In this age of social media and cameras with microphones everywhere, lies are almost always uncovered and expose the perpetrator. I’m not talking about a politician here, I’m talking about the Commissioner of the NFL. How can this puppet of the league owners continue to remain the image of the NFL? This is the second time a falsehood has been exposed, and he is endangering not only the image of the NFL, but its entire reputation.
Professional football fans are well aware that the owners of the Baltimore Ravens, Steve Bisciotti, and the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, are supporters and friends of Roger Goodell. Although it is unethical, Goodell takes care of his friends.
Unless you don’t pay attention to real news, we all know that Goodell knew about everything that took place in that infamous elevator in Atlantic City long before the second surveillance tape surfaced. Ray Rice had told the Commissioner every detail about the punch which rendered his then fiancé Janell unconscious. Goodell did his friend Steve Bisciotti a favor, and suspended Rice for two games. When NFL fans and the general public were given the facts, and subsequent fury was aimed at Rice and the Commissioner, Goodell claimed he did not know about the second tape and the revelation of that piece of evidence changed everything. Huge lie number one.
When the footballs used in the AFC Championship Game were tested postgame, about one-half of them were underinflated. Enter ‘Deflategate.’ Long denials by New England Head Coach Bill Belichick, and quarterback Tom Brady, ended with either a claim of lack of knowledge or denial. Robert Kraft was enraged at the accusations. No investigation began until after the Super Bowl.
Thursday Indianapolis Colts’ General Manager Ryan Grigson said that they had informed the league and the officials before the AFC Championship Game, that the balls used by New England appeared to be under-inflated. The source has not been confirmed, but the most likely concern arose after a game in November when Mike Adams intercepted two of Tom Brady’s passes, and noticed that the balls didn’t ‘feel right.’ Also, the Ravens noticed that the balls used in the divisional game for punting and place kicking were softer.
Grigson did say that the pressure of the footballs was in no way an excuse for their 45-7 loss, but that the game should always be played fairly.
Grigson said that the league office, and therefore Roger Goodell, was informed early in the week before Sunday’s game. No action was taken, and the information was kept secret from the sporting press. Once again Goodell took care of a friend.
Few phrases stay in my mind, but one has never been proven wrong; ‘follow the money.’ Roger Goodell is paid tens of millions of dollars a year to be the Commissioner; 300 million over seven years to be exact. And take a wild guess who was Goodell’s strongest supporter for that offer? You got it; Robert Kraft.
Goodell is bad for the game and bad for the players. Because he has been instrumental in making NFL owners billionaires, he will remain. Sadly he and the owners care nothing for the game itself and its deteriorating integrity.
By James Turnage