There was a day when I thought Roger Goodell was a welcome breath of fresh air. Replacing Paul Tagliabue, he was a man of swift action who left little doubt as to who was the boss. He seemed to be a man of principle.
That was then…
Today, when I hear Goodell speak the BS repellent can’t be close enough. His act has grown old and the greed that drives him is surfacing like a zit on a teenager.
It’s like, “Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies.”
The Patriots and Bill Belichick take NFL cheating to new heights with Spygate and they are handed a fine of $250,000 and they lose a first round draft pick. When did the integrity of the game become so inexpensive?
And then after Goodell rules on Spygate, suddenly the evidence disappears – it’s destroyed and the man who supposedly held the smoking gun to blow the lid off the entire scandal, Patriots ex-video assistant Matt Walsh, is a golf pro in Hawaii.
Is that Goodell’s answer to the witness protection program? Did Roger do a solid for an influential owner and a marquee team?
“The reason I destroyed the tapes is they were totally consistent with what the team told me,” Goodell said during a State of the NFL speech. “It was the appropriate thing to do and I think it sent a message.”
It sure did Roger, but probably not the one you intended.
Fast forward to BountyGate and this from Goodell…
“The quality, specificity and scope of the evidence supporting the findings of conduct detrimental (to the game) are far greater and more extensive than ordinarily available in such cases.”
Yet he severely penalizes players, coaches and front office personnel of the New Orleans Saints based on such evidence, which by the way, he fails to share with the accused.
Still the appropriate thing to do Roger?
Then there’s the hypocrisy that surrounds the player safety issues. It’s on par with Lindsay Lohan speaking on behalf of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Rules, penalties and fines are now out of control when it comes to helmet-to-helmet hits. This is football. Those hits are bound to happen. The mere existence of helmets in the game suggests that hits to the noggin are going to happen.
Now the over-policing of these hits, shrouded by a feigned interest in player safety, chips away at the fabric of the game and what makes it great.
Ed Reed, a player who is hardly defined by dirty play, is suspended for one game without pay for being a repeat offender. The league determined that since it was Reed’s third offense in the last 3 seasons, it was time to sit Reed.
Within 24 hours, after a Reed appeal, the league drops to a penalty of $50,000 and dismisses the suspension.
Old Roger trumpets safety yet champions the importance and value of playing on Thursdays, overseas and expanding the regular season to 18 games because “it’s what the fans want.”
WHAT A JOKE!
What the fans want Roger is not to have to be fleeced by the NFL for these half-ass preseason games.
Is anyone buying this?
The extreme reaction to helmet collisions is laced with contradictions and really let’s call a spade a spade – this is all about the suit brought on by the NFL Retired Players Association and the alleged cover up of the dangers of concussions.
Today’s proactive enforcement of player safety might be viewed favorably when the NFLPA has their day in court.
Meanwhile headhunters like Ryan Clark, someone who Goodell’s slacky Merton Hanks should suspend instead of Reed, suffers two concussions in the last 3 weeks and is cleared to play provided he wears a helmet like The Flintstone’s Kazoo.
And then after an average play Clark taunts the Ravens’ sideline while showing his own new weapon of mass destruction (as evidenced in the short video below). Mike Tomlin quickly pulled Clark from the game after the taunt.
Perhaps Clark is on to something. No not his thug showboating. But maybe, just maybe the NFL could design a helmet that is safer and it might help to put most of this nonsense and hypocrisy to rest.
But then again that might force the league to part with something they cherish above all else – MONEY!
Lies, lies everywhere there’s lies…at least in the National Football League.