The NFL deployed its senior vice president of labor policy and government affairs, Adolpho Birch, to “Mike & Mike” to defend the righteousness of the two-game suspension levied against Ray Rice last week for assaulting his then-fiancee back in February. In the meantime, there’s no word on when Roger Goodell will address the league’s choice of discipline publicly, if at all. If my knowledge of NFL protocol is right, at least three more flunkies must make stammering appearances on national media programs before The Rog will issue a terse no-comment at a press conference.

– The folks at FiveThirtyEight examined various advanced stats to determine how good Andrew Luck is and whether he lives up to his perceived reputation as one of the premier quarterbacks in the NFL. Short version: The stats indicate that he’s at least above average and you probably don’t need to bother with subjective arguments of ELITENESS.

– Meanwhile, the Colts cut tiny troubled running back Chris Rainey for violating an unspecified team rule. Laying his filthy mitts on Luck’s architectural schematics is my best guess.

– Jim Irsay is trying to win back fan support by passing out $100 bills at Colts training camp. Not a bad plan, even if it was obviously copied from Wes Welker.

– The Washington Times announced that the paper has become a content and marketing partner with the Washington Redskins. I assume that means at least one op-ed per week about how the team should change its name to honor the heroes of conservatism.

– Drew Brees learned the valuable lesson that no one ever expects the Pissin’ Inquisition.


– Count the gargoyles as supporters of Johnny Manziel. Brian Hoyer will have to work hard to win over the lawn gnomes or this quarterback battle will be over before it began.

– Peyton Manning spent the weekend rolling around adorably with his kids during training camp before he neglects them for the next 15 years in favor of further film study.

– Very big Lady Cutler achievement, you guys.