Kareem Hunt and the National Football League: What’s Up With the NFL? – Fall 2018 Edition

Kareem Hunt
Kareem Hunt is cut by the Kansas CIty Chiefs after a video is released of him shoving and kicking a woman in a February dispute

Mike McCarthy just got fired, Kareem Hunt was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Bears lost to the Giants. Go figure.   

First, who would have thought that the Green Bay Packers would fire their beloved coach MIDSEASON? And who would have guessed that the Chiefs’ darling (now former) running back would be ditched for a February incident in which he shoved and kicked a woman, a video of which just so happened to surface on Friday?  And why didn’t the NFL interview Kareem Hunt or the woman he shoved and kicked when the league investigated the February assault? Incredible. Hunt now says he was “in the wrong”. How genuine of him, months after the incident and months after he misled the team and the NFL about what really happened. It’s yet another black eye for the NFL and yet another domestic violence incident that the NFL failed to handle correctly.  

And in actual games that were actually played on the field, the Giants beat the first place Bears in overtime.  Explain that one, pray tell?

It just goes to show, anything is possible. The good can go bad, and the very bad can actually turn out to be pretty good. Go figure. And to top it all off, my Eagles have a chance to move up in the world if they beat the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football.

Failures are not final, and victories are not forever sustainable. So never say never. And don’t count me out. And don’t count your chickens before they hatch. McCarthy was a fixture in Green Bay, and he’s out. Kareem Hunt was the engine that drove the Chiefs, and he’s out, and the Giants have had the worse season imaginable, and they don’t look like they’re out (even though they are), and my Super Bowl Champion Eagles have played under par all season; yet and still, mathematically they’re not  out yet.  I said yet. 

And that’s the NFL, and that’s life. There’s always hope.  Yet things could go south or sideways in a hurry if you don’t do the right thing.    So do the right thing, even when you have a losing record or you don’t seem to have a snowballs chance in you know what to get out of the mess you’re in.  

Because doing the right thing is always the right thing to do.

Pay to Play: Greg Hardy, Domestic Violence and the NFL

Greg Hardy

Greg Hardy beat up his girlfriend, got charged for the crime, was cut by the Carolina Panthers, found a new home with the Dallas Cowboys, then served a four game suspension (reduced from ten games) for his actions. And that, my friends, is how you pay to play. The 27-year-old athlete signed an $11.3 million contract with the Cowboys after being dumped – and rightfully so — by the Carolina Panthers. He was back on the field Sunday night for the Cowboys’ 33-27 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

In the latest fiasco involving yet another NFL superstar and domestic violence, another privileged and pretentious, arrogant and indulgent, elitist and entitled overpaid athlete is allowed by Roger Goodell and the League to play despite the latest evidence against him. Pictures of Hardy’s injured girlfriend surfaced Friday, and it wasn’t a pretty sight. http://deadspin.com/this-is-why-nfl-star-greg-hardy-was-arrested-for-assaul-1739117634?trending_test_d&utm_expid=66866090-62.H_y_0o51QhmMY_tue7bevQ.4&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fus.search.yahoo.com%2F

Here’s the story:

The Dallas Cowboy star defensive end was arrested last year for assaulting his then-girlfriend. Nearly 50 photographs of the woman’s injuries have surfaced online and people are now questioning why he is still allowed to wear an NFL uniform, reports CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford.

The May 2014 attack left Nicole Holder with bruises all over her body. She told police Hardy threw her against a bathroom wall, dragged her by her hair onto a futon covered with guns and also tried to strangle her.

“I’m seeing someone who had just gotten the hell beaten out of her,” described staff writer Kyle Wagner. “She worried that no matter what she said, nothing would happen to him. And it turns out that she was mostly right.”

If Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, too often more concerned about winning games than doing the right thing, really wanted to make a strong statement that he is all-in on the NFL’s improved personal conduct policy after the Ray Rice crisis, he would have cut Hardy on Friday. Of course, he never should have signed him.

Hardy was found guilty by a judge last year, then he appealed. The case was dropped when Holder did not make herself available to testify — the district attorney said she reached a settlement with Hardy. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cowboys-greg-hardy-losing-support-after-graphic-photos-surface/

It appears by all that Hardy paid off Holder in order to squash the case and silence her testimony. It’s call “hush money.” It’s also called pay to play.

And it’s all such a shame. Allowing Hardy to play is just wrong. If domestic violence is wrong, and it is, then it’s wrong for everybody, not just the ones that can’t get a new contract with a new team. It absolutely sends the wrong message. It’s the wrong thing to allow a criminal — because that’s what people who commit crimes and are found guilty are called – to continue to play in the NFL.

Period.

Joey Ortiz: A Modern Day Miracle

Joey Ortiz

Guest Blog

“Life is not about how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get back up.”

I started out life from the bottom looking up. I was frequently beaten with a horse whip by my father.  To kill the pain I started drinking at 8 years old.  I started playing football as an avenue to release my rage.  This catapulted me to local stardom on the gridiron.  I became so good I was recruited by many major college football programs, the only thing holding me back was my grades and my SAT scores.  I signed with the local college and was immediately declared ineligible.  I transferred to Sac City Jr. college and achieved “All State” status as a starting split end. 

I went to UNLV, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, on a recruiting trip and was offered a scholarship.  Three days later I got hit by a car traveling 55-70 mph as a pedestrian.  The car never stopped.  I laid dead in the street, to be revived and life flighted. I suffered 18 major injuries including losing half my left calf.  I was told I would never play again. 

I underwent a major rehabilitation undertaking and was back on the field in five months. This was history! Since I was damaged goods no major colleges were interested in me anymore. I hung out and partied for a year and started selling cars.  I quickly got addicted to cocaine and thought I had found the miracle drug.  In my fourth month I came across a customer named Pastor Doug Bird.  He bought a vehicle from me and spent 2 hours ministering to me. 

I was lost and it fell on deaf ears. I became a machine and dominated in the local car business reaching management in record time.  This was the life I lived until 2008.  My wife left me and I now have almost 6 years sobriety.  I got involved in Alumni football and learned that the director of the league went to church with Pastor Doug Bird.  I received an email invitation to church on November 1st 2009.  I went and gave my life to Christ that day.  I since have written a book entitled “Correcting a Wreckless Life;”  I appeared on TV, radio, in the newspaper, and on the 700 Club.  I now minister to the lost that are dealing with some of my same past issues that I have overcome thru Christ. In 2014 I signed with award-winning producer Michael Shortt to bring my story to the big screen.   Praise God!

Joey Ortiz2

 Joey Ortiz

 

Roger Goodell And The NFL’s Week From Hell

Goodell

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water!  Whew!  Poor Roger Goodell.  He’s taking a licking, and the poor guy is barely ticking.  Last week, the Commissioner of the National Football League had his hands full.  As if the Ray Rice domestic violence fiasco wasn’t enough, by the end of the same week, another all-star got in trouble and it’s all over the news.  Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings was indicted, imprisoned and “impounded” by his team for child abuse.  Oh boy.  In light of all of this at the same time, what’s an NFL Commissioner to do?

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did.  Another NFL player, Jonathan Dwyer of the Arizona Cardinals, was indicted for domestic violence.  AND if that wasn’t enough, the Carolina Panthers decided that star defensive end Greg Hardy won’t play any more games for the team until his domestic violence case is resolved.  My, my, my.

The cries for Goodell’s head are getting louder and louder.  If Goodell wasn’t in hot water with the Rice “incident,” he sure is now.

Sometimes, just when you thought things were going to get better, they got worse. As believers, how do we deal with disaster?  How do we deal with adversity and atrocity?  Christians are supposed to be the poster children for how to deal and how to cope and how not only survive, but to thrive amidst turmoil and trauma and stress and strain.  We are the examples and exemplars and samples and specimens for how to overcome.

The best athletes overcome and overtake and overwhelm and overpower every obstacle that comes their way in order to win.  In fact, sometimes it takes trials and tribulations to prompt us to achieve. Speaking of the Jewish people just before they left and while they were yet still slopping slaves in Egypt, the Bible says that “the more that the Egyptians afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew” (Exodus 1:12).

Because we believe in and trust in and have faith in a higher power, we can rest and relax when the chips are down. When our funds are low and our debts are high, when we want to smile but we have to sigh, that’s when the Christians of 1st Century Rome were, and that’s when Christians of every age are at our best.

Like a ship that’s tossed and driven, battered by an angry sea; when the storms of life are raging, and the fury falls on me; I wonder what I have done, to make this race so hard to run; And I say to my soul, ‘Soul take courage, the Lord will make a way somehow.’

So what do we do when all else fails? What do we do when all is falling apart and nothing is coming together? Call on Jesus!  The disciples found themselves in the middle of a storm, and Jesus lost himself in the hull of the boat and went to sleep.  When things got real bad, they decided it was time to wake up Jesus.  Jesus got up from sleep, rebuked the winds and the waves, and there was a great calm.  How about that for a turnaround!

When it looks real bad, that’s when every child of the King can say, I believe it’s going to end up real good.  What the devil means for our destruction, God can turn around and use as part of our construction. Where sin and shame and chaos and confusion and disaster and destruction and muck and mire and all kinds of mess abound, that’s where grace abounds all the more.

Good can come out of this NFL mess.  It can. President Abraham Lincoln quoted the 19th Psalm in the Gettysburg Address, which is etched on the walls of the Memorial that bears his name: “The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether” (Psalm 19:9).  Correction and guidance come from Heaven and not from hell.  And if we repent and turn around, we will experience turnarounds.  But we have to believe and trust God that it can and that it will.

So don’t get stuck in the mess.  Don’t wallow in the mire.  If you want things to go the right way, and you’re ready and willing to turn to God for help, your litter and clutter and refuse and rubbish can and will be recycled into something that can be of good use for you and for everyone else around you as well.

The Tragedy of It All

ray and janay rice

In the long litany of sports disasters, this one is right up there at the top.  Ray Rice is now notorious and nefarious and the video of him brutally punching his then fiancée, now wife, in the face at an Atlantic City Casino elevator will live in infamy.  Talk about a horrible, deplorable disgrace.  The scourge of domestic violence has reared its ugly head in yet another sector of our society, and it appears that there were some that attempted to cover up and pretty up and even dummy up a very gruesome face.

From the top to the bottom, those involved in the Rice “incident” are embroiled and entangled in the middle of a monster of a mess.  The NFL, the prosecutors, and the Baltimore Ravens Organization all are equally culpable. And while no one can pass judgment or throw stones because we all live in glass houses, in this case, broken shards of glass are falling down on a lot of heads even without a single stone being thrown.

Ray Rice and his wife Janay are now the poster children for what domestic violence looks like.  The sad part is that they don’t even know it.  And as we all know, DENIAL is not a river in Egypt.  It’s a terrible thing to have a problem and not know you have it.  Just like the emperor and his new clothes, everyone knew the truth except the one the truth was about.

Our prayer is that Ray and Janay get help.  This is not a condemnation or denunciation of this young couple.  It’s a cold, hard fact that many athletes, both men and women, have “issues” that need to be addressed but are instead swept under the rug in light of their talent. And addressing our issues is not an option; it’s a requirement.  Ray clearly has an issue with reckless and uncontrolled anger.  As for Janay, she is one of 47 million women in America who are victims of “domestic” violence.

Ray and Janay Rice are just like and no different than Esau and Elijah and Moses and Miriam.  These Bible notables had run-ins with rage and fall outs with fury.  Anger is a necessary emotion, but when left unchecked and unbridled, it can lead to this tragedy that is now on trial in the court of public opinion.

So let’s not pass judgment or make fun or even forget about Ray and Janay Rice. Their problems and their plight and their trials and their tribulations are not far from the rest of us.  Because we’re not perfect, everyone struggles with something.  And we all need help with our struggles if we are to conquer the demons that lurk within.  The sad truth is that their faults and their flaws and their failures have been laid bare in a way none of us hope ours will ever be.

We conclude with this note: can good come of this?  While it does not look like it now, we can only hope that some good will come out of this evil event.  And that’s something only God can do.