Calvin Pace, the Jets linebacker you almost certainly know either for his four-game PED suspension last season (likely) or for his pass rush (less so), found a microphone yesterday, and he spoke into it with honesty and candor. The fool.
First, Pace, in town to talk at an NFL youth function, wanted to talk about how the Jets are like the Yankees.
"It's funny, I kind of feel like we're the Yankees, man," the Gang Green linebacker said yesterday. "We're just stockpiling players. But it's a good thing. You can never have too many good players."
That wasn't a big deal, and actually kind of funny, because we're trying to figure out who the Jets' equivalent of Nick Swisher is. But then came the kicker: Pace defended Ben Roethlisberger, who isn't exactly the most popular fellow these days. Asked about Big Ben's six-game suspension, Pace said:
"I don't know enough about the situation, but six games — that's a lot of games. That's too much. I think something had to be done, but I don't know about six games. Obviously I don't make decisions, but I think a four-game would have been cool. How do you suspend somebody who didn't get convicted in court? I don't get it. How can you do it? Because Roger Goodell's like a judge. It's a situation where you're dealing with somebody's word against your word. It's like people just kind of come out of the woodwork — 'Oh yeah, this happened to me.' But how do we know? Seriously. Does anybody have any tape? I think at some point in time you have to look at a man, like you're taking his livelihood away from him. You've got to make a statement, but [six games] is a lot."
Putting aside that Pace has a point about commissioner Roger Goodell — who, of course, is the guy who suspended Pace last year — using unilateral authority to mete out arbitrary, lifechanging judgments, we don't think you're going to see a rush of people defending Ben Roethlisberger in the next few days. Just a guess.