Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Bob Lobel: Turkey and Rice

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

It's entirely possible that turkey and rice on any menu would urge you to say, "I'll take the  Roger and Ray  special."  

The question has become will Ray Rice and Roger Goodell work for the same boss once again? That  boss would be the NFL, and making them co workers again depends on if a team team signs Ray Rice as a running back in need. 

There are a few teams that would be tempted since they could use a semblance of a running game. Why not sign Ray Rice? There is a fairly obvious answer to that question. I have to say that most people who responded to our poll question about Rice coming back and playing came up with a resounding “no way.” 

I'm not sure I agree, and I'll tell you why. 

If he is deemed a player that isn’t effective anymore, then don’t sign him.  If he can help your team get to the post season, then do it. Take the domestic violence issue out of the decision. Make the signing of this guy a positive force against that same domestic abuse that people want to use against him by not letting him play. 

If he does disappear, then there is nothing of worth as a reformed spokesperson to use as an effective force against the same things that put him in this position of punk of the year. OK, I'm saying let him carry the ball on the football field and carry whatever is necessary to keep this issue in the spotlight.  

Stop abusing him and start using him. 

I'm pretty sure this will not go over big with most people, but if any good comes out of that elevator, a repentant Ray Rice would be it. I only hope you don’t misunderstand my position here. There is the companion issue of the omnipotent commissioner of the NFL blowing it with the way he handled the issue from the start. What happens with the commissioner is above our pay grade.  Nothing fans might say or think will touch him in any meaningful way. He will not pay for his blunder. Rodger that!  

So to sum it up, I'm saying using Rice to speak out against his mistakes is infinitely better than not doing anything at all. Actually, that's the only reason for not signing him if he cant play or help a team win.  That’s up to them. This could be a win-win situation if one believes that bad can become good. 

Now, speaking of good, the game Sunday night has been wildly celebrated as one of the really outstanding games in quite a while. Ironically, it did have a Super Bowl “feel” to it, but the outcome was much more important to Green Bay. 

The Packers helped themselves in terms of playoff positioning, while the Patriots came into the game as the first AFC seed and left Green Bay as the first AFC seed. They were playing with house money, and although that account is now empty, they very much control their post season placement.  In other words, while the game next Sunday night in San Diego wont be as stylish as the Pats/Packers, there is a much more important outcome at stake.

Like the  Ray Rice world, once you put the anger and emotion aside, there is an important outcome at stake.

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