Sunday 2/14: Peyton Manning is among a group of athletes cited in a Title IX lawsuit by women at the University of Tennessee based on allegations of sexual assault.
This is an old story but has been brought back into the spotlight by the lawsuit. The alleged incident occurred in 1996 involving Manning and a female athletic trainer, who claims that he assaulted her while she was examining him for an injury. Manning denies the allegations, saying he was “mooning” a teammate. The trainer sued Manning, and the case was settled in 1997 with the agreement that she would leave the university.
Two other former Tennessee football players, A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams, have faced lawsuits and were indicted on aggravated rape charges in February 2015 and will have separate trial dates this coming summer.
There’s a lot of legal mumbo-jumbo that I don’t necessarily understand, but I think it’s a good thing that the university is looking into this incident. It shouldn’t have taken almost 20 years, but it’s a start.
Monday 2/15: Mookie Betts drove a golf cart into a pond.
The accident actually happened Sunday, but it wasn’t widely reported upon until Monday. And it is great.
Mookie and Travis Shaw were out golfing on Sunday, and if it wasn’t for the two posting the picture on Twitter, the world may not have found out about this hilarious incident.
Luckily, WEEI did some investigative reporting and spoke to Mookie:
“I left my club on the last hole and I went back to get it,” Betts said. “Parked on a hill. Thought I pushed the break, but it didn’t break, obviously. I didn’t push it all the way in. I ran to get my club and by the time I turned around it was going in the pond. That’s pretty much it.
“I’m done driving. I’ll just let everyone else take over. I may just walk. It may be better.”
Golf isn’t Mookie’s only off-season activity. The outfielder has spent his free time bowling, which is his other passion, besides baseball. In December, he took part in the PBA World Series of Bowling and bowled six straight strikes. Mookie has four perfect 300 games under his belt.
(At least Mookie is being productive and having fun. In recent years, Bryce Brentz accidentally “shot” himself while cleaning a gun in 2013. Back in 2012, Bobby Jenks was arrested and charged with five misdemeanors, including driving under the influence and leaving the scene of a crash involving damage to property. Real winners, right?)
Tuesday 2/16: Roger Goodell made more money this year than you will ever make in your lifetime.
A recent tax filing by the commissioner shows that in the 2014 calendar year, he received $34.1 million in compensation. His base salary was $3.5 million but received a bonus of $26.5 million – because that makes total sense – AND he received $3.7 million in pension and other benefits and $273,00 in “other reportable compensation.”
I would totally settle for the “other reportable compensation” amount, but the fact that his bonus was almost nine times more than his base salary?!
In 2014, Goodell came in fourth in the “Who made an obscene amount of money?” game, behind CBS head Les Moonves, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, and GE’s Jeff Immelt. Over the last nine years, his salary has averaged $20 million a year and has made a total of $180.5 million.
So, he’s definitely not shopping at the Dollar Store anytime soon.
Wednesday 2/17: NY Giants re-sign 2-time Pro Bowl Long Snapper Zak DeOssie.
So until today I didn’t know the name of our long snapper, but I’m glad we re-signed him? I guess he’s one of the few players who didn’t screw up too badly this past season (although he went on IR in December for a wrist injury). Long snappers need some love, too, and hey, he’s made it to the Pro Bowl twice as one.
He is the 2nd longest tenured player behind star QB1 Eli Manning. The special-teams captain will play his 10th straight season with the Giants in 2016.
Thursday 2/18: Tigers infielder Mike Aviles announces that his daughter is cancer-free.
I’ve known Aviles since his time with the Red Sox, and this is such a heartwarming story. His daughter, Adriana, who’s five, was diagnosed in May with leukemia. Today in spring training in nice and sunny Lakeland, Florida, he announced that she is now cancer-free.
Aviles played last season with the Cleveland Indians, and to support his daughter, team owner and general manager and several players shaved their heads. It’s great to hear the good news, and I wish the Aviles family only the best in the future.
Friday 2/19: Steelers TE Heath Miller retires after 11 seasons.
It seems like every week someone is retiring from the NFL. Panthers defensive end Jared Allen retired Thursday in the most unique way I’ve seen: riding off “into the sunset” on a horse. Seems fitting for Allen.
Miller, who is 33, holds a bunch of franchise records, including 592 receptions, 6,569 yards, 45 receiving touchdown, one of four Steelers to catch at least 500 passes, and his career catches and yardage totals rank in the top four since he was drafted in 2005.
The TE won two Super Bowls with Pittsburgh, his first coming in 2005 and second three years later in 2008.
Saturday 2/20: Dallas police have hotel video surveillance of the Johnny Manziel incident.
It’s been only two weeks since I’ve last talked about Manziel, which I thought was pretty good since the first week I started This Week in Sports there were a million (exaggeration) stories about him.
This is a continuation in the never-ending saga that is Manziel’s life including every single poor choice the 23 year old has made within the last six months. The video is from the Hotel ZaZa in Dallas, where his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, alleged the assault began. Police have spoke with Crowley and witnesses, but have yet to speak with Johnny Football.
Crowley filed for a protection order after the assault (Manziel must stay away from her for two years), which started with an argument in Manziel’s room before he led her down a stairway to the valet and threw her in the passenger seat of his car. Crowley told the valet she was scared for her life, but he said he didn’t know what to do. The video is of the encounter with the valet along with other surveillance.
Crowley’s medical records show that she has a ruptured eardrum from being hit in the left side of her head.
This is such a sad case, and I hope that he faces some sort of punishment for his actions, either by the police and/or NFL (hopefully both but we all know how Rog is with punishing players…). The Dallas police has said they hope to close this case as soon as possible.