NFL AM: Aaron Hernandez Convicted Of First Degree Murder


Aaron Hernandez Found Guilty Of First-Degree Murder

Even for those who knew about Aaron Hernandez’s issues while attending the University of Florida, it was an absolute shock when the former Gator and New England Patriots tight end was changed with the murder of his “friend” Odin Lloyd. However, after hearing about the mountain of evidence against Hernandez, perhaps the biggest surprise about his conviction was that it took the jury over 30 hours to come to the verdict that Hernandez was guilty of murdering Lloyd.

In the end, it turns out that Hernandez was such an animal that even a privileged life couldn’t persuade him to conduct himself like a human being. Hernandez still faces double murder charges in Boston, and there is some belief that it was Lloyd’s knowledge of that alleged crime, and Hernandez’s paranoia that Lloyd would somehow share that information that led Hernandez to murder Lloyd.

According to those on the scene, Hernandez could be seen shaking his head no as the verdict was read, and told those who were escorting him out, “they got it wrong, I didn’t do it.” However, there probably isn’t anyone, including Hernandez’s mom or fiancé who were crying in the courtroom as they learned Hernandez had been sentenced to life in prison without parole, who believed him.

Whether it was the video of Hernandez pacing around his home with a gun the night of the murder, his attempts to destroy evidence, or the rental car that was missing for months before investigators found it at a relative’s house, the facts around the case made it perfectly clear that at the very least, Hernandez was there, and a part of the plot to murder Lloyd. Hernandez’s texts to Lloyd urging him to come out with Hernandez the night of the murder make the picture perfectly clear. Aaron Hernandez lured Odin Lloyd away from his home for the sole purpose of murdering him that evening.

Cleveland Browns Unveil New Uniforms

As is tradition in the NFL, the Cleveland Browns unveiled their new uniforms this week as the league gets ready for the NFL Draft. The days around the draft are always a time for optimism for every team in the league, and the NFL knows that’s an opportunity to capitalize on that momentum, and of course to sell swag. For that reason, any team that’s jumped on board and allowed Nike to college up their uniforms will put those uniforms on display just before a new crop of talent is ready to put them on.

The Browns unveiled three new jerseys including a white jersey with orange lettering, a brown jersey with orange lettering, and an orange jersey with white lettering. The jerseys are brighter and bolder, but perhaps the biggest difference is the inclusion of the word Cleveland above the numbers, on the front of each jersey, and the word Browns on the side of the pants.

Social media reacted as the Browns shoved their new product in front of one of the NFL’s most loyal fan bases, and as par for the course, the reviews were mixed. Here are a few of the reactions that could be seen on Twitter.

“I think the best way to describe the #Brownsunis is that Nike collegiafied them. “- @nicknick114
“@Browns I absolutely love how the #cleveland is across teh front of the new #BrownsUnis #ThisIsCLE #DawgPound. Can’t wait to get one.” – dustinv916
“Finally saw the new #BrownsUnis Not bad, but hate “Browns” don the leg. Of course, couldn’t care less if they’re in the playoff hunt.” – @jbev44
“The @Browns new uniforms looking something from a 90’s sitcom high school.” – @paulthepatsfan
“Pretty pleased with these new uniforms, they are modern and aggresive & represent the toughness that Cleveland is known for @Browns.” – KJP_23

At the end of the day, the Browns didn’t let Nike get too crazy with the design, and came away with one of the nicer makeovers the company has done since winning the NFL apparel contract. While some believe the word Cleveland across the chest looks a little amateur, it’s a nice touch. While many from the outside often look down at Cleveland, Clevelanders are very passionate and proud, and this comes across as kind of a nod to those who have been proudly wearing their Browns gear across the country for years.

John Mara Believes NFL Command Center Will Take Over Replay Reviews

Each year the NFL’s competition committee changes rules and the way they’re enforced to try and better the game as much as possible. This year, there were many who believed instant replay should be expanded, and others even suggested that every NFL play or penalty should be reviewable.

Despite the calls for change, the replay system and rules will remain unchanged from 2014 when the league kicks off in September. New York Giants co-owner John Mara doesn’t believe that trend will continue very far into the future however, as he believes the league will move towards reviewing and determining the outcome of all at the NFL command center in New York. Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League already have such procedures in place.

“What we try to do every year is eliminate as many of the mistakes as we can, and try to create more consistency,” Mara told Sirius NFL radio. “I do think one thing that you will see at some point and time in the future is all replay calls being reviewed by the command center in New York and the final determination to be made there.”

A centralized review system will certainly move the league towards more consistent results, however the league must not stop there. Technology is getting better and better, and if you’re going to use technology to help the game, do it all the way.

Say whatever you want about Bill Belichick, but his ideas for revamping the NFL’s replay process are spot on. The NFL should have cameras on all of its goal lines, and more importantly, absolutely everything should be reviewable. Every play, and every penalty should be subject to review, because every play and every penalty could possibly be the biggest play of the game.

The NFL’s stance on replays is that they always want to make sure they get the biggest and most impactful plays right. However, nobody can argue (we sure know the Detroit Lions wouldn’t) that pass interference calls are very often game changing calls that impact the outcome of games. With pass interference calls being spot penalties, the penalty can be for enormous chunks of yards at a time. Honestly, how is that not reviewable?

About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.