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Misreading the Ray Rice situation

I'm still trying to figure out what I was thinking the day the NFL announced that Ray Rice had been suspended for just two games for the Atlantic City incident.

The blog item I wrote at the time said the two-game suspension was a "best-case scenario" for both Rice and the Ravens, which was a reflection of the surprising lightness of the disciplinary action but not nearly enough of an indictment of it.

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Of course, there was still some misinformation floating around that clouded the issue, enough so that Rice was cheered when he took the field for the Ravens' public workout at M&T Bank Stadium in August. But that's really not the reason that I'm second-guessing myself now.

Everything became clearer after the ugly second elevator video came out Sept. 8, but it should have been apparent six weeks earlier that the ridiculously inadequate suspension could not possibly be anything but a worst-case scenario for Rice, the team and the NFL.

In retrospect, if Goodell and the Ravens had initially suspended Rice for at least half the season, there still would have been a public outcry upon the release of the second video, but it would have been focused on the actual incident instead of all the ancillary questions about who really knew what and when.

Rice's harsher punishment, though it might still have been considered inadequate by many, would have been validated by the video instead of becoming an embarrassing example of how clueless the team and the league were about the scourge of domestic violence. And, for better or worse, Rice might be back playing by now.

Since everyone knew the second video would eventually surface, I should have figured all this out a lot sooner than I did.

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