NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is the worst commissioner in big time pro sports. Keep in mind, I say that being a self-proclaimed David Stern hater. To me, you really have to go above and beyond the call of duty to surpass Stern in general all-around lousy-ness. Goodell has managed to pull it off.
The first three weeks of the new NFL season looks a lot like the old Techmo Bowl video game. Goodell’s anti-defense rule changes have altered the game to look like a pinball machine, with balls flying all over the field. Scoring and passing stats are on ridiculous record-shattering roll. Patriots QB Tom Brady has 1,300 yards and 11 touchdowns. Through three games! That puts him on pace for nearly 7,000 yards and 60 touchdowns. Oh yeah, that’s great for the game, totally destroy any semblance of defense.
Then there’s the new kickoff rule that has severely curtailed both returns and starting field position. Of course, you can no longer even look cockeyed at QBs or receivers without drawing a flag, so it hasn’t hurt offense or scoring. But what it has done is turn what was the most exciting play in the game into a dull routine of touchback after touchback.
To top it off, today he upheld Terrelle Pryor’s totally unjustified, bogus suspension. I’m just shocked! Aren’t you? I mean allowing the guy who issued the suspension in the first place to rule on the appeal gives about a 0.0% chance of any other outcome, but in Goodell’s NFL, due process is only a sham to give the appearance of fairness anyway. Forget for a moment that Goodell totally ignored the reason the supplemental draft exists in the first place, twisting logic to issue this ruling, he’s suspending a guy for NCAA transgressions that the NFL has exactly zero jurisdiction over, holding him to a five-game suspension that no one believes for a second Ohio State would’ve honored, and punishing him for “purposely” losing his eligibilty after his coach got fired by being forthright with the NCAA investigation. Nice job, commish.
Pryor’s coach, Jim Tressel, by the way, will be a consultant for the Colts after his six-game suspension. But don’t call it a suspension because, for one it’s not, and two, Tressel instituted it largely on himself in solidarity with Pryor and the guys he left behind with the Buckeyes. That would make Tressel the only guy at any level of this mess with any integrity at all, and the only one who actually gives a damn or has any loyalty to the players.
But hey, the NFL just inked a fat new tv contract, and they totally shanked the NFLPA in the CBA negotiations, getting them to somehow give up financial ground even though the league is awash in cash with more on the way. Who cares if the product has become a bastardized video game on the field or that he’s making up and enforcing rules out of thin air?
Like I said, Goodell has become the worst commissioner in pro sports. Of course, if the reports are true about Stern wagging his finger, lecturing NBA players during labor negotiations today, he may well reclaim that title before the weekend is out. As incredible as it may have seemed a few years ago, this pair really do make Bud Selig look like a professional, competent leader. Who woulda thought?