League of Integrity


There has been a lot of talk about how the NFL “must” bring the “hammer down” on the Patriots and Tom Brady, to send a “strong message” about how they will not tolerate anyone damaging the “integrity” of the league.

People who say this, are idiots. It’s almost like they haven’t been paying attention since Roger Goodell took over. This is a league that runs roughshod over anyone and everything in it’s way. They make up the rules as they go along, and then ignore the rules when it’s convenient.

Here’s my list of 30 things that did far more “damage” to the league’s reputation or “integrity” than anything involved in “#DeflateGate.”

1. Replacement Refs
3. Bountygate
4. Spygate
5. Ray Rice
7. Jimmy Haslam, Ziggy Wilf, Jim Irsay
8. Superbowl Seating Snafu
10. Dez Bryant’s Non-Catch
11. Saints’ “Home” Game at Meadowlands
12. Michael Vick’s Re-Instatement
14. Darren Sharper and Warren Sapp on NFLN
15. The London Jaguars
16. Dean Blandino’s Party Bus
17. Bullygate
19. The Continued Employment of Jeff Triplette
20. Roger Goodell’s $1 Salary
22. Jerry Jones’ Grope Photos
23. Girl Ref
26. The Commissioner’s Exempt List
27. Big Ben’s No Charge Suspension

30. Josh Brent’s Return to Cowboys

And really… the list could go on and on. And it will. Just wait. More NFL double-standards and blatant hypocrisy to come. I can assure you.

So think what you want about Brady and the Pats (Me: “They did it, and should be fined. That’s all.) but get off your high horse about the “integrity” of the league, or the public’s “confidence” in the on-field product.

The public still buys this product hand over fist, despite far worse things than 2 pounds worth of stale leather air.

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Steve Czaban is a 25 year sports radio veteran, who hosts an afternoon drive show in Washington D.C. "Czabe" also writes and edits his own commentaries for www.czabe.com and other on-line and print publications. He can be reached at czabe@yahoo.com.


  1. Good list except for the Vick re-instatement. He did everything humanly possible to accept responsibility, pay for his wrongdoing and change himself as a person going forward. Maybe Czabe thinks integrity – no mercy. What a great guy.

  2. Agree with the premise, Czabe, but the “girl ref” wasn’t some half-assed PR move. She’s been in the development program for years, worked college games for a decade, paid her dues and earned her spot. They didn’t just pluck her off the street. As early as 3 or 4 years ago, well before the current NFL climate surrounding women’s issues and domestic abuse kicked into gear, she was being mentioned as a candidate to become a full-time NFL official.

  3. Ironically, Michael Vick was never punished for running an “illegal gambling ring”. Only the dog stuff. In baseball, running and taking illegal bets probably gets you run for 3-5 years. Not sure why this was swept under the table. Oh yeah. See Czabe list. (Check Jersey sales while you’re at it).

    As for Patriots – I’d hit them with a fine and 2 number Ones. This is a rogue football operation that conspires to take advantage of league incompetence. Knock them down two pegs.


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