When Roger Goodell does his smile and bro-hug routine tomorrow night in Chicago, don’t be fooled. The NFL has never been more in the business of screwing their own players. At every opportunity. Using all the tools at their disposal. And with zero regard for ethics, integrity, or even just plain decency.
“Jerry said, ‘We signed a [expletive] deal last time, and we’re going to stick together and take back our league and [expletive] do something about it.’ He was practically yelling. It was amazing, and it set an incredible tone.”
Goodell and the owners have been on a rampage ever since then against this feeble union. And depressingly, the latest win for Goodell in Deflategate has only strengthened the league’s hand.
Now the owners have a HUGE chip to play in the NEXT collective bargaining agreement. By proving – gangster style – that Goodell can – and will – railroad, defame, and do knowing damage to an iconic player’s legacy like Tom Brady, every single player in the league no realizes: we HAVE to stop this guy.
Agreeing to arbitration on discipline was always a tough thing to fight, but allowing Goodell to hear his own cases was just brain dead. Sure, Demaurice Smith and the players probably never thought Goodell would be this power mad and corrupt, but they should have assumed the worst.
So while the NFLPA is chasing down getting ol’ Roger to give up his executioner’s robe (which doubles as a judge and jury robe), they will have trouble keeping heat on other issues of even more concern to them, such as getting rid of the franchise tag, or maybe shortening the mandatory minimum rookie contract from 5 years to 3. If it was my union, those three items would be at the top of my list.
But hey, nobody cares about millionaire football players, right?
It’s just that the NFL’s actions in DeflateGate have been so breathtakingly dishonest, it sickens a rational fan to even think about it.
Breitbart.com’s Daniel Flynn has an excellent list of “25 Ways the NFL Railroaded Tom Brady.” (Ignore the headline, which says “Slimed Tom Brady.” It’s an awful choice by the headline writer. This isn’t Nickelodeon!)
It’s staggering to read in concise summation like this. And it makes you step back and think: “What other league even ACTS THIS WAY?”
The answer is… none.
Even though the NBA had it’s Tim Donaghy and Donald Sterling scandals – not to mention a long bloody lockout – they seem to really like their star players and give them a decent benefit of the doubt.
When Kobe Bryant used a gay slur against a referee, the league swooped in and fined $100,000. A huge number, but still just 0.4% of his annual salary.
He was not suspended.
David Stern made sure Kobe had learned his lesson, and the league proceeded to go about it’s business, with Kobe as one of their key employees. It was, in other words, a perfectly appropriate punishment.
Same thing with MLB and the NHL. While those leagues may be greedy and stupid at times, they are clearly not insane. Nor are they indifferent to what the paying customer actually wants.
No sane NFL fan wants to see a perfectly healthy Tom Brady sit for four games. Except of course, the Little AFC Bitches who can’t beat the Patriots on a good day.
Just like no sane fan wanted the league to blow up a highly entertaining Saints team just 2 years off the Super Bowl with the following…
– 38 Games of coaching suspensions
– 31 Games of player suspensions
– 8 Games of a GM suspension
– Two second round draft picks
… just because there was a lockeroom cash kitty of $500 bucks to stompwollop Brett Favre if they get the chance.
The Saints were hit with 3 personal fouls in that game anyway, so it’s not like they got away with murder. I even went to re-watch the YouTube footage of the hits. Most were good, hard, bang-bang finishes of Favre just a second before the cagey veteran got rid of it.
Oh, and it should be mentioned, Favre was playing in like his 3,578th consecutive game at age 63. I guess it’s the Saints fault he no longer liked getting tackled hard. Cutting to his wife clutching her pearls in the stands (yes, Fox even had that shot too) was icing on the cake.
The NFL’s railroad in that case was built on the same shoddy “evidence” and as neatly aligned to deliver a predetermined outcome of “Guilty as Sin!” as was DeflateGate. It was of course, eventually vacated and melted down by both a judge and the former Commissioner. But the tone had been set.
But Goodell’s reign of terror was only beginning.
So I wonder who is next? What poor sucker team is going to feel Roger’s wrath? Because literally nothing is off the table now. After what they did to Brady, nobody is safe.
At this point, Brady should take a knee. Once he heard how ignorant and uninformed this last panel of judges was about the basics of this case, I can’t imagine him wanting to chase this any further.
Consider it a 4-game rest for a veteran body – one that might even give you another year in the league. Let lil’ Jimmy G go win 2 of the 4 for you (hell, maybe more) and come back with a vengeance.
Your legacy is fine. You are first ballot Canton bound. It’s Goodell’s legacy, that will be savaged someday, when the league finally puts him in it’s rearview mirror.