People make up their minds before looking at the evidence

NFL to Winston: If There’s an Allegation of Wrongdoing With You, You’re Out of the League.

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Leading up to the draft, I was convinced the Bucs would draft Marcus Mariota. One of the reasons I believed that was Lisa Friel. She was hired by Roger Goodell to be his consultant on domestic violence and sex crimes. The latter of which she used to prosecute in the New York City District Attorney’s office. Friel was instrumental in the Greg Hardy investigation and his subsequent ten (now four) game suspension.

On April 3rd, Jason Cole reported that Friel would meet with Winston accuser, Erica Kinsman:

Now, the NFL is expected to have Lisa Friel, who was hired this past fall by the NFL, as part of their personal conduct policy measures, to eventually talk to the alleged victim to find out her side of the story and to get as much information as she’s willing to share.

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As a (now former) Bucs fan, I hoped Friel would get to the bottom of the Winston sexual assault allegations. In my mind, speaking to the alleged victim, Erica Kinsman, was instrumental in finding out the truth. Although the Bucs refused to do that, Friel obviously thought it was important. There also was/is an alleged 2nd rape victim out there and after thinking about that, I wrote this prediction:

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Memorial Day, Life After Death and Warren Sapp

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I’m a few days late but I’d like to remember the veterans who I came to know after spending time with them back in 2001-2002 at the Northport VA Medical Center on Long Island.

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Dannion Brinkley is best known as the guy who was dead for 28 minutes after being struck by lightning while talking on the phone. He lived to tell an amazing story. That and his other near death experiences became the basis for three books, a television movie and many uplifting lectures over the years, of which I attended several.

But what a lot of people don’t know about Dannion is he has spent 33 years and more than 26,000 hours at the bedside of dying veterans. The organization he founded is called the Twilight Brigade. He is always trying to recruit new volunteers so these men and woman who served our country do not have to die alone. Please check out his site.


Myself and Dannion Brinkley after one of Dannion’s lectures in the late 90s. It was in Atlanta at the Whole Life Expo.

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Astronaut Story Musgrave Discusses UFOs, Structures on Mars and Communicating with ETs

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Astronaut Story Musgrave

I wish I had conducted this interview this year. I’d be able to disagree a little stronger with Musgrave’s views on UFOs and the evidence related to them. But I’m still happy with how this turned out and I’m happy to share. It was almost seventeen years ago! Musgrave is brilliant.

I had my own newsletter back then and this is exactly how it looked to my readers in 1999…

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Hi All,

On 2/28/99, former NASA astronaut Story Musgrave was featured on a Learning Channel program entitled, “UFOs Uncovered – Out of This World”. In one segment, Musgrave was shown video from NASA shuttle mission STS-80. During the NASA video, an object appears out of nowhere and traverses from right to left on the screen. It appears as a glowing object with a small dark center. Musgrave had this to say about this interesting piece of video.

“I don’t know what it is? Whether it’s a washer, debris, ice particle, I don’t know. But it’s characteristic of the 1000s of things which I’ve seen. What is not quite so characteristic is it appears to come from nowhere. You would think that even if it is facing the dark side or facing a side towards you which does not reflect the sun, you’d think you would see something there. That one is really impressive!”

For anybody who familar with Musgrave, that’s a big step for him. He has repeatedly said that he didn’t think there was any evidence of UFOs visiting the Earth.

Here’s a sample of his views from an interview I did with Musgrave last year. You’ll see why I think that was a big step. Feel free to share this with anybody.

Joe Murgia

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Vindication? Bucs GM Licht – Bucs Would Have Drafted Mariota If…

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I was 100% convinced the Bucs would take Marcus Mariota with the first pick in the draft. I gave lots of reasons but for me, there was one specific thing that sealed the deal. Mariota will be a Buc! I guarantee it! I took a lot of grief for my proclamations. And rightfully so. Opinions are one thing. Guarantees (and wagering on Mariota to the Bucs) are just plain stupid. But how close was I to the truth? Did the Bucs really consider Mariota a top prospect? Was there any chance he would be their guy?

What Convinced Me?

In my extensive article, posted on May 3rd, I explained why I felt the Bucs waited until the last minute to draft Jameis Winston. A 2nd rape accuser had been mentioned in Erica Kinsman’s lawsuit vs. FSU and then again in the lawsuit vs. Winston. If the Bucs had announced their intention to draft Winston, and the 2nd accuser went public, they would have been in a difficult situation.

On March 25th, WDAE host, Steve Duemig, said a private investigator had found the 2nd accuser and learned that she would cooperate and join Kinsman’s lawsuit. Then, on April 3rd, Jason Cole of “Bleacher Report,” reported there were expectations from multiple sources that she may come forward and testify in Kinsman’s lawsuit or file one of her own. A few weeks later, Duemig went back on the air, upped the ante and said the 2nd woman would come forward “right before the draft.” Either way, I didn’t think the Bucs would risk it and I went all in on Mariota.

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MMQB…Jason Licht…Chris Casher: Depositions and Exoneration

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After Jameis Winston was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Peter King, wrote a lengthy piece in his MMQB column on how Winston became the NFL’s first, overall pick and a Buccaneer. King said that he had “this sinking feeling” the Bucs found what they wanted to find with their investigation and questioned why the Bucs never spoke to Winston’s accuser, Erica Kinsman. Licht explained that the Bucs already knew what Kinsman was going to say because they “read the depositions.” He added that it was a thorough investigation and they weren’t going to “mistake charisma for character.”

Let’s stop right there. To some people, this is just Licht misspeaking. To me, it suggests that King may have been right about that feeling. There have been a grand total of ZERO depositions taken so far. Regarding Kinsman, there are several police interviews and interviews with State Attorney’s Office investigator, Jason Newlin, that Licht could have referenced. Kinsman willingly granted all of those interviews. Licht also had the transcripts from the Code of Conduct (CoC) hearing as reference material. And finally there’s “The Hunting Ground,” where Kinsman shed her anonymity and told her story publicly for the first time. From what little I have seen from the movie and from reading her transcripts, I think Erica Kinsman, inconsistencies and all, is going to do extremely  well in front of a jury. And in my opinion, I think they’re going to believe her.

During the CoC hearing, Kinsman, and her other witnesses, faced mild cross examination. The cross came from Judge Harding and Winston himself, who submitted his questions from a different room when Kinsman testified so she wouldn’t have to face him.  Jason Newlin, was the only witness for Winston and Kinsman cross examined him.

A deposition will feature Kinsman being grilled by one of Winston’s attorneys. It could make her look bad and damage her credibility. Or, she could come through it stronger than ever. The biggest unknown is how Winston, Casher and Darby will handle being grilled by John Clune or Baine Kerr, Kinsman’s lead attorneys, when their turn comes to be deposed. Casher and Darby weren’t willing to answer questions at the CoC hearing and Winston answered only a couple of questions asked by Harding regarding consent. More on that in a second. Once those depositions take place, Licht will know the difference between interviews and depositions. Maybe all three excel and come through with flying colors? Or not. Time will tell.

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Did the Buccaneers Hesitate in Drafting Jameis Winston?

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So, I was really wrong about Mariota to the Bucs. And that’s an understatement. I was so convinced that I broke a thirteen and a half month streak of no gambling, to place a few bets on the prop. I’m not sorry for having a different opinion than 99.99% of the pundits. But I do regret being so narrowly focused that I couldn’t see the inevitable: Jameis Winston. I think I was the only one who didn’t see it.

I was nervous going into the draft because I knew nothing was guaranteed, despite what I wrote and tweeted over and over to a lot of friends and reporters around the country. It’s just that after reading as much as I did on the subject, I couldn’t see how Winston would be the pick. I got carried away with my passion and irrational exuberance. Thank you, Mr. Greenspan.

Why was I so convinced that Winston wouldn’t be the pick? Among other things, various quotes from Jason Licht and Lovie Smith really fooled me. I want to revisit some of what Lovie and Licht said before the draft and show why I felt the way that I did. Then, after that, I want to compare some things that they said before the draft and after and present my theory on why the change. And also, I’d like to explain why I feel the Bucs waited until the last few minutes to announce Winston as the pick. It had nothing to do with due diligence on trade offers.

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“…keep in mind, our head coach is one of the finest human beings I have ever met, inside or outside of football. Character is very important to him, it’s very important to me, so we will make sure that the decision we make is best for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.” 

~Bucs GM, Jason Licht Keep Reading

How the Bucs Fooled Everyone, Except Me.

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 “This is the time of year when everyone lies. Lovie Smith, the head coach of the Bucs, who is an honorable man, nonetheless has a history of saying one thing and doing another.”

~ Mike Freeman, NFL National Lead Writer for “Bleacher Report.”

“…keep in mind, our head coach is one of the finest human beings I have ever met, inside or outside of football. Character is very important to him, it’s very important to me, so we will make sure that the decision we make is best for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”

~Bucs GM, Jason Licht

“What he could bring to this, you know, this organization, this town is a guy with high character that will represent this organization with class and will give everything that he has to work at becoming a great quarterback.”

~Bucs GM, Jason Licht, Speaking About Marcus Mariota

“The Glazers have made bold moves in the past. They’ve traded two first round picks for Jon Gruden,” Paolantonio said of the Buccaneers front office. “They’re going to draft Marcus Mariota. You can book it right now. They will draft him.”

~Sal Paolantonio on 97.5, The Fanatic, January 3rd, 2015

“I don’t want to be a baby sitter…I mean, we’ll give direction, but we want to bring in men that are going to make good decisions…”

~Lovie Smith at the NFL Combine, via Roy Cummings of The Tampa Tribune

“I just don’t think you can give young people a death sentence for one thing that they’ve done. If there’s a pattern…you do your research and if there’s one after another you don’t like, a series of things you don’t like, that’s different.”

 ~Love Smith at the 2015, NFL Annual Meetings

“No, I wouldn’t say it’s an erroneous assumption.”

~Lovie Smith at the 2015, NFL Annual Meetings on whether it was safe to assume the Bucs favored Winston

I believe 100% that Marcus Mariota will be the first pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night, April 30th. One big thing that I have going for me is I have no sources with any team. So, they can’t lie to me and assure me that Jameis Winston is the pick. Team sources have a habit of lying this time of the year if it benefits the team. And without having to wade through all of the spin, I can look at all of the evidence and decide for myself. That’s what I did and the following article will explain how I came my conclusion about the Bucs, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota.

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