On Friday, two more events stoked controversy relating to domestic violence and the handling of the Ray Rice affair by the NFL. Commissioner Roger Goodell held a long-awaited press conference and ESPN.com broke a story that suggested Baltimore Raven influence in attempting to urge leniency on the penalty that Rice would receive. Reaction to these stories continued Friday and through the weekend. The impact on fan support of the NFL was invisible.

Last week, the seven top-rated shows on Nielsen television ratings were NFL night-time football. The NFL is no longer just the most dominant sport in this country -- it is the most dominant form of televised entertainment. There has never been a sport that has crossed over to completely monopolize television in this way. This nation is obsessed by NFL football. Attendance is unflagging, 35 million people play fantasy football, and bettors find every forum imaginable, social media is ablaze with football talk and apps, memorabilia and apparel sales soar.

So how is it that two straight weeks of nonstop media coverage of completely negative athletic behavior, and inept official response to it, has so little effect on fan behavior? No one in this country favors domestic violence and the issues of the past few weeks have galvanized public discussion throughout the land. Even with President Obama announcing war with Isis, Ebola virus outbreaks and the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, news has consistently led with the NFL story. Last week I flipped though six pre-sets on my car radio, only three of which are sports stations, and all six were talking about Rice.

Psychological compartmentalization appears to be at work. Fans waited through an off-season that stretched for most teams from January until September regular-season games. The anticipation level for this season was astronomical. Fans of an individual team, fantasy players, and bettors couldn’t wait for the season to begin. The rituals of Sunday afternoon have become integrated into our culture. And when there is negative news, even if it involves the NFL, where do fans turn? They turn to the actual games for the excitement and respite from day-to-day life.

Rice does not represent the players and games they are watching to fans who have bifurcated their reaction.

The massive promotion powers of television, sponsorship, the Internet, radio, newspapers and magazines were in full force to promote this season, and fans responded. The good news is that a powerful NFL can be a powerful advocate against domestic violence.

Goodell got mixed reviews for his press conference, but he did announce a commitment to education, training for prevention and outreach to counter domestic violence. The proof will be in the details, but the NFL has shown with issues like breast cancer awareness how effective a forum it can be.

A fact lost in the frenzy is that domestic violence was swept completely under the table for most of the history of this country. Incidents of athletic involvement have gotten better, not worse. NFL rates are lower than their non-athletic peers in the same age group. One incident is too many, but this is not a sport of thugs. Fans appear to distinguish between their abhorrence of domestic violence and condemnation of the perpetrators and league handling them on the one hand, and enjoyment of the sport on the other.

Jay Glazer, the NFL insider for Fox, says the one upside to the Ray Rice domestic violence case is that it might prompt victims who would have continued to suffer in silence to step forward.

In addition to his reporting duties for Fox, Glazer is also part of Captain Morgan's push to raise money for charities, such as City Harvest in New York and Purple Heart Homes, through its #CaptainandColaaarr campaign.

There is a growing clamor of media voices calling for an athlete accused of domestic violence to be pulled from competition until the case is resolved. But unlike the recent stories that have unfolded in the NFL, this time the call is for the U.S. women's national soccer team to suspend goalie Hope Solo.

In June, Solo pleaded not guilty to domestic violence charges stemming from an incident in which her 17-year-old nephew and half-sister sustained injuries.

But Solo was on the field Thursday night as the U.S. beat Mexico 4-0 in a friendly in Rochester, N.Y. Media reaction has been critical to U.S. Soccer's decision to keep Solo in action, and some of the nation's largest outlets have weighed in with strong views. Consider ...

Kate Fagan of ESPN wrote a column that was accompanied with the headline "Why Hope Solo Should Be Suspended From Team USA -- Immediately."

Solo is accused of violence against a family member; she should be suspended until she handles her legal issues. It's worth noting that a lack of national coverage (to this moment, anyway) about Solo's situation isn't as much a reflection of a double-standard in the coverage of assault, it's more a reflection of the attention paid to the NFL versus the attention paid to women's sports. Female athletes mostly fly below the radar -- for better and for worse.

Even so, the U.S. women's national team is sending the wrong message by allowing Solo to continue playing while she deals with these allegations.

New York Times columnist Juliet Macur pointed out that Solo also continued to play for the Seattle Reign in the National Women's Soccer League after charges were brought:

It takes a lot to match the N.F.L. these days when it comes to missteps in the handling of players charged with assaulting family members and loved ones. But Thursday, at a time when domestic violence in sports is dominating the national conversation, U.S. Soccer did just that -- again -- by keeping Solo in goal when she shouldn't have been anywhere near it.

Cindy Boren of the Washington Post wrote about the power of outside forces:

NFL stars like Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, Jonathan Dwyer and Adrian Peterson were banished after massive sponsor, political and fan pressure, but Nike, for instance, has remained silent on Solo.

John Smallwood of the Philadelphia Daily News wrote about how Solo is as much of a role model as the NFL players:

If you've ever attended a match played by the U.S. women's soccer team, you know thousands of girls in the stands scream in adoration. Their passion for their female soccer heroes is as intense as that for any NFL player. Solo is one of the USA's biggest stars, and kids are drawn to her.

And syndicated columnist Roland Martin, a non-sports commentator, tweeted this:


ESPN's Robert Flores called attention to the issue of Solo's participation before the match:


The U.S. Soccer Federation does have some time to change its mind about Solo. The U.S. women's national team starts the qualifying process for the 2015 World Cup with a match Oct. 15 against Trinidad & Tobago.

In his first full MLB season, Matt Shoemaker is already entrenched as a top starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels. He also happens to be an avid gamer. When you combine the two, you get a star athlete with privileged access to one of the fall's most-anticipated video games. Here's Shoemaker giving the inside scoop on his video game habits, as well as what he likes about "Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare," which hits stores on Nov. 4.

ThePostGame: Have you had a chance to play Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare?
MATT SHOEMAKER: Yeah, I’ve actually been able to play it in the Sledgehammer studio.

TPG: What makes this installment of Call of Duty stand out?
SHOEMAKER: It's really cool seeing all the new stuff, the exo-skeleton [a suit players can wear that gives them superpowers including boost-jumping and wall-scaling], all the new [player] movements -- it's really gonna draw people into it. I really love playing the game.

TPG: Are first-person shooters your favorite type of game, or are there other types you enjoy?
SHOEMAKER: I definitely enjoy them the most. Most of the time I'm able to play is in the offseason. Definitely the Call of Duties, the Halo's. I also play some Tiger Woods golf, some Madden.

TPG: Who do you like to play with?
SHOEMAKER: I've got my brother-in-law and cousin at home, and we try to get on the same team together and go on missions.

TPG: How often do you play COD: Advanced Warfare every week?
SHOEMAKER: I honestly couldn't put a good time frame on it. I would say, one week it could be that I don’t play for a couple of weeks, and the next I play it the whole week.

Through enhanced nutrition and training techniques, the NFL specifically trains a young man for power and strength. He is able to ward off massive tacklers. His right arm is able to exert tremendous force. When his tiny 4- year-old son misbehaves, his idea of appropriate discipline is to get a branch from a tree and beat his son with such power that deep bruises are highly visible some time later, including in the genital area. And this conduct is what is being debated in the third week of the NFL season. Something is wrong here.

I have spent 40 years working with NFL players who understand their power as role models. They can be a force for triggering imitative behavior. By setting up high school and college scholarship programs, and foundations in the professional cities that target certain societal ills, they can make a positive difference. I have had a few less-than-stellar citizens, but $800 million has been raised for charitable and community causes.

The NFL has gone through a traumatic few weeks and it is time for it to start setting the example for decent public behavior. When the league leads in an area as it has in its fight against breast cancer, it can be a force for good. When my client Lennox Lewis cut a public service announcement that said "Real Men Don't Hit Women," or Steve Young and Oscar De La Hoya “Prejudice Is Foul Play,” they impacted young adolescents in a way few authority figures could. An issue like bullying can be tackled by athletes at the NFL level showing high school athletes how to set the example.

Powerful men have to be especially careful not to put their hands on others in anger. The commissioner has all the power he needs to discipline current athletes without waiting for the results of a trial. The personal conduct policy reads, “Persons associated with the NFL are required to avoid conduct detrimental to the integrity and public confidence in the National Football League." This applies to the players. It goes on to say, "It is not enough simply to avoid being guilty of a crime."

The commissioner has the power to initiate an investigation "upon learning of conduct that may give rise to discipline” in situations where “conduct undermines or puts at risk the integrity and reputation of the NFL.” The commissioner has fairly wide latitude. "Discipline may take the form of fines, suspension or banishment from the league.” There generally will be a hearing and a right of appeal.

Commissioner Goodell has had a very successful reign, especially from an owner perspective. Franchise value has soared, the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement reduced player share of the gross and insured labor peace. There are new television contracts, social media revenue, record television ratings and revenue-producing stadia.

The NFL is the most successful entertainment franchise in this country. Fans are able to bifurcate off-field problems from their enjoyment of the game, and they watch and attend in record numbers. But this crisis threatens the moral integrity of football.

Jerry Rice set nearly every career receiving mark for a wide receiver. He won three Super Bowls and a Super Bowl MVP, and was named the No. 1 player of all-time by NFL.com.

Rice also made a name for himself for his character as he carried himself with humility and unselfishness en route to the Hall of Fame. Rice was a constant face when it came to interacting with fans and boosting the image of the 49ers, the franchise he played 15 seasons with.

In Baltimore, a very different scenario is playing out as Ray Rice (no relation), the former three-time Pro Bowl running back of the Ravens was cut Monday and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after TMZ published video of him knocking out his then-fiance, Janay Palmer.

"As a man, you should never, never put your hand on a woman," Jerry Rice told ThePostGame on Tuesday. "Everything else is going to play itself out, but as a man, you should never put your hands on a woman."

As for the Ravens, Jerry Rice believes the franchise can rebound from such an incident. Although Ray Rice was Baltimore's top running back and a six-year veteran, Jerry Rice said all teams have to deal with plugging holes on the roster.

"You're always facing adversity and different scenarios just like the San Francisco 49ers," Jerry Rice said. "Aldon Smith, Navarro Bowman, Glenn Dorsey -- there are so many players that are supposed to be on the football field that are not on the football field right now. You just deal with it, move on and the most important thing is the team."

On Tuesday, Rice talked to ThePostGame as part of his "Health Habits Coach" campaign with Lysol that teaches children the benefits of nutrition, exercise and hygiene.

By Jason Notte
The Street

DirecTV is just about worthless without NFL Sunday Ticket, which is why it needs to keep its football package nice and exclusive.

DirecTV is in the final year of a deal with the National Football League that paid the league $1 billion per season for the rights to its NFL Sunday Ticket package. It includes all out-of-market games, a channel of stats and scores, a mix channel featuring up to eight games at once, a channel that cuts games down to their most-essential 30 minutes, the RedZone channel of scoring drives and a fantasy football channel. The service also allows customers to stream games through their computer or mobile device, depending on the package a customer purchases.

Since 1994, DirecTV has had sole access to NFL Sunday Ticket and held onto it as other sports leagues developed out-of-town subscription packages of their own. Major League Baseball, The National Basketball Association, The National Hockey League and even Major League Soccer now offer such packages through various cable, satellite, Internet and wireless providers and allow fans to stream those games to any device they wish, but DirecTV was able to parlay Sunday Ticket into a business-to-business service that saw its branded dishes and televisions installed at bars, restaurants and other locations where folks gathered to watch games.

Sunday Ticket was a great deal for everyone involved 20 years ago, when satellite television was a novel new way to reach audiences. The NFL could give DirecTV rights to Sunday Ticket for as little as $700,000 a year and just watch the ratings pile up. It wasn't even such a bad option in 2009, when mobile technology and streaming were still fairly new concepts that the NFL could dabble in with help from DirecTV.

Now, the Sunday Ticket deal is a lopsided arrangement. Approximately 2 million DirecTV subscribers, or 10 percent of the total, purchase either the $240-a-year basic Sunday Ticket package or the $330-a-year MAX package. Meanwhile, according to media research firm SNL Kagan, 80 million customers subscribe to cable or satellite providers that aren't DirecTV. Even if only 10 percent of that audience subscribed to NFL Sunday Ticket, it would quadruple DirecTV's Sunday Ticket subscriber base.

Shockingly DirecTV doesn't seem to care what the NFL does from here: As long as the satellite provider doesn't have to pay more than $1 billion a year for what it's currently offering. DirecTV Chief Financial Officer Pat Doyle said earlier this year that he would rather share Sunday Ticket with cable or even drop it all together to prevent paying double the asking price. Then again, his company is getting squeezed by ESPN, Fox Sports and others for subscriber fees that keep jacking up the costs of service.

DirecTV shouldn't be nearly so cavalier about prizing cash over Sunday Ticket exclusivity. AT&T's $48.5 billion bid for DirecTV earlier this year basically hinges on Sunday Ticket staying in house. Then, AT&T could bring its 11.3 million U-Verse cable customers into the Sunday Ticket mix, as well as its second-in-the-U.S. mobile subscriber base of more than 60 million. But all of that is contingent on the NFL actually renewing DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket deal. DirecTV's been optimistic about that prospect and has continued negotiating, but there's been no definitive word from the NFL about its prospects.

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There's reason for that optimism. For one, any expansion into cable or satellite beyond DirecTV would put the NFL a step further into a shrinking industry. As SNL Kagan reported earlier this year, cable and satellite subscriptions feel for the first time in history last year. Cable and satellite providers lost 251,000 subscribers last year. Though research firm IHS notes that DirecTV and Verizon actually gained subscribers in 2010, other cable and satellite customers lost more than 2 million customers combined.

Meanwhile, the NFL has had a somewhat conflicted relationship with multichannel television in general. The NFL has already placated other cable and satellite partners including Dish Network, Verizon, AT&T U-Verse, Cox and Cablevision by offering a version of Sunday Ticket's RedZone Channel on their systems and giving them access to the NFL Network. However, it just nullified much of the NFL Network's value by taking $275 million from CBS to broadcast former NFL Network property Thursday Night Football this season. It charges ESPN more than $1 billion per year for Monday Night Football -- the only weekly game not regularly available through the networks -- but continues to give viewers plenty of incentive to cut the cord on multichannel services by making games available through free networks or via mobile and streaming services.

That's exactly the option that should keep DirecTV execs up at night. According to the the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 72.4 percent of U.S. households (88 million) have high-speed Internet access. A 10 percent share of that audience alone would give Sunday Ticket nearly 9 million subscribers and give the NFL nearly five times the reach of its current deal with DirecTV.

If NFL takes Sunday Ticket mobile, it could simply build on the $5-a-month live streaming deal with Verizon Wireless that gives customers exclusive access to streamed games through the NFL Mobile app. DirecTV knows it has no qualms about separating its offerings from standard television entirely, as it allows DirecTV to sell Sunday Ticket as a mobile streaming package for the same $330-a-year cost of its premium Max service -- without the burden of a two-year satellite subscription. According to the Pew Research Internet Project, 56 percent of Americans have smartphones and represent the broad potential audience for both the NFL and its proud partners at Verizon -- which already has a whopping 110 million subscribers of its own. The league also allows DirecTV to offer modified Sunday Ticket packages to customers who stream through desktop computers or game consoles including Microsoft's XBox 360 and XBox One or Sony's (SNE_) PlayStation 4.

That's why nobody outside of DirecTV is downplaying the fact that Google has emerged as an outside contender for Sunday Ticket rights. Though the NFL continues to work with both Microsoft and Verizon on its online and mobile options, Peter Kafka at All Things D says that Google and its video providers at YouTube have been in talks with the NFL about how to make an all-streaming Sunday Ticket a reality. That move would not only continue Sunday Ticket's tradition of helping the NFL embrace and explore new technology, but it would also give the league a partner with deeper pockets than DirecTV ever had. Google would also give the NFL the run of an ecosystem that includes YouTube, Android-powered mobile devices, Chromebooks and even Google Glass.

Last fall, the NFL drew 205 million unique viewers in 81 percent of U.S. television homes. The 17.6 million fans it drew per regular-season game is more than Major League Baseball draws for the World Series or what the National Basketball Association brings in for its finals.

Overall, Fox, CBS and NBC pay the NFL $28 billion -- or roughly $1 billion a year -- for broadcast rights through 2022. ESPN pays $1.9 million each year -- or more than double what any network pays for a season of Major League Baseball -- just to host Monday Night Football. Meanwhile, the networks are more than happy to cough up the money, as 34 of the 35 most-watched television shows in the fall of 2013 were NFL games.

The NFL knows it can get more than $1 billion per season for its Sunday Ticket package, but it also knows that few other partners can offer the access to businesses that DirecTV has in recent years. The satellite provider's business wing has made it incredibly easy for bars, restaurants, gyms and other locations to set up its service, get airing rights, tack on Sunday Ticket, MLB Extra Innings, NBA League Pass or other packages and draw tons of sports fans to league games. Those businesses get patrons and the NFL gets both eyeballs and ever-growing brand recognition and familiarity.

For a league that has seen revenues reach nearly $10 billion largely on the strength of television, that working relationship is something it would have to think long and hard about giving up. If DirecTV met the league at least halfway, it would be a great way of showing the league its value while retaining a service that makes its dishes a must-have for many football fans.

With this much on the line, DirecTV has nothing to lose by going for it. If DirecTV keeps playing its negotiations conservatively, however, it's setting itself up for a big loss.

They go to the beach together and they celebrate at NBA playoff games together. They dress up together and they dine out together.

On the court, they play against each other, but until now, Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki have never faced off in the final of a Grand Slam tournament.

That will happen Sunday at the U.S. Open. In the semifinals Friday, Williams, the top seed, ran over 17th-seeded Ekaterina Makarova 6-1, 6-3. Wozniacki, the No. 10 seed, defeated unseeded Shuai Peng 7-6, 4-3 (retired).

"I definitely believe that no matter who stands on the other side of the net I can win the match," Wozniacki says. "The last two times I played Serena, we played really two tough three-set matches. You know, it's going to be the U.S. Open finals. It's going to be a tough one. It's going to be exciting."

If anyone is suited for facing a close friend in a championship match, it's Williams. She went against sister Venus in eight of her 21 Grand Slam singles finals.

"If I can play Venus, I can play anybody. I grew up with Venus," Williams says. "We actually lived together going on 33 years, which is kind of sad."

Wozniacki, who is nearly eight years younger than Williams, rose to stardom when she reached the U.S. Open final in 2009 and earned the world No. 1 ranking in 2010. Williams was cordial with Wozniacki on the court and during WTA-related events during this time, but it was through a strange incident that their friendship became more evident.

During an exhibition in Brazil versus Maria Sharapova in December 2012, Wozniacki stuffed her bra and shorts to imitate Williams while also trying to copy Serena's grunt.

Some suggested the stunt had a racist meaning. Williams waited weeks to respond to such allegations until she told the USA Today's Douglas Robson in an email:

"I know Caro and I would call her my friend and I don't think she (meant) anything racist by it."

However, Williams also said: "I must add if people feel this way she should take reason and do something different next time." According to the article, a smiley emoticon was added after that sentence in the email.

Robson's article acknowledged Williams and Wozniacki had somewhat of a developing friendship at the time. Wozniacki visited Williams after her 2011 surgery for a hematoma in her stomach, and the two "traded advice on everything from jewelry to boyfriends."

The two continued to build on that relationship, and in May when Wozniacki's fiancé, Rory McIlroy, called off their engagement shortly after sending out wedding invitations, Williams provided public support. Wozniacki, who had been dating the golf superstar since 2011, received an outpouring of messages in the aftermath of her break-up. She only responded to one.

Just days later, Wozniacki arrived in South Florida for a flamboyant week with Williams. Paparazzi found the duo dining and partying in Miami. Pictures were snapped of the ladies on the beach, but perhaps the most popular photos came from American Airlines Arena. Williams and Wozniacki attended Miami's Game 6 conference-championship clincher and celebrated on the court with the Heat.


So what if it is Greg Oden?

From a paparazzi sense, Williams was the pick-me-up Wozniacki got after breaking up with McIlroy. The 17-time Grand Slam champion showed Caro a Miami party. And it had nothing to do with tennis.

"We never talk tennis so much since we spend so much of our life on the court," Williams says. "Same with me and Venus. The last thing on our minds is tennis. If anything, it's to not think about a forehand or a backhand."

Wozniacki says, "Serena is a fun girl. She's so nice to hang out with. She always makes me laugh and makes everyone around her laugh. Definitely a very inspiring person to be around."

Although they may talk more about LeBron James' jump shot or the latest music in Miami clubs than tennis, Williams and Wozniacki did discuss the U.S. Open draw when the brackets were released.

"We were saying when the tournament started, we're like, 'Yes, we're in separate sides of the drawing, so hopefully we can meet in the finals,'" says Wozniacki, whose only Grand Slam final was a straight-set loss to Kim Clijsters at Flushing Meadows

Wozniacki certainly wants to get a piece of her friend Serena. The players met in both Montreal and Cincinnati in August. Williams took both matches in three sets after Wozniacki won the first set. Overall, Williams is 8-1 in their meetings, including wins over Wozniacki in the 2011 U.S. Open and 2012 Olympics.

While Williams saw Wozniacki on the other side of the draw, Serena was more focused on another potential opponent she knows well: Her sister.

"I would have loved to have seen Venus there. That goes unsaid," Williams says. "We (her and Wozniacki) played each other a lot recently in like the semis, I think, maybe the quarters once. So it was like, oh, it would be much better to play each other in the final than earlier on."

On paper, Williams and Wozniacki have both had difficult years at Grand Slams. Williams lost in the fourth round at the Australian Open, the second round at the French Open and the third round at Wimbledon. She has three titles this year and maintains the world No. 1 ranking, but she has not succeeded on the platform she has in the past. Wozniacki did not fare any better at the first three grand slams, losing in the third, first and fourth rounds (in chronological order). Wozniacki also had not made a Grand Slam semifinal since the 2011 U.S. Open before this year's tournament.

"Of course we were like, that would be great if we could see each other in the final, because we both hadn't had the greatest Grand Slam year," Williams says.

As friends, the Williams and Wozniacki have their eyes on another New York event. Wozniacki will return in November, as she plans to run in the annual New York City marathon. Although Wozniacki has been under a bit of fire for pushing her body through marathon training, it has apparently not affected her game.

"I think she'll do great," Williams says. "She's been running and training for it. She's doing it for a charity. I think it's such a positive thing to do."

The 2014 season has been a marathon for both players. Both have been grinding all year to reach a grand slam final. On Sunday, they will take the court against each other, as friends and foes, for the big show.

This will be a final sprint. And neither will be rooting for the other. For now.

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The New York Jets were established as the New York Titans in 1960. Although the Giants had been embedded in New York since 1925, the Jets hoped they could gain a foothold in the city.

Fast-forward 54 years later and the Jets are a functioning (financially) NFL franchise. However, their fan base is still a challenged bunch. In a Facebook Fandom Map released Friday, the Jets are identified as the NFL's only team without a plurality in any U.S. county.

The Jets really cannot win anywhere, can they?

On the other hand, the Dallas Cowboys own the plurality of counties across the country. Along with massive reach at home in Texas and neighboring New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas, the Cowboys have noticeable reach in Virginia, Nevada, Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho and Oregon, as well as pockets in other states.

The defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks boast their bright green in the Northwest, while the runner-up Broncos spill orange in the Mountain West. The Vikings, Chiefs, 49ers, Saints, Patriots, Panthers and Steelers also display heavy allegiances in multiple states. The Packers have a clear base in Wisconsin, but green can found scattered across the U.S.

The Bills, Buccaneers, Jaguars, Texas, Rams, Eagles Chargers and Raiders obviously show they are not the most popular teams in their home states (by county). The Bengals and Browns are just about split in Ohio, although the Bengals extend into Kentucky.

The Raiders may present the NFL's most enigmatic fan situation. The Raiders show just one plurality in their current Bay Area home, Modoc County in the northwest corner of California. The majority of the Raiders' pluralities are located in the Los Angeles area, the team's former home. This can only expand buzz of a potential Raiders relocation back to Los Angeles.

The Facebook Fandom Map 2014 was generated by the amount of "Likes" each NFL franchise has on their official Facebook page. For example, in no county did the Jets' Facebook page have a plurality in likes.

As Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have dominated men's tennis in the past decade, Americans have struggled to compete at the elite level. Andy Roddick won the 2003 U.S. Open, then reached four more Grand Slam finals, losing to Federer each time. What will it take for American tennis to have a resurgence. We asked Jimmy Connors, the winner of eight Grand Slam singles titles while he was attending the Harold & Carole Pump Foundation's 14th annual celebrity dinner in Century City, California.

In writing a biography about his father, Jay Paterno makes the point quickly that the book is not an attempt to canonize Joe Paterno: "I know all too well that he was human, an imperfect being." He also says that the book is for journalism students. "In a world where the pressure to be first often outweighs the responsibility to be right, I hope you always look in your heart and pursue the truth. It is the most solemn responsibility of freedom of the press. Realize your mistakes will have consequences for real people." Here is an excerpt of Paterno Legacy.

Many of you landed on this page because you are a Penn Stater, a college football fan, or a sports fan wanting to know more about Joe Paterno's life.

I also know some are here because you're interested in the Jerry Sandusky scandal and its accompanying fallout. You want to know what Joe Paterno knew and when he knew it. That is the elephant in the room. I get that.

My father's life was big, complex, and principled, and he himself would tell you he was not perfect. But what the Freeh Report asserted is far from the truth.

Child sexual abuse is the witch trial topic of our time. I fully grasp the powerful emotions wrought by this issue. Calm discussion is difficult. It is outside our comfort zone, creating a lack of awareness that provides cover for perpetrators to operate in plain sight.

However, we must remember what Johns Hopkins University professor Dr. Fred Berlin stated in his report: "In our legitimate effort to protect innocent children, the fair treatment of adults should not become a collateral casualty."

After the Freeh Report, I understand why people are angry at the university and my father. But as FBI director, Freeh took Richard Jewell from hero to suspect in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic bombing. After the facts were uncovered, Jewell was indeed the good guy, but the damage was done.

Our world demands immediate reaction and analysis. Initial reporting is often inaccurate and lacks perspective. For my father and Penn State, almost three years later the truth is getting clearer. An in-depth investigation by former U.S. attorney general Dick Thornburgh, former FBI profiler Jim Clemente, and Dr. Berlin presented a record supported by facts and evidence.

Both Thornburgh and Clemente worked with Louis Freeh. Yet both studied the report he issued and found it deeply flawed. Both addressed Joe Paterno's role related to crimes committed by another.

My father did not commit a crime or even witness a crime.

This book is not an attempt to include my father as a victim in the horrible Sandusky story. When my father was fired, he reiterated to me that being fired paled in comparison to what had happened to others.

***

In an email to their subscribers in November of 2011, The New York Times recapped how they had covered the story.

It concluded the email by saying this: "More than boys had been violated it seemed. A proud university's sense of superiority and privilege and arrogance had been blown up, too."

Using the specter of boys being violated was inappropriate. But in the headline and body of editor Joe Sexton's story, the name Penn State appeared six times, Paterno four times, and the man charged at the time, Jerry Sandusky, zero times.

Joe Paterno has been pronounced by the media as "the most powerful man in the state," the foundation of an argument alleging he could and should have done more. His own words: "In hindsight I wish I had done more" have been used against him over and over again as a sign of guilt.

It never was an admission of guilt. It was a painful statement that if he had only known more, then he could have done more. Clemente's powerful report makes the point that Joe Paterno was but one of many, some infinitely more highly educated on this issue, who missed this.

***

These are the facts. Joe Paterno was made aware that Jerry Sandusky was in the shower with a young boy a day after a witness saw it. What that witness told him is subject to interpretation, but we do know that the witness never told him that he had seen a boy being raped. It was the first and only time Joe Paterno had ever been told by a witness that Jerry had been in the showers with a young boy.

I must reiterate that the witness never told Paterno he witnessed a rape and never told police that he had seen one. The grand jury presentment inaccurately stated that the witness stated he had seen an anal rape and had told Joe Paterno "what he saw." The perception that Joe Paterno had been told about an anal rape and did nothing took hold and cost him his job.

In early 2013 University of Arkansas law professor Brian Gallini made that point the centerpiece of a 64-page paper published in the Tennessee Law Review. On page seven of his paper, he wrote: "Paterno's downfall illustrates the importance of grand jury secrecy -- both during and after its investigation. That secrecy, present in all federal grand jury proceedings, prevents collateral damage -- like job loss -- to unindicted criminally innocent third parties. The absence of that secrecy in Pennsylvania's investigative grand jury proceedings took Paterno's job, tarnished his legacy, and perhaps even shortened his life."

The presentment, combined with the state police commissioner's statement that Paterno had failed his moral obligation, doomed Paterno's career.

The commissioner made that statement despite the attorney general's having stated that Joe had been wholly cooperative, followed the law, and was not a subject of the investigation.

But the police commissioner's irresponsible characterization was allowed to stand unchallenged. The counter-narrative took hold. Even after the trial was over, Jerry Sandusky was never convicted of any rape on Penn State's campus.

The 2001 incident was one of two incidents at Penn State's campus that were brought to anyone's attention. A 1998 incident was investigated by the police, given to the county district attorney, and investigated by the state. The determination made was that no crime had been committed, and charges were never filed. The NCAA in handing down Penn State's sanctions stated that Penn State had failed to respond appropriately. The NCAA ignored the facts.

In his report Freeh alleged that Joe Paterno was not only made aware of the 1998 incident, but also "followed the investigation closely." He based this premise on an email from athletic director Tim Curley to university vice president Gary Schultz with the subject line "Joe Paterno" and the sentence "I have touched base with the coach." Not a word what he touched base about, nor the coach's identity.

What Freeh failed to consider are other 1998 factors. Jerry Sandusky was negotiating a retirement package. He was also talking with the university about starting a lower-division football program at Penn State's Altoona campus. There was also an investigation into a 1997 All-American running back's acceptance of improper benefits from a sports agent before the bowl game.

But Freeh's report made two assumptions about one sentence while ignoring the context, of which he was ignorant.

Several people testified under oath that Joe Paterno was never told of the 1998 incident. In the lengthy 1998 police report on the Sandusky incident, Joe Paterno's name was never mentioned. And Joe Paterno stated he had no recollection of being told. State law also required strict confidentiality in child sexual abuse investigations, so it would have been illegal for Joe Paterno to have been told.

All of this information was available to Freeh, but he chose to shape his interpretation to fit his unproven narrative in the face of a preponderance of evidence to the contrary.

In 2001 Sandusky no longer worked for Joe Paterno, and access to the facility had been granted to Sandusky by the administration and signed off by provost Rod Erickson (who would ascend to the presidency in the first
days of the scandal). Paterno, not sure what he could do in this situation, reported it to his superiors as required by law and by university policy.

ESPN writer and holder of multiple Pulitzer Prizes Don Van Natta said after reading all the reports: "Even if you believe he should have done more, it is a big leap to a cover-up, one unsupported by any evidence."

In a September 2013 interview with the CBS show 60 Minutes, Sandusky prosecutor Frank Fina was asked if he believed Joe Paterno had been involved in the alleged cover-up. "I do not," he said. "And I'm viewing this strictly on the evidence, not any kind of fealty to anybody. I did not find that evidence."

***

Clemente stated on ESPN's Outside the Lines on February 10, 2013:

"One man was responsible for this -- Jerry Sandusky. This was not a football culture problem. This was not a Penn State problem."

There is a perception that Sandusky continued even after the 2001 incident to bring kids to Penn State practices, travel with the team to away games and bowl games, and even bring them to the sidelines for home games. There is a perception he kept showing up and showering with boys in our building. That is one reason why some people believe we knew and looked the other way.

None of that is true. After he retired Sandusky was no longer part of our program, and we did not see him except when he came in to work out alone early in the morning.

When I went to ESPN in February 2013 to discuss the results of our report, I found persistent misinformation. After I explained the 1998 situation to Mike Golic and finished our interview, he stated Joe Paterno had to have known when Sandusky was arrested. Sandusky was not arrested in 1998.

Later that morning, Colin Cowherd stated that Joe Paterno should have known that Sandusky had been to a grand jury in 1998. There was no grand jury at that time. Cowherd also asserted that Paterno should have fired Sandusky in 2001. That would have required Joe Paterno to have re-hired him, so that he could fire him. All those months later, the false narratives persisted.

But the university administration finds it convenient to let the false perceptions remain because they help justify actions they took against Joe Paterno and the Penn State football program.

-- Excerpted by permission from Paterno Legacy by Jay Paterno. Copyright (c) 2014 by Jay Paterno. Published by Triumph Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Available for purchase from the publisher, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes. Follow Jay Paterno on Twitter @JayPaterno.

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