After much debate and conjecture, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell weighed all the evidence, circumstantial and (presumably) visual, and handed down the punishment:
Ray Rice would be suspended for the first two games of the 2014 season for his part in a violent incident with his then-fiancée/now-wife Janay Palmer a few months ago in an Atlantic City casino, an incident that included some disturbing surveillance footage of Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer out of an elevator.
The Internet exploded, the media railed and Stephen A. Smith almost ended his career with a head-scratching, awful take on women's role in domestic violence.
Indeed, if any of this -- suspensions, reaction, relevance -- mattered for purposes of my NFL offseason Fantasy Crime League, the Ravens would have run away with the 2014 title.
But alas, those things don't count, and in a reversal of the 2013 Super Bowl, the San Francisco 49ers emerged "victorious."More »