I have strongly disliked public and professional personas before, but Roger Goodell takes the cake.
I have to offer a disclaimer. I am a Saints fan. However, I have been after Goodell since he began feigning concern about player safety, then parading teams to London to play a regular season game during his first year on the throne. The man is obsessed with his legacy. Obsessed.
The player suspensions are in for bountygate. Most notably? Jonathan Vilma, the Saints defensive captain and starting ILB. He will be joining Sean Payton for the year. Suspended for the whole of the 2012 season. In addition to Vilma, the Saints also lose Will Smith for 4 games. Outside of the Saints: Former Saints, and present Cleveland Browns LB, Scott Fujita, will be suspended for 3 games. And Anthony Hargrove, former Saints, and present Green Bay DT, will be suspended for 8 games. The suspensions are for behaviors that are detrimental to the NFL. This is all without pay. All four plan to appeal.
I hear ya. Saints fan. Incredibly biased–but please understand–I’m not suggesting that there should be no punishments. Spygate was also behavior detrimental to the NFL. No suspensions. Not one. A fine. And yes, this is more severe, I agree, because it does involve player safety, but if you think for one second that Roger Goodell is really concerned about player safety…? That this is about player safety?
This is about the fact that people were dishonest with Goodell, and he feels he needs to show off his brass balls. He’s sending out an absurd warning: Nobody is gonna lie to me! What do you think this is? Major League Baseball? Do I look like Bud Selig?
We get it, Roger. So. My question as a fan: If such behavior is so detrimental to the league…when can we expect to see a league-wide investigation into bounty programs? I have been lambasted for stating this…repeatedly. This behavior is league wide. This may have been the most organized program, but it has happened for years, it happens now and it will continue to happen…in players’ living rooms. You’ll never convince me that there’s not a little extra something on a potential Brady smack down.
Gregg Williams is a douche. I’ll give it to you. I’ve never liked the buy. But to believe this system was his brainchild? That he didn’t learn it somewhere else? C’mon. We’re really not so naive…are we?