The deliriously juicy Gronk-spike of Roger Goodell by Judge Berman, has left me like an exhausted kid at Christmas, trying to play with all his toys at once.
The tsunami of opinion pieces is like a Ceasar’s Palace buffet. I know I’m already full, but I can’t stop eating.
Here’s a particular dish I recommend from the All-You-Can-Eat Schadenfreude Corral. It’s by SI.com’s Doug Farrar. You should read it all, but here’s the money passage.
Goodell, as is his wont, was never interested in fairness. He was interested in admittance and capitulation. The NFL would only settle with Brady if Brady admitted guilt in a case that did not compel him to do so. Basically, Goodell took the NFL’s interior standard of discipline to an actual court of law, and he rightly got slammed as a result. Sadly, he probably doesn’t understand why.
There are those who will say that Goodell is safe in his position, no matter how many legal embarrassments the league suffers under his tenure. There are those who will insist that Goodell is simply a public punching bag who acts at the owners’ behest, and as long as he plays the fall guy, the losses don’t matter. Both arguments seem especially short-sighted to me. It’s clear that Goodell acts at his own behest, and that his priorities are centered more on flexing authority than adhering to a CBA that is already highly favorable to his side. It’s also clear that when he became commissioner in 2006, he had inherited a license to print money that had been built by men far more brilliant and far-sighted than he has ever been.
What we have now is the end of a useless exercise which cost millions of dollars, and man-hours, for no good result except that once again, the NFL has proven that under Goodell, it’s in completely over its own organizational head. Very quickly, the guilt or innocence of the defendant became a moot point, as it has been throughout Goodell’s tenure.
Brilliant stuff, Mr. Farrar. Now, if I can add a few thoughts of my own to the pile-on.
Jeff Pash and the league took Brady and Kessler lightly. This was, among other things, their fatal mistake. They were unprepared for a critical thinking judge and his sharp barbed questions. They forum-shopped for a rubber stamp, and were surprised when a competitive legal game broke out.
And for god’s sake, why did they let Goodell write that shitty appeal decision himself?
Slightly deflated footballs = PED violation. The fuck….?
I read where Pash has made like $24 million from the league in the last three years alone. Which is more than Andrew Luck has been paid in that same span.
He’s used to racking up mountains of billable hours from a league that dips its logo in gold to celebrate an anniversary, and then runs roughshod over the legal equivalent of the Washington Generals.
Shut down Tony Romo’s fantasy convention in Las Vegas with one hand, then shake down the city of Chicago for the draft with the other. Easy money. High five, let’s hit Morton’s!
Neither Goodell or his push-button panel of legal goons took the proper measure of Brady, the man. This was a guy with three massive income streams (his on field money, his endorsement money, and his super model wife’s) facing a punishment so severe that he had nothing to lose by going the distance.
And this meek voiced, barrell-chested dummy who has never drawn an adult paycheck outside of the NFL, has a fundamentally delusional sense of self-worth and necessity to the game.
They’ll be lining up to get Tom Brady’s autograph when he’s 80. If Goodell set up similar shop, the line would be around the block just to take a swing at him.
Incompetent clowns will always have a seat at Roger’s table, as long as they properly kiss his ass and tell him how wonderful he is. This is why VP level suits – many of whom played football themselves – can be in charge of game day operations, and yet still be unaware of basic game day facts: footballs deflate in the cold.
But at what point do the rest of the owners catch up with the lesson Kraft learned when Goodell double-crossed him?
“I acted in good faith and was optimistic that by taking the actions I took, the league would have what they wanted. I was willing to accept the harshest penalty in the history of the NFL for an alleged ball violation because I believed it would help exonerate Tom.
“I have often said, ‘If you want to get a deal done, sometimes you have to get the lawyers out of the room.’ I had hopes that Tom Brady’s appeal to the league would provide Roger Goodell the necessary explanation to overturn his suspension. Now, the league has taken the matter to court, which is a tactic that only a lawyer would recommend.”
Kraft, it needs to be noted, built a billion dollar diversified business empire as the son of a jewish dress maker in Boston’s Chinatown.
Goodell, was a silver spoon son of a US Senator, who leveraged his daddy’s name into an internship in the NFL at the age of 23.
He’s too stupid to share a cab with Kraft, much less a negotiating table.
Chances are, Goodell has learned nothing from this whole debacle and it will manifest itself plainly at the next big league controversy, which is surely coming.
The worst case scenario is that he has made a work-stoppage a near certainty when the current CBA finally expires. If the players union can hold strong to drain out just 3 or 4 regular season games, the financial bloodbath will finally have these owners attention. And they’ll have Roger’s insane jihads against the players as the agitant that finally stiffened the players spines.
Goodell’s days are numbered. Oh, it’s still a high number, I think. But it’s a number.
Let the countdown begin.
I read a lot about how he might have pulled this off. From what I gather, the answer is basically a TON of preparation, plus multiple possible “abort points” to various tricks, and make sure to perform several tricks during a visit like this, and keep the cameras rolling the entire time.
Watching this team, is like watching a David Blaine TV special.
You just KNOW the tricks are bullshit. Yet, you still can’t figure them out.
I can’t quite noodle this week’s “Concussion Trick” with RG3. My gut instinct is that the team invented a non-concussion, tried to get the QB to “buy in” (he was unconvincing) and then pulled the rug out at the last minute, starting the better (but nobody says is a “franchise” caliber QB) Kirk Cousins instead.
Pulled the rug out at 7:06 p.m. on a Friday night.
Never dismiss the timing of things like this. I seriously doubt the independent neurologist, woke up Friday and had a nagging feeling he had somehow mis-read the “data.” And even if he had, I can’t imagine he was grinding away all day at his desk, and then burst out of his office with the “not cleared” conclusion just as the chattering class was closing out their radio shows on Friday.
At this point, there’s only two possible scenarios: a) incompetence or b) conspiracy.
Pick your flavor, and enjoy.
A: This football team knowingly practiced a concussed franchise QB – all week! – just 3 days after leaving a game. Then this team issued an “all-clear” press release, without making sure every doctor who had a say in this, was completely on board. Only then to watch it all crumble on the day before the pre-season “dress rehearsal.”
B: This football team invented a concussion for RG3 almost the moment he didn’t spring up after that sack/fumble against the Lions. They did so likely with some degree of pre-meditation, given how they have begun actively restricting Griffin’s media appearances for fear of what eye-rolling thing he may say next. (See above photo, where Redskins PR Director Tony Wylie had to lay some groundwork for Griffin’s NEXT media availability after his “I’m the best QB in the league” statements to a local TV station.) They “sold” the concussion to the media unconvincingly through the week (see Gruden: “I have no idea”), in order to see how Griffin would look in practice (my guess: awful). Then, the team cleared RG3 on Thursday to calm the media waters all day Friday, only to pull the rip-cord at happy-hour, with every possible Redskins official under the 24-hour pre-game blackout ensuring we’d be deprived of clarifying answers to anything until Monday.
My vote is “B”. But that doesn’t mean I still fully understand the trick. Did Gruden finally “win” the battle with the Dan/Bruce “give Robert a chance!” faction? Are maybe Dan/Bruce starting to sweat having to pay out that $16 million 5th year option, which is only guaranteed for injury? Did Griffin himself (or his family) call the neurologist and ask for a second opinion, with a “hint hint” indication that he still wasn’t feeling great?
It seems unlikely, given Griffin’s tweet on Friday night about having faith through uncertain times, but never dismiss the QB’s chess playing abilities off the field. Maybe Griffin is worried about getting cut, and if he’s not cleared for play they can’t do that until he is. Maybe Griffin now realizes his only hope is with another team, and so it’s best to not put any more bad outings (or beatings) on tape.
Whatever it is, I gotta admit: IT’S GOT ME STARING AT THE TV IN AMAZEMENT! Like when Blaine whipped out his “self-tying” shoelaces trick. That one FLOORED me for a while, until I looked it up. There’s a separate set of fully tied shoelaces up his pantlegs, and a drawstring in his pocket to retract the untied pair.
(Ooops. Sorry. “Spoiler alert.”)
Move over Dr. Andrews, the Redskins have outdone themselves with this one.
This needs to be made into a t-shirt. Pronto….
I promised I would NOT panic on the Nats season, until they were 5 games down to the Mets, by September 1st.
Welp… it’s now 5. And the 1st of coming quickly.
Might be time to call up the Czaban Boyz. How bad could we be?