The NFL is ready to request a hearing on their steroids policy at the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to establish their drug-testing authority throughout the U.S. and avoid another StarCaps case.
Just when thought the case between the NFL and Pat Williams
and Kevin Williams
of the Vikings couldn't get any stranger, it's entering a new chapter today.
The NFL is going to ask to U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a judge's ruling on the StarCaps case, according to the Pioneer Press. Many fans are likely thinking, "Didn't the NFL win the case?" Truth is, they're not going after that verdict – they liked most of it – they're going after the federal judge's ruling that remanded the questions of drug testing to the state courts.
Although the NFL won the verdict in the case heard by Hennepin County Judge Gary Larson, the case initially came to Larson as the result of a ruling in U.S. District Court. In the federal case, Judge Paul Magnuson threw out claims by the NFLPA and attorneys for the Williamses and New Orleans Saints players also caught up in the StarCaps net, but allowed the contention made by the lawyer for the Williamses that Minnesota law was violated by the procedures used by the NFL in its drug testing and anti-doping policies.
What the NFL is hoping to do is get a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would be the final word legally speaking on whether sports like the NFL, NHL, NBA and Major League Baseball can create an internal policy that is recognized nationally despite differing state laws and guidelines (for all sports, but the NFL isn't an international policy since the other leagues all have at least one franchise in Canada). It's a move that makes sense from the league's perspective, because the legal precedent being held now is that federal cases of the league's substance abuse or anti-doping policies can be interpreted differently for players who work in different states. No sports league wants to have a league-wide policy that is enforced differently for one franchise than it might be for another.
While the Williams Wall is likely to take a stab at an appeal of the Hennepin County decision, the NFL may eventually playing the true trump card, since a positive decision from the U.S. Supreme Court would render all lower-court decisions essentially moot.
Football writers for the Associated Press' annual awards ballot made themselves something of a news story when it was decided that they could re-vote on Defensive Rookie of the Year. Brian Cushing of the Texans will be suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season for a failed drug test in which allegedly tested positive for a fertility drug. Reporters who have admitted their voting rationale have been grilled on both sides. For the 18 voters who stuck with Cushing, who originally got 39 votes, they were portrayed as not caring whether players test positive for banned substances or not. For those who did change their votes, many were criticized for sounding too sanctimonious as the self-appointed conscience of the society. The award wasn't for the best citizen. It was for the Defensive Rookie of the Year.
The St. Paul Saints announced Wednesday that their 18th season will include a pig mascot named Brat Favre – a quasi-clever takeoff on the Vikings QB. In a statement released to the press, the same brainstorming session that brought us Brat Favre also threw out the subordinate pig characters Pigney Rice, Bernard Boarian and Percy Carvin – which one can only assume is a takeoff of butchering, baking and eating a pig mascot. Apparently linebackers coach Fred Pagac and personnel consultant Paul Wiggin weren't big enough names to be butchered. Memo to the Saints: Two words to consider for future promotions – swine flew.
The real Brett Favre and his wife Deanna recently donated $25,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Minnesota through the Brett Favre Fourward Foundation. The Favres have been deeply tied into the organization, granting more than 200 wishes to children facing deadly childhood illnesses.
Former Vikings WR Chandler Williams saw his 2010 season go up in smoke Wednesday. Williams, a seventh-round pick by the Vikings, never made the final roster. He did stints with Miami and Atlanta before being signed to the Chiefs practice squad shortly before Christmas. He was placed on injured reserve by the Chiefs Wednesday, ending his 2010 season months before training camp begins. Last week, the team announced it had released Williams, but apparently he suffered an injury during last week's minicamp that caused him to end up on injured reserve.