The best of the Internet, plus musings by SI.com writer, Jimmy Traina
1. To say Roger Goodell is disingenuous would be like saying water is wet. We all know this and it’s not new information. Every now and then, though, you do get taken aback by the NFL commissioner’s astounding hypocrisy. To avoid doing a tough interview, Goodell went on ESPN’s Mike & Mike Friday morning. The topic of marijuana–for medicinal purposes and recreational purposes–came up.
"We look at it from a medical standpoint. So if people feel that it has a medical benefit, the medical advisers have to tell you that. We have joint advisers, we also have independent advisers, both the NFLPA and the NFL, and we’ll sit down and talk about that. But we’ve been studying that through our advisers. To date, they haven’t said this is a change we think you should make that’s in the best interests of the health and safety of our players."
So, marijuana is not in the best interest of the health and safety of NFL players, but a boatload of painkillers are just fine and dandy?
From a recent CNN.com article on a 2015 lawsuit filed by more than 1,800 former players against the NFL for reckless use of painkillers: “In calendar year 2012, on average, according to the complaint, each team was prescribed 5,777 doses of anti-inflammatories and 2,270 doses of narcotics. Considering that each team has 53 players, that could amount to about 150 doses of drugs per player each year.”
So the NFL doctors are fine with painkillers, but not marijuana for pain? Do they want us to think painkillers are not addictive? Good grief.
As for recreational use, Goodell said this to Mike & Mike: "I think you still have to look at a lot of aspects of marijuana use. Is it something that can be negative to the health of our players? Listen, you’re ingesting smoke, so that’s not usually a very positive thing that people would say. It does have addictive nature. There are a lot of compounds in marijuana that may not be healthy for the players long-term. All of those things have to be considered."
The NFL is currently in the middle of a six-year contract with Bud Light, which is paying the league $1.4 billion. Last time I checked, alcohol was addictive. Alcohol can be negative to people's health. Players are allowed to drink alcohol and the NFL desperately wants fans to buy alcohol from their stadiums and from their advertisers.
The hypocrisy is laughable.
2. "Soon-to-be former general manager." "Actually employed by the Green Bay Packers." These were just a couple of sentences that showed up on Ryan Pace's Wikipedia page after the Bears GM traded a bunch of picks to the 49ers so he could draft quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 2 pick.
3. We all know that Gregg Popovich would rather have his eyelids ripped out than partake in interviews and press conferences. So when you ask the Spurs coach a question he just answered, which happened last night after San Antonio beat Memphis, this is what happens.
4. In case you may have forgotten during Thursday night's draft, running back Christian McCaffrey, who was taken eighth overall by the Panthers, is as talented off the field as on the field.
5. A's pitcher Kendall Graveman pulled off a double play all by himself agains the Angels last night.
6. Unfortunately, one of the casualties of ESPN's massive layoffs is the end Baseball Tonight as we know it. While the Internet, Twitter, MLB.com and the MLB Network all combined to make this once must-watch show an afterthought, it will always hold a special place in the heart of any baseball fan. My colleague, Jon Tayler, paid respect to the show with this great tribute.
7. The normally reclusive David Letterman had a blast mugging for the cameras when he took in Thursday's Penguins-Capitals playoff game in Washington.
8. THE DAILY ROCK: I always like to give you guys a long clip on Fridays since most of you probably stop working by 3 p.m. and use your final couple of hours at work to avoid your boss and play on the Internet. So here's one of my all-time favorite bits featuring The Great One: A 15-minute clip of The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin making fun of each other, singing a few songs and keeping the crowd in the palms of their hands the entire time.