Saturday, October 11, 2008

Roger Goodell Has No Spine

There are a few truths that we hold to be self-evident.
  • The Detroit Lions is the worst franchise in the NFL
  • Unless handed a no-brainer pick, the Sonics/Thunder will draft a project power forward/center
  • The Cubs will always disappoint
  • Tom Brady is one good looking dude
  • The voice of DJ Khaled should be added to the Geneva Conventions' interpretation of what consistutes torture

Here's another one: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has no spine.

Yeah, I went there. Many feel strongly that Adam "Pacman" Jones should not have been reinstated for his repeated indiscretions and would not have been reinstated unless he played for the NFL's most marketable franchise, the Dallas Cowboys. Meanwhile, not only has Jones been reinstated since becoming a member of the Dallas Cowboys, he is back in the news this week for getting into a fight with the team-issued bodyguard. Not surprisingly, Mr. Win At All Costs himself, Jerry Jones, has come out already and stated that the other Jones will not be suspended by the team. Ironically enough, or not so much at all, #1 cornerback Terrence Newman had surgery to repair a tear in his groin muscle and will be out for approximately a month. To date, there has been no suspension from the Commissioner's office for a player who was granted reinstatement on the assumption that no funny business would be tolerated. I wonder what Odell Thurman thinks about that.

While I understand that the Commissioner's office has to do its due diligence in any investigation of wrongdoing, it has acted swiftly in other matters that involved franchises of lesser stature (see the Cincinnati Bengals). Need I mention Spygate and which franchise was involved? Some have argued that the stripping of New England's first-round pick was an enormous penalty and that Goodell could not have taken away the 7th pick New England held which they acquired via trade from San Francisco for the rights to Joe Staley. My response ... he's the Commissioner and he can take away whatever he wishes. If he wishes.

At the end of the day, it's easy to come down hard on franchises that have more arrests than wins. It's a low risk, high reward situation for Goodell. When he came down hard on recidivists like Odell Thurman or Chris Henry, he was applauded by many for rooting out the bad behavior that his predecessor addressed with less purported ferocity.

In the case of the Commissioner addressing indiscretions coming from "America's Team" or the only team to win three Super Bowls this decade, it has to be considered high risk and medium (at best) reward. By coming down hard on the league's most valuable franchises, Goodell would be biting the proverbial hand that feeds him. Unfortunately, in the case of Roger Goodell, biting the hand that feeds him precedes doing what is right and what is consistent with his mission of improving player conduct in the NFL.

For those reasons, Roger Goodell is spineless and fits in pretty well with his political equivalents in Washington. What Goodell needs to do is to shape up and make decisions based on what is right for the league rather than making inconsistent judgments based on the ideals of self preservation.


Nafis said...

Isn't DJ Khaled's real name just Khaled Khaled?

Paymon said...

It is and his voice gets on my last nerve.