around the big top

Take off the booster boots Mr. Goodell


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, since taking over a few years ago, has been relentless in his pursuit to clean up the NFL image.

Which makes perfect sense, as the league was becoming more about dogfights, DUI’s and packing heat than about the game itself.

But, similarly to the United States’ “War on Crime” waged decades ago, the pursuit of a squeaky clean image is causing some power-abuse and scandalous situations. Now Goodell is more like an angry dictator who has grown paranoid of upholding his own standards and keeping up his appearance, and less like a level-headed commissioner in charge of a multi-billion dollar organization.

Here’s the latest example of Goodell borrowing Kim Jong-Il’s booster boots to make himself bigger than anyone really thinks he is (by the way, the world stage mocks him for wearing those boots, commissioner).

In the NFL week nine, Chad Ochocinco, a receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals with a reputation for harmless mischief and jestering, caught a pass that was ruled a catch near the sidelines. The Bengals’ opponent, the Baltimore Ravens, challenged the catch.

As a joke, Ochocinco pretended to bribe the referee into siding with the call by flashing a one-dollar bill that a person on the sidelines let him use for the prank.

For us fans, the response to Ocho’s joke was probably one of these two reactions:

1. Ha ha ha.

2. What an idiot.

I doubt anyone was thinking “Oh geez, this is going to RUIN the NFL. WHAT AN EMBARASSMENT!”

To me, I choose reaction number one. To Goodell and the NFL suits, it’s an offence worth $20,000.

Ray Anderson, NFL vice president of football operations, said this to Chad: “The very appearance of impropriety is not acceptable. Your conduct was unprofessional and unbecoming an NFL player.”

Mr. Anderson, you and your boss Goodell need to lighten up. Your abuse of power and conduct is unbecoming to the sport of football and the overall human race. Not to mention, you did forget to fine DeAngelo Hall for starting a fight amongst players from the Falcons and Redskins the same week. And the players you did fine in the skirmish didn’t pay more than $15k.

I guess the $1 gag took too much of your focus away, being that a funny little gag involving the smallest U.S. paper currency possible is much more offensive than violence.

Honestly, since Goodell has taken over the reins of the league, I haven’t seen him smile once. Even when a young player’s dream comes true on draft day, he presents them with their jersey bearing a scowl and pursed lips.

Dude, you are in charge of the greatest sports league in the world, what are you so bitter about?

What’s with the “my way or the highway” crap? You didn’t build the league.

Granted I’m not a big Ochocinco fan. I feel he tries too hard to be funny and be liked, and if I had the resources and money he does I wouldn’t spend all my time on twitter, but at least he’s not crashing cars or pulling a gat in a nightclub. I mean, come on, the guy doesn’t even drink!

Apparently Goodell thinks people are tuning in on Sunday to NOT be entertained. Now, while a game doesn’t need shenanigans to be enjoyed, a harmless little prank isn’t hurting anyone or anything, and those who want to ignore it, can easily do so.

Football fans like football and football players. That’s why we watch. We don’t care about the boss man grabbing headlines whenever it’s possible.

But oh yeah, that’s what paranoid, power-drunk dictators do, make everything about them.

So a word of advice Roger – go sit in the corner with your arms tightly crossed and your bottom lipped puffed out, and keep telling yourself how bad your job is. Because when I list everything I love about the NFL, the commissioner is not, and never will be, a part of it.

But if I made of list of my dislikes about the NFL, well that’s a different story after this latest ordeal.

Good thing Chad didn’t pull that with a Quarterback, he’d be looking at a suspension on top of the fine.


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If Goodell really wants to improve the game how about limiting some of the commercial breaks. The incessant commercials make the game unbearable to watch. Seriously, a commercial after every punt... what a huge break in momentum for a team.

A commercial before and after every single kickoff?

No wonder player injuries have been on the increase the past few years. They are forced to sit on the sidelines stiffening up more than they actually get to be on the field playing and staying loose.

Also, he should limit Fox's use of those ridiculous dancing robots.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 | Report this

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