The "Johnny Manziel Show" debuted Sunday with more promotion and hoopla than successful veteran quarterbacks generally experience. The Cleveland-Cincinnati game went national -- and Manziel had a horrific afternoon.
The next group of prospective NFL Draft prospects and veteran free agents will be the most heavily scrutinized athletes ever. Character and personal issues will take on a foremost role in making draft decisions.
I wondered why pro athletes have not responded with the same outrage to the racial bias and negative stereotypes that have infected their sport.
The answer is unknown, but the question looms large, and it is currently multiple choice. Who will quarterback Chip Kelly's offense in 2015? Whether or not the answer turns out to be an elite one may very well dictate how long, and how far, the Chip Kelly Era goes.
The NFL's updated conduct policy is by no means a cure-all. But it is a step in the right direction. It clearly articulates consequences. It shows support for and provides resources to survivors.
However, while it's easy to lament to the failings of our sports fandoms in 2014, there's no denying that there was also a lot of good to come from the past year.
Black athletes know what needs to be done. All that is missing is the will to do it. Now is the time to dispel the stereotypes about black athletes.
Not a single "Romo hater" has a legitimate reason for their position in my opinion. Sure, you haven't won a Super Bowl, but I highly doubt than any other quarterback would have won a ring on those teams.
The Raiders played their best game this season by far. Despite a tumultuous year, Oakland regained their competitive edge and gave their fans something they've been wanting for since 2011: A victory over the 49ers in the Battle of the Bay.
It could be the case that the concussive damage NFL players suffer in games and in practices increases the risk that they will engage in domestic violence. Were that proven to a reasonable certainty, the NFL would bear the moral, and perhaps legal, responsibility for creating that menace.
While NFL insiders hype the Hoyer-Manziel duel, Colts assistant coach Rob Chudzinski brings the bad karma of Browns owner Jimmy Haslam's old front office into Sunday's clash at the Lakefront.
I have heard people predict that the NFL could be gone a decade from now. But they are quickly reminded that it is the most popular spectator sport, (as were the gladiators) and the networks won't part with all that money.
Looking back, one could admit that he bit off more than he could possibly chew. Nonetheless, the franchise hasn't been the biggest help either.
In the contemporary, "nothing matters but this game" NFL, spurred on by constant criticism in talk radio and social media, the slow development of a quarterback is not allowed. Win or be benched is the new mantra.
Signing Ray Rice at this time could be seen as condoning his misdeed. It would certainly attract an avalanche of media attention. A team could expect that the story line of its push for the playoffs would be dwarfed by Rice stories.
Cops have really hard jobs. That doesn't mean it's off limits ever to question the manner in which some of them fulfill their responsibilities or to raise serious concerns about the institutional racism that undeniably pervades our culture and inevitably affects how policing is carried out.