This week’s new “Player Conduct Policy” in the NFL was no surprise to any fan who now knows how overboard #thisleague can go when it latches onto what it thinks is a “big issue” in the amorphous “society” we live in.
The Shield is now going to employ it’s own quasi legal system, replete with a Special Counsel for Investigations and Conduct (coming to CBS this fall… “Law and Order: SCIC!”) and go scurrying off doing it’s own “investigations” into every case of misdemeanor “assault” that gets reported to police and involves on of their players, coaches, league personnel, or (don’t laugh) owners.
Never mind that “assault” in some states, can be something as trivial as throwing a ham sandwhich at somebody. And what about man-on-man assault, is that somehow not a Tier 1 Societal Wrong that deserves the NFL’s special league of justice punishment? And what happens when a gay player assaults another gay player? And what if those gay players have not formally “come out of the closet?”
Does it count? Don’t laugh. It ALMOST happened with a couple of former San Francisco 49ers a few years ago. The spat began with an argument over unwanted soy sauce on a plate of rice, devolved into accusations of stolen underwear, and ended up with one of the men getting their orbital bones smashed like fine china. OH IF ONLY GOODELL COULD HAVE BEEN ON THE CASE FOR THAT ONE!
But ahhh… what does it matter? Rules? Murky stories. Conflicts of interest? Inconsistent punishment? Since when did #thisleague ever care about that? They’ll just make the rules up as they go along, ride the ephemeral winds of public opinion, and lie through their teeth if needed.
No, the only really interesting thing to come out of this whole new farce, is the fact that Roger Goodell is so intimidating, he can stop hungry men in a late night meeting from not only grabbing a slice of pizza before he’s eaten, but they will watch the delicious pie turn to crud without even nibbling a slice.
Geezus. Has Goodell beheaded anybody in the league office I don’t know about? Maybe we can now get a blog: “Roger Goodell Looking at Things.”
Drew Magary writing for GQ, takes apart the entire gauzy Wall Street Journal piece in clinical fashion. But here’s a few of the best/most nauseating parts.
Late into the night on Sept. 10, executives in the NFL conference room brainstormed over ways to prove the commissioner wasn’t covering up for Mr. Rice. Pizzas arrived but no slice was taken until Mr. Goodell ate. He never did, and the slices turned cold in the box.
This is fucking insane. Even Peter King isn’t this blindly sycophantic. First of all, if there’s pizza there, I want to eat it. My asshole boss isn’t stopping me. If you order pizza for everyone and then instruct them to not eat it until you’ve eaten it, and then you never eat it, you are a psychopath. But the WSJtreats this as some kind of monument to determination. Let that cold pizza stand as a reminder that Roger Goodell will not rest until every last woman on Earth is saved.
Mr. Goodell next flew to Austin, Texas, to see firsthand the National Domestic Violence Hotline. He had announced on Sept. 19 that the NFL would begin giving the group $5 million annually for five years. With the permission of one caller, Mr. Goodell listened: The woman said she was thrown down stairs while holding her toddler. She hung up after she said her husband was back.
At the hotel restaurant later, the commissioner, still shaken, ordered a glass of wine. Then he changed his mind. “I need a stiff drink,” he said.
Are they coming out with a graphic novel of this? I feel like that’s the next step. The graphic novel comes out, and then they make it into a movie penned by Aaron Sorkin. That drink scene… that’s right up Sorkin’s alley. “Gonna need scotch after hanging with staircase lady, Bob.” (In Sorkin stuff, the guy always knows the name of the bartender.)
Personally, I think that un-eaten pizza needs it’s own display in Canton. Let’s bronze that sucker for all time, put it under a glass case and a museum light, and put a plaque up under labelled: “Ginger Fortitude.”
If there is a Sports God In Heaven (Hallowed be Thy Point Spreads) then this new policy will almost immediately ensnare a starting QB just days before the Super Bowl – or better yet, Robert Kraft.