Football violence has taken a back seat to Domestic Violence this past week, proving once again that the public has an enormous appetite for violence. They not only eat up the violence itself, but take especial delight in finding culprits to blame for the violence. Normally, this is simply the perpetrator, and maybe his parents or teachers or the system. But in the Ray Rice video situation, there’s a whole smorgasbord of potential villains to track down and bring to public justice, whether by simple humiliation or by people getting fired from their jobs.
We now have the Baltimore Ravens front office, the New Jersey police, the New Jersey laws that handcuffed the police, and the NFL itself in the form of its commissioner, Roger Goodell, all in the hunt for blame. It’s such a viral case that not only is the media reaping a bonanza, but soon the politicians will be gorging at the banquet table, too.
The public, meanwhile, does what it does best: gets hysterically and endlessly righteous. A closer look at hysterical righteousness might reveal that it is, in itself, a form of — you guessed it — violence. When this sort of violence takes hold, we begin to witness what is affectionately called a witch hunt, where even the appearance of wrong doing is sufficient for the imposition of immediate punishment.
There is one other item that the public has a great appetite for, that is missing from the Ray Rice scenario. If Ray had delivered his knock out left hook while having sex with his fiancé on video, then the internet would have melted down within one day.
Meanwhile, the 49ers are busy preparing to slaughter the Bears on Sunday night, the team that launched Colin Kaepernick’s career three years ago. It will also bring to town a guy who probably would love to stick it to the 49ers, HC Marc Trestman. It’s been 17 years since he was waived out of town with a rude flick of Eddie Debartolo’s hand, but people tend to remember these slights for a long, long time.
The 49er defense had some holes against Dallas, too. The run defense got steamrolled and the pass rush was weak. Hopefully, Vic Fangio will get things fixed this week and enable us to cruise to a comfortable, fan-friendly victory.