The ridiculously arduous saga of StarCaps is finally over.
Unfortunately for the Vikings, that means they'll be without their cornerstone defensive tackle for the first two weeks of the season.
The NFL front office has announced that Kevin Williams will be suspended for the first two games of the 2011 season, and fined those two game checks for "violating" the league's substance abuse policy. (UPDATE 3:13 PM: Apparently they're still fining him four game checks, not two. So he's forfeiting almost a fourth of his $6 million salary this year. He was making $1 million total salary back in 2008. Ouch.) This closes the case on the StarCaps issue, which began three freaking years ago.
I could go on a long, ranting diatribe about how ridiculous this ruling is, but we've already done that ad nauseum in this space for the past 36 months or so. I could bitch and moan about how Roger Goodell is a power-hungry ginger that doles out punishment as he sees fit without any rhyme or reason. But you know what? At this point, I'm just happy it's over, and I'm fairly certain that Williams and the Vikings feel the same way. It doesn't sound like there will be an appeal of any sort.
For those wondering, the suspension officially begins tomorrow and is lifted on September 19, a day after Minnesota's home opener against the Buccaneers. According to Jeremy Fowler of the Pioneer Press, Williams has been battling plantar fascitis and could probably use the two games rest anyway.
So there you have it--StarCaps is done. I don't like it, but at this point I've had all the vitriol about this issue beaten out of me by the unforgiving stubbornness of Goodell & company. Way to go, NFL. You suspended one of my favorite team's best players, and I'm nearly too exhausted to put up a fight anymore.