys told media that there are grounds for appeal, one of which was their inability to get a continuance prior to trial to wade through the evidence. Amendola’s defense had been criticized by some as weak and without the vigor expected. None of the defense witnesses countered the accusations of the victims of physical and sexual abuse. Rather, Amendola tried to show they were unsure of exact dates, times and how often they were with Sandusky.

After promising the jury during opening statements that Sandusky would testify in his own defense a decision was made to keep him off the stand. The jury only heard the voice of the defendant answer questions from NBC’s Bob Costas during an interview last November.

Mr. Amendola revealed at tonight’s media conference that his client did not testify because he learned that one of his adopted children was ready to testify against his father. When the prosecution said they wouldn’t use Matt Sandusky in their direct case, but would use his testimony to counter his father’s claims he made on the stand. The decision was made to keep Jerry Sandusky off the stand at that moment.

The facilities of Penn State University were used for many of the crimes and the fallout toppled an administration, including legendary football coach Joe Paterno. Paterno was never accused of criminal behavior as he informed his superiors of facts told to him by a witness to one of Sandusky’s acts with a young boy in the showers of the football facility.

It was Paterno’s lack of interest in following up on the facts to see if they were taken seriously or reported to authorities as was required under state law. After losing his job of over 50 years, he was treated for rapidly spreading lung cancer and died a few months later.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.

Copyright ©2012 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Duffy's Court, Features, NCAA, Recent Buzz0 Comments

JoePa death may affect Penn State trials

The sad passing of Joe Paterno, 85 a lion of a man whose final two months on earth were spent in disgrace, will have an impact on the criminal cases pending in Pennsylvania against Penn State University officials and former coach, Jerry Sandusky.

Former Athletic Director Tim Curley and ex-VP of Operations Gary Schultz were indicted when they were caught up in the grand jury investigation of Sandusky and alleged child sex and molestation allegations. The grand jury indicted Sandusky on 40 counts of child endangerment and slapped Curley and Schultz with perjury charges, resulting from their testimony.

Photo/Wikimedia Commons

Helping prosecutors to secure indictments against the Penn State employees were both assistant coach Mike McQueary and legendary football coach Joe Paterno. Both testified before the grand jury and supplied statements to investigators that contradicted Curley and Schultz’s accounts of what they knew of a 2002 incident on the Penn State campus witnessed by McQueary.

Jerry Sandusky, according to Mike McQueary’s testimony was molesting a young boy in the shower room of the football complex in a scene that still makes him shudder. He was a graduate assistant to Paterno at the time and after conferring with his father, told JoePa what he knew the very next day.

Paterno called Curley and reported what McQueary saw, but it is the words used by the elderly football coach that helped lead to the perjury indictments. Curley and Schultz deny that what they were told was specific enough to understand that a crime might have been committed, leading them to keep their investigation in-house.

Mike McQueary met with the two face-to-face after the men had spoken to JoePa and he acknowledges that he was more graphic while facing them than he was when telling his football coach and boss. It was out of respect, McQueary said, for Paterno and what he thought were his delicate sensibilities that he didn’t use the words rape or penetration.

The grand jury decided that Curley and Schultz weren’t credible in their testimony and neither McQueary nor Paterno were indicted or charged in any way. They had performed their legal duty.

Whether or not it was the only thing they could have done to get the information in front of police is at the heart of why Paterno was fired and McQueary placed on administrative leave within days of the indictments being handed down.

Public outrage about the young boys who were allegedly harmed for seven years after the Penn State shower incident brought the university to do the unthinkable — fire Joe Paterno.

If Curley and Schultz do not plea bargain with prosecutors a jury trial will be a certainty. Paterno will be unavailable in person but his grand jury testimony can be used and read into the record.

There can be no cross examination by defense counsel and the defendants will never know if JoePa would have been able to stay steadfast in his testimony, or be confused and equivocate.

Recent comments by JoePa made during a Washington Post interview with Paterno regarding his unfamiliarity with the concept of men being capable of being raped will most likely not be allowed to be spoken in front of a jury. Had Paterno lived and was not too sick to testify, parts of that interview that could aid the defense would have been part of the cross examination.

While McQueary held up well when he testified and was grilled on cross during the preliminary hearing for the two former university employees, the burden of losing Paterno to buttress his statements could feel like a ton of bricks.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2012 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Duffy's Court, NCAA0 Comments

Celtics and Lakers confront Father Time

A tale of two cities: Boston and Los Angeles confront Father Time

The Lakers and Celtics are old teams and Father Time may catch up to them. Four men 30 years old and older are in the starting lineup for both and their benches don’t offer much help for a variety of reasons.

Kobe Bryant, 33 has played through a torn wrist ligament that blows up to the size of a piece of fruit after games and is anesthetized before each contest. While he remains at the top of the league in scoring whenever he’s in the line-up, the talk is that he can’t keep it up for even a shortened season and expect to go deep into the playoffs.

There are still rumors in L.A. about a Dwight Howard trade bringing the pretend Superman to town, but the Lakers as currently configured will just have to do until further notice.

Photo/Keith Allison Wikimedia Commons

On the opposite coast in Boston, Paul Pierce, 34 missed time early in the season and the team lost a string of games until his return. With losing streaks arriving in Beantown early in the season, the buzzards have circled with GM Danny Ainge under fire to right the ship.

The loss of Glen Davis to Orlando and Jeff Green to season ending surgery hurt the Celtics immeasurably and when fans look at K.G., 35 they see an aging player who can’t jump very high for very long.

The Celts and Lakers were on a run for the final few years of the last decade, but their end to the 2011 playoffs came swiftly and ugly. Danny Ainge and Celts’ coach Doc Rivers said they had a three to four year window to win when Garnett and Ray Allen, 36 arrived in 2007. That window has closed after the team won the championship in 2008 and lost in seven games in the 2009-10 NBA Finals.

The Lakers didn’t realize until being swept out the 2011 second round by the Mavs, eventual NBA champs that their window was probably shut too. The addition of Pau Gasol in 2008 and the former Ron Artest in 2009 gave them heft and their two titles, one at the expense of the Celtics.

When the pre-season trade for Chris Paul fell through and Lamar Odom asked to be shipped out of town, the Lakers were left with Derek Fisher, 38 and Steve Blake, 31 to carry on.

The Lakers still have Kobe who can make it happen, in fact he scored 40 points in four consecutive games early in the season but the Celts can’t ride Rondo every night.

A member of the Celtics’ radio broadcast team put it succinctly during a losing streak earlier this season. The team was getting more than 50% of assists and points from Rajon Rondo and until that stopped, the team’s performance wouldn’t turn around.

The Lakers know that they need more consistent scoring from someone other than Kobe and while they’ve managed to get it game-to-game from different contributors, there is no hope in Laker Land that the present situation can continue without dire consequences.

The changing of the guard began during the latter part of the 2011 regular season and certainly in the playoffs, without either L.A. or Boston going past the second round.

It was a portent of things to come if changes weren’t made and made fast. You can’t say they didn’t try in the off season, with the Celts dangling Rondo for Chris Paul and the NBA interim-management of the N.O. Hornets squashing a Paul to the Lakers swap.

What’s left isn’t pretty to look at although the Lakers continue to push through victories on the back of Bryant.

At the time of this writing GM Danny Ainge has not acted to dismantle his team but could do so if someone would give him value for Paul Pierce. Mitch Kupchak has said publicly that there were no blockbuster moves in the immediate future of the Lakers.

The saying in the NBA is that even without terrific skills, a tall man will always have a home somewhere —”You can’t teach tall.” In the case of the Celts and Lakers it can be edited to the following, “You can’t beat Father Time.”

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.

Copyright ©2012 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Features, NBA0 Comments

Bonds may “serve time” in his mansion

Barry Bonds was sentenced and ordered to serve 30 days under house arrest, with two years of probation and must also perform 250 hours of community service for his crime of obstruction of justice. That’s in the books but the former MLB slugger won’t serve or perform a moment of that sentence because he is still appealing his conviction of the crime.

Federal Judge Susan Ilston issued the judgment she used when sentencing others who came before her on charges they committed obstruction of justice and/or perjury during the course of the BALCO investigation in the early part of the previous decade. Although Marion Jones was convicted of perjury and served time in the BALCO matter it was in another judge’s court on the east coast, not Judge Ilston. It was folded in with her crimes related to covering up a check scheme in conjunction with her live-in boyfriend.

Despite prosecutors requesting for Bonds to serve 15 months in prison, Bonds gets to retire to his mansion for a month if his appeal is not granted. It’s been almost a decade since Bonds and others were given immunity from prosecution if they testified truthfully about their use, purchase or sale and distribution of performance enhancing drugs from or in concert with the BALCO labs and Victor Conte, of BALCO.

Ilston has presided over each case that arose out of the investigation, including those that went to trial or ended in plea bargains in the past. In every case where the only charges against the defendant was perjury or obstruction for his or her testimony in front of the grand jury, Ilston imposed no jail time after a guilty verdict.

Barry Bonds was never going to jail, despite all the media hype surrounding his trial. Bonds was tried in April this year on multiple counts of perjury and one count of obstruction, but the jury deadlocked on all other charges but the one.

During the trial, Bonds was forced to deal with hearing some embarrassing testimony like the one in the link below:

Bonds’ girl friend Kim Bell talks testicle shrinkage, back acne and more

While the BALCO grand jury cases involving MLB players are now concluded, there is one remaining open case related to MLB players and steroids/HGH use – that of pitcher Roger Clemens who may be appearing in court.

He was granted a mistrial in August when prosecutors disobeyed clear orders of a judge not to speak in front of the jury about a theory and witnesses they intended to present at the trial. The information had been ruled inadmissible.

Clemens was indicted for lying to Congress during testimony that related to the MLB investigation of the BALCO matter. His former trainer Brian McNamee testified that he injected the pitcher with HGH on multiple occasions, all of which was denied by Clemens. Here is a link to that mistrial:

Prosecutors defy judge, a mistrial is declared in the case.

Bonds still denies he ever took a PED and his acquittal on the perjury charges buttresses that position. The damaging testimony of some eye witnesses other than Anderson is still out there for the public to read, but the jury didn’t find them credible enough to side with them against Bonds.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2011 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Duffy's Court, Features, MLB, Recent Buzz0 Comments

Sandusky posts bail; wearing monitor

Jerry Sandusky was released from a jail in Pennsylvania Thursday morning. He was put there on Wednesday, December 7 after being arrested on new child molestation charges.

Two additional victims’ stories have been vetted by police and prosecutors and the grand jury added Victim #9 and Victim #10 to the original presentment.

The Harrisburg Patriot-News reported on Thursday that Sandusky was held in a separate cell routinely used for

Jerry Sandusky mugshot

processing new prisoners. Bail of $1 million was requested by prosecutors but reduced to $250,000 which has been posted. The former head of The Second Mile charity, from which he found the alleged victims, will wear a monitoring bracelet and be confined to his home.

The residents in and around his community won’t have to be faced with seeing him around town, engaging in normal day-to-day activities.

The charges include grisly tales of forced penetration and cries of help from one victim that fell on deaf ears. Victim #9 alleges multiple assaults in the basement of Sandusky’s home, with Mrs. Sandusky said to be upstairs at the time. His plea for assistance was met with silence.

Both Victims 9 and 10 were younger than 13 years of age when they were subject to “indecent contact for the purposes of sexual arousal” and “deviate sexual  intercourse,” as they are described in the arrest report.

As difficult as it is to write or read the charges, attention must be paid for justice to be served, whatever that may be.

The Centre County court where Jerry Sandusky will make his first public court appearance on Tuesday December 13 is the hottest ticket in town. Officials have resorted to a lottery system to dole out the few seats assigned to the general public. While reading about the horror complained of is avoided by most people, viewing the spectacle seems irresistible.

Only the original charges relating to the first set of eight victims will be dealt with next week at a preliminary hearing.

The prosecution will be asked to present enough credible evidence for a judge to agree that Sandusky must stand trial. If, as presumed that occurs, the defense will have to decide whether plea bargaining is its best option as new alleged victims come forward.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in the Los Angeles area. 

Copyright ©2011 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Duffy's Court, NCAA0 Comments

MLB dress code, what would Oscar Madison think?

Major League Baseball is the first major pro sport in America to issue a dress code for credentialed media. What would the character Oscar Madison of “The Odd Couple” think?

He may have walked around with food stains on his clothes but he wasn’t in flip flops, tank tops or anything that bared his midriff, so he may have survived the cut regarding the new code.

Bare midriffs in the clubhouse, press box and on the field will be no more says MLB.

Senior VP Phyllis Merhige commented on mlb.com:

“We just thought it was time to get a little organized, to put it in place before there was an incident.”

An incident?

She may be referring to the few in the NFL with female reporters over the past year. Here are the items specifically mentioned as being unacceptable for media members who want to cover baseball this upcoming 2012-13 season.

Tank tops, halter tops, flip flops or what MLB called “shower shoes”, ripped jeans, shorts or skirts that are “more than three or four inches above the knees” are no longer acceptable. Bare midriffs are also on the no list as well as any attire that displays “visible undergarments.”

In a bit of an unexpected move, MLB included among the unacceptable articles of clothing, anything with a team or MLB logo on it, including shirts and ball caps.

One writer who suffers from male pattern baldness is going to miss his cap, he said on Yahoo! Looks like straw hats might be making a comeback.

It’s all the fault of those of us in smaller/newer media organizations, like this one.

Because we are freelance journalists, there are no corporate dress codes for us to follow, and it looks like common sense has not been the order of the day.

There is a particular emphasis on warm weather clothing. “The code is aimed at limiting provocative outfits during the hot summer months when clothes have a tendency to get skimpier,” MLB posted on their site.

MLB worked up the new dress code with the Baseball Writers Association of America, getting advice from one of the Association’s officers.

One question comes to mind: who will be measuring the length of skirts worn by ESPN, FOX Sports and other electronic media members when they cover baseball games?

 

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2011 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Features, MLB, Recent Buzz0 Comments

Packers Jolly gets six-year sentence

Packers defensive end Johnny Jolly was sentenced and it is a potential career ender. This is soul crushing for a player that teammate Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers said deserved help, not punishment.

Jolly, shown in his mugshot here, was sentenced to six years in prison for violation of the terms of his probation that kept him out of jail after an April drug conviction. After a traffic stop in July, the player’s vehicle was found to contain a gun, marijuana and cups that had residue of a substance that included codeine, Jolly’s drug of choice.

Jolly was given this six-year term. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the mother, aunt, agent and drug counselor pleaded with the judge to sentence him to a treatment facility.

Prosecutor Tracy Bennett told the court, “He had a gun; he was headed to a strip club. That’s not somebody that’s really trying to change the way they live or trying to learn from their past mistakes.”

While Jolly and his witnesses described him as a man trying to control his addiction to codeine, there was no doubt that he was in violation of what is called a deferred prosecution agreement after the earlier April arrest.

The NFL prevented Jolly from being around the Packers club and his teammates while waiting for the outcome of this week’s hearing.

By the end of that day, the judge followed the prosecution’s recommendation that he be put away for his own good and that of the community after his third drug arrest in three years.

The Associated Press quoted Jolly’s attorney who admitted that while her client had spent two months in rehab after his second arrest, he hadn’t acknowledged his addiction until after the July arrest.

There is a possibility that the sentence will be reduced to about a year and some change but that decision won’t be made until December. Either way it’s another example of a successful pro athlete succumbing to drugs and squashing his career.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.

Copyright ©2011 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Duffy's Court, Features, Jocks Behind Bars, NFL, Recent Buzz0 Comments

NFL Week 3 highlights and lowlights

NFL Week 3 saw the Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills improve to 3-0 while the Colts and Chiefs dropped to 0-3.

Pittsburgh Steelers over Indianapolis Colts 23-20: In the SNF game, after the Steelers and Colts traded fumble return TDs, the game was tied at 20 going into the final two minutes. That’s all Big Ben would need as he would lead the Pittsburgh offense down the field to set up a game-winning 38-yard FG by Shaun Suisham with four seconds left. Filling in for the injured Peyton Manning, Kerry Collins finished the day 13-of-29 for 93 yards and was later replaced by third string QB Curtis Painter. The Colts (0-3) remain a front-runner in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.

Green Bay Packers beat Chicago Bears 27-17: The Green Bay offensive juggernaut was clipped by the Bears defense but Chicago had a lot of trouble putting points on the board. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers finished 28-of-38 for 297 yards and three TDs; all to TE Jermichael Finley. The Bears running game was non-existent with Matt Forte finishing with nine carries for two yards. Bears QB Jay Cutler had a difficult time finding any rhythm and his team fell to 1-2 while the Packers remain unbeaten at 3-0.

Oakland Raiders take down the N.Y. Jets 34-24: Raiders RB Darren McFadden rushed for 171 yards and found the endzone twice and the Oakland defense held the Jets on a late-game 4th and goal from the one-yard line to hang on to win. Sanchez finished 27-of-43 for 369 yards a two TDs. Antonio Cromartie put the Jets backs to the wall when he fumbled a kick return, leading to the Oakland TD and 31-17 lead. Plaxico Burress caught a late TD to get the Jets close but it wasn’t enough. Rex Ryan’s Jets drop to 2-1.

San Diego Chargers over the Kansas City 20-17: QB Philip Rivers was intercepted twice in the first half but RB Ryan Matthews picked up the slack with two rushing TDs. Kansas City was scoreless at half-time until QB Matt Cassel (17-of-24, 176 yards) put points on the board throwing for two second-half TDs. The underachieving Chiefs fall to 0-3.

Detroit Lions beat Minnesota Vikings 26-23 : Minny continued their M.O. and squandered a 20-0 lead at the half. Adrian Peterson had a great first half but was shut down in the second by the Lions D who stood their ground allowing Matt Stafford to throw two TDs and K Jason Hanson to contribute three FGs for the comeback OT win. After the Vikings tied it at 23-23 late in regulation, Lions QB Matthew Stafford (32-of-46, 378 yds. 2 TDs) led an opening OT drive, hitting Calvin Johnson (7 catches, 108 yds. 2 TDs) on a 40-yard strike. That set up 40-year-old Hanson to seal it with a 32 yarder. The Lions go to 3-0 for the first time since 1980 while the Vikes drop to 0-3.

Seattle Seahawks top the Arizona Cardinals 13-10: Seattle’s WR Sidney Rice made contributions worthy of a high-profile WR finishing with eight catches for 109 yards. Seahawks’ defense picked Cards’ QB Kevin Kolb twice and held him to 237 yards passing with one TD. Both teams are 1-2 on the year.

Tampa Bay Bucs top the Atlanta Falcons 16-13:
Atlanta’s QB Matt Ryan threw for 330 yards but the Falcons offense could only manage one TD on the day and that came in the fourth quarter on a 10-yard toss to TE Tony Gonzalez. Ryan’s three turnovers; two fumbles and one pick didn’t help the cause and RB Michael Turner ran for a mere 20 yards. The Buccaneers’ QB Josh Freeman ran the ball into the end zone for Tampa’s only TD of the day and K Connor Barth put up three FGs. The Falcons fall to 1-2 while the Bucs improve to 2-1 to share a lead in the NFC South with the Saints.

New Orleans Saints top Houston Texans 40-33: The Texans put up big offensive numbers but when you’re playing the Saints, sometimes that isn’t enough. Texans QB Matt Schaub (22-of-39, 373 3TDs) hit favorite target Andre Johnson (7 catches, 128 yards) and WR James Casey (5 catches, 126 yds, 1 TD) throughout the game. The Houston defense contributed two picks and two sacks but that didn’t stop Saints QB Drew Brees from throwing for 370 yards and three TDs. The Saints backfield scored twice; one each for Mark Ingram and Darren Sproles.

Buffalo Bills over New England: 34-31:
The Pats went up 21-0 in the second quarter as QB Tom Brady connected twice with TE Gronkowski and once with Wes Welker (16 catches, 217 yards). Just when it was looking like a blowout, the Bills rallied to close the gap. Down by seven in the fourth quarter, Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick tied the game at 24 and after the lead changed three times, the Bills Rian Lindell kicked a 28-yard game-winning FG with three seconds left in regulation. Brady was picked a career-high four times on the day and threw for four TDs to pad his league-leading total to 11. Fitzpatrick finished (27-of-40, 369, 2 TDs) and the Bills go to 3-0.

Cleveland Browns beat Miami Dolphins 17-16. The Dolphins fell to a dismal 0-3 but were ahead at the half. K Dan Carpenter kept Miami in the game as the team could manage only one TD on the day. With less than one minute left in the game, Cleveland QB’s Colt McCoy connected with Mohamed Massaquoi to win late.

Tennessee Titans over Denver Broncos 17-14: The Titans finally got a big day out of QB Matt Hasselbeck who threw for 311 yards on 27-of-36 passing and two TDs. The Broncos were held scoreless in the fourth quarter as Kyle Orton was picked twice and threw for only 173 yards on the day; can you hear the Tebow chants? Chris Johnson remained a disappointment for 2011 with only 21 yards on 13 carries.

NY Giants top Philadelphia Eagles 29-16: The Giants led 14-0 in the first quarter as Eli Manning connected for TDs with WR Victor Cruze and RB Brandon Jacobs. The Giants defense was supposed to be porous but was anything but as they picked Michael Vick once and hit him throughout the game; sending him to the sidelines with a broken hand. LeSean McCoy scored the only TD for the Eagles. Manning (16-of23, 254 yrds, 4 TDs) later hit Cruze again and RB Bradshaw to complete a four-TD day.

San Franciso 49ers take Cincinnati Bengals 13-8:
It was an ugly win for SF but they improved to 2-1 on the year. Only one TD was scored in this game; on a 7-yard run by 49ers’ Kendall Hunter. Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton was picked twice and the Bengals scoring came on two FGs and a safety.

Carolina Panthers beat Jacksonville Jags 16-10 The battle of rookie QBs, Gabbert vs. Newton was affected by torrential rain in the first half. Gabbert got caught for a safety early but then threw his 1st career TD to give the Jags the lead. Cam Newton’s numbers came back down to earth (18-of34, 158 yds. 1 TD) but it was all the team needed with PK Olindo Mare adding two FGs in the win.

Baltimore Ravens beat the St. Louis Rams 30-7: The Ravens took a 21-0 lead before the Rams knew what hit them; all on Joe Flacco TD tosses to rookie WR Torrey Smith, then added two FGs by PK Billy Cundiff to go up 27-0 at the half. The Rams scored late in the third quarter on a Sam Bradford TD pass to Brandon Gibson but the QB’s fumble late in the fourth quarter was taken to the house by Ravens lineman Haloti Ngata. Ravens improve to 2-1 while the Rams drop to 0-3.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.

Copyright ©2011 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Features, NFL, Recent Buzz0 Comments

Bengals’ suspension and marijuana raid

The Cincinnati Bengals are notorious for creating unflattering headlines and the team is at it again. Running back Cedric Benson received a three-game suspension by the NFL related to his criminal plea during the summer when he served a few days in jail prior to the beginning of the 2011 season.

Another offensive player, wide receiver Jerome Simpson, was detained by police this week after a woman at his Kentucky home signed for a package that contained 2.5 pounds of marijuana.

Photo/Denver Jeffrey

When police searched Simpson’s home they found another package with six more pounds of the herb. Another Bengals player, tackle Anthony Collins was in the Simpson home at the time.

These latest events add to the long list of Bengals run-ins with the law.

Regarding Benson, the league decided that despite a lock-out, active players who acted up during the labor strife will be punished and with not just a slap on the wrist.

Insiders have said that Benson will appeal the suspension and play this Sunday’s game against 49ers; that according to Mike Florio of Profootballtalk.com.

If the suspension survives the appeal then Benson will miss the games against the Bills, Jaguars and Colts. Meanwhile, Simpson was detained but not arrested. According to the Associated Press report on the incident, the matter is now in the hands of the Kenyon County prosecutor’s office.

Simpson was excused from practice on Thursday and coach Marvin Lewis told the media that his wideout is cooperating with authorities.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.

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