In its energy and complexity, football captures the spirit of America better than any other cultural creation on this continent, and I don't mean because it features long breaks in which advertisers get to sell beer and treatments for erectile dysfunction. It sits at the intersection of pioneering aggression and impossibly complex strategic planning. It is a collision of Hobbes and Locke; violent, primal force tempered by the most complex set of rules, regulations, procedures and systems ever conceived in an athletic framework.
Soccer is called the beautiful game. But football is chess, played with real pieces that try to knock each other's brains out. It doesn't get any more beautiful than that.
Well, 2013 goes into the books as a much better year than the annus horribilis, but that's more of a comment on how bad my 2012 season was rather than how good this year was. One second place, two 4th places, a 7th, and a 10th:
Well, it was not a H2H season for the ages. In the PB.com H2H league, my Unseen Academicals finished 10th out of 12. In the PB.com Last Minute H2H league, Scalzi's Redshirts finished in 7th place out of 10. In Tabb's H2H league, Cowboys Drool finished in 4th place.
My best hope remains the roto leagues. Bainbridge's Bruins have a reasonably solid hold on 1st place in Tabb's roto league. In the PB.com roto league, Da Commish is in 4th place, 11 points behind 3rd, 33 points behind 2d, and 54 ahead of 5th. So I've got a decent shot at a top 3 finish amd a virtual lock on no worse than 4th.
Well, it was a mixed bag this week. The one team that had been cruising (Cowboys Drool) ran into the Peyton Manning buzz saw and dropped to 6-4. But the other two H2H teams both won. As for the roto teams, neither changed their place in the standings:
Many people over the past week have suggested that Jonathan Martin is in some way a wimp and just couldn’t handle “an NFL Locker Room”. Others further contend that Incognito was just giving the guy a hard time in jest. Wrong. Just plain wrong. This wasn’t a playground bullying or garden-variety rookie hazing. It is alleged Martin was the target of repeated discrimination and harassment, the likes of which no one should have to endure in their place of work.
Passananti v. Cook County, 689 F.3d 655 (7th Cir. 2012):
In claims of racial harassment, racially-charged words certainly can suffice. See,e.g., Hrobowski v. Worthington Steel Co., 358 F.3d 473, 477 (7th Cir.2004)(although plaintiff failed to show that employer was negligent in discovering and remedying coworker harassment, his work environment, in which he was repeatedly subjected to the word "n****r" and other race-based comments, was sufficiently severe or pervasive to support an otherwise actionable hostile work environment claim); Rodgers v. Western–Southern Life Ins. Co., 12 F.3d 668, 675–76 (7th Cir.1993) (finding an actionable hostile work environment claim when supervisors and employees referred to plaintiff by the term “n****r" between five and ten times during his employment).
Based on what we know so far it seems to me that Martin would have to have evidence of more than 1 or two incidents to have a successful claim. He'd also have to decide whether bringing a lawsuit is so antithetical to the NFL culture that it would wreck his career. But if I were a plaintiff's lawyer, I'd be champing at the bit to represent Martin.
Despite leaving Andre Johnson on the bench in 2 leagues (who knew Case Keenum would do the job?) and TY Hilton in a third (okay, that was a mistake), I still had what was probably my best week of the semester. Although I have not made up the ground I lost in my roto league, I continue to climb the ladder in Tabb's roto league and I won all three H2H games this week. Granted, I won one by 0.01 points, but a win is a win.
On balance, a good week. Two wins out of three in H2H leagues. Da Commish rose from 4th to 3rd in the PB.com rotisserie league, while Bainbridge's Bruins are within 0.10 points of taking over 5th place in Tabb's roto league.