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Raiders to Las Vegas?  Not necessarily a longshot

As much as the National Football League has tried to distance itself from Las Vegas and its gambling scene, Mark Davis is attempting to move the Oakland Raiders to Sin City.  The Raiders’ owner appeared in Las Vegas to pledge $500 million toward a $1.4 billion stadium the city is planning.  With a silver and black Las Vegas Raiders banner behind him, Davis said, “Let’s make them an offer they can’t refuse. . . . We need a home.  We need a stadium.  That’s what Las Vegas is going to provide us, and it’s going to be a great marriage.”  But only after a lengthy engagement.  Davis said the team would play the next three seasons in Oakland while the Vegas stadium is being built.  Is it a longshot?  Maybe not.  Davis would need approval from 24 of the 32 NFL teams, but Commissioner Roger Goodell isn’t as cold on Vegas as he used to be.  “All of us have evolved a little on gambling,” he said. 

Between the Lines: Goodell thinks players make so much money that they’re unlikely to be tempted by point-shaving schemes, which plagued the NFL in the 1950s and ‘60s.


Ryan Leaf on Manziel: ‘like holding up a mirror’

Johnny Manziel’s freefall from quarterbacking stardom to a life of drunken destruction has been compared to the descent of another first-round draft pick, Ryan Leaf.  Well, Leaf himself endorsed that analogy when he appeared on Fox and Friends and said that watching Manziel “is like holding up a mirror.”  Leaf briefly played for the San Diego Chargers and later ruined a promising coaching career by breaking into a player’s house to steal money for drugs.  Manziel was released by the Cleveland Browns after several much publicized alcohol escapades.  He faces trial in Dallas for allegedly hitting his girlfriend and damaging her eardrum.   His precursor, Leaf, said: “This happens to anybody who’s addicted to anything.  It’s about substance abuse; it’s about whatever you use as a maladaptive behavior.”  He said the escape to alcohol or other substances “helps them numb whatever they’re feeling.”

Between the Lines: The fact that Manziel denies there’s a  problem is one of the symptoms of the disease. 


Kevin Faulk wears Tom Brady jersey to NFL draft

When he appeared at the podium to announce New England’s pick in the third round, ex-Patriot Kevin Faulk was wearing a Tom Brady jersey, at the suggestion of WEEI Radio in Boston.  The station sent the jersey to Faulk, and while waiting in the green room he put it over his dress shirt, and he wore a sport coat over the jersey.  Faulk insisted he did not consider the gesture a poke at Commissioner Roger Goodell, who suspended Brady four games for his role in Deflategate.  “It was just about showing the love and respect for a teammate, a friend, a brother who I’ve known a long time,” Faulk said.


Earnhardt keeps driving after losing steering wheel

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was driving during Sunday’s NASCAR race at Talladega when the steering wheel of his car popped loose.  He proceeded to drive by using his gloved hand to turn the shaft.  “I ripped the skin off my hand,” he said, “but I wasn’t going to let it hit the wall.”  He did end up crashing, however, and finished last.


Capitals’ coach accuses NHL of favoring Penguins

When Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik was suspended three games for a vicious late hit to the head of Pittsburgh’s Olli Maatta, Caps coach Barry Trotz considered the punishment excessive. But he added, “I’m not surprised, based on who we’re playing and all that.”  Asked to elaborate, he said, “Take it for whatever you want.”  Maatta made no complaint.  “It was a pretty bad mistake,” he admitted.  But in Game 3 of the playoff series, which Pittsburgh won 3-2, Penguins defenseman Kris Letang delivered a blow to the head of Marcus Johansson that brought a 1-game suspension.

Between the Lines: Trotz is among many who believe the NHL wants the Penguins to win, since they’re led by the sport’s greatest star, Sidney Crosby.   

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