Roger Goodell’s cowardly leadership betraying NFL’s true fans
Let the record show that even before the Week 1 episodes starring recidivist miscreants Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham, Jr., nothing ailed the NFL more than the absence of a real-deal commissioner as opposed to cowardly, pandering $42 million per capitulator Roger Goodell.
From the movie, “Fat Chance.”
Why the NFL has wed itself to any genre of music is, I suppose, a stab at populist marketing. But that it chose to be tethered to no-upside, backwards-pointed thug rap is evidence of a commissioner disenfranchising the NFL’s right-headed fans and customers to court or satiate the socially indiscriminate.
And so, with Jay-Z as the NFL’s new Minister of Social Justice, the first game of the season, nationally televised on NBC, included the performance of Meek Mill, whose artistry includes tunes such as “That’s My N—a,” “I’m A Thug,” “F–k You Mean,” “Real N—-s Come First,” “F–k Bitches Get Money” and other love songs.
Certainly, Goodell would have no trouble reciting the lyrics to such charming tunes. But he wouldn’t dare. That’s his sense of leadership, stewardship and courage of conviction.
So, as the physical and sexual abuse of women by players grows, the NFL, by design, provides both punishment and encouragement.
But to be fair, the NFL served notice that this is where it’s headed during February’s Super Bowl, when, from Atlanta, the NFL, starring Goodell, paid solemn homage to Martin Luther King, before surrendering halftime to requisite vulgar, N-wording, women-denigrating, crotch-grabbing rappers.
And as the game is weekly hijacked by the likes of Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham, Jr., the NFL — the Nero Fiddles League — continues to believe that silence, neglect and lowest-grade populism is the best it can provide.
Even without the latest me-first acts of what now passes as must-have NFL stars (we’re expected to admire Ezekiel Elliott?) this past Sunday afternoon included at least three player ejections — one for punching an opponent, one for kicking an opponent, one for needlessly brutalizing a falling opponent by trying to decapitate him before he could suffer lifelong concussion afflictions.
Beckham, mindlessly exhibiting in-game conspicuous consumption by wearing a watch reported to be worth from $185,000 to more than $300,000, remains a me-first rules and sense-defiant demander of attention. Heck, as a practical matter, most of us would never play football wearing even our $50,000 watches.
Those rape charges against Brown? I don’t know. But last year police contacted him on issues that ranged from riding his ATV on a neighbor’s lawn, a hassle that left furniture scattered in his home, driving over 100 mph in his Porsche, and finally the theft of what he claimed to be more than $2 million in jewelry, $50,000 in cash and a 9mm handgun.
It’s a good prop bet, given Brown’s “social” media communiqués — among the printable was “Everyone got to pay this year so we clear” — that’s he’s semi-literate despite his enrollment then ascension to his junior year in Central Michigan University.
But how did it all escape the genius of Raiders’ GM Mike Mayock, who signed Brown for a guaranteed $30 million after the Steelers finally had enough?
That Brown soon would be alleged to call Mayock a “cracker” while cussing him out — more Goodell silence — may have established Brown as an equal opportunity jackass as last season he undermined his Steelers’ coach, Mike Tomlin, a black man.
New Jet Le’Veon Bell similarly betrayed Tomlin, then, before he reported the theft of $500,000 of his jewelry, released a boast-centric, vulgar rap album in which he sexually objectifies women, worships money and references black men as the N-word — all to Goodell’s indulgent silence.
Week 1 also featured CBS’s standard TV focus on the NFL’s best patrons: every apparently drunk, starved-for-attention, wall-banging “fan” it could find or prompt at Bills-Jets. Surely some watching at home smiled, having passed on Goodell’s bogus offer to purchase “good investments” PSLs.
And the Sixers’ Mike Scott, wearing a Redskins’ jersey and cap, fought with Eagles’ “fans” outside the Skins-Eagles game. But booze-muscled assaults against visiting NFL teams’ fans are common.
Now, Week 2. As the NFL celebrates its 100th season the league remains determined to floor it in reverse. As reader Joseph Palermo put it, “The game is circling the drain.” Yup, sure could use a commissioner.
No comment by YES on Sanchez
Why does YES continue to give viewers no credit for seeing what can’t be missed? Why are certain conspicuous truths unspoken?
Saturday, scoreless against Boston, the Yanks’ incurable bare-minimalist, Gary Sanchez, hit a pop to right. Naturally, he didn’t run; he jogged as he watched. Had the ball bounced in play he ran — trotted — the risk of being thrown out at first.
But the ball hit the field then spun over the wall for a ground-rule double.
On YES, this went unspoken by Michael Kay and David Cone. It was as if they didn’t want to offend Sanchez, thus chose to offend their audience.
What sounds ridiculous can make complete sense. Yogi Berra’s “When you come to the fork in the road, take it,” referenced his N.J. neighborhood, where an island in the middle of the road was bordered by two roads, both in the same direction.
Monday on YES, Aaron Judge’s double was described by Cone as, “Judge slides into second with a stand-up double.” Huh?
But that’s what happened. Judge slid then, in the same motion, stood.
Harlan missing the ‘point’
Just because CBS’s Kevin Harlan called Bills-Jets doesn’t mean he understood it. At game’s end he said the Jets’ missed extra point was a big factor in their loss. But the Jets later scored a two-point try to offset it.
Rob Manfred’s claim that kids are MLB’s “top priority” was on display, Saturday, when there was not a single 1 p.m. start. There were two 4:15 starts for Fox, the rest night games. More of the same tomorrow. And as YES’s Kay sorrowfully said, “Saturday afternoon games used to be a staple.”
Even when ESPN provides statistical context it appears as dopey. Before Saturday’s Army-Michigan game it noted that Michigan had won the last meeting, adding they last played each other 60 years ago.
This Weak In Baseball: Giants 1, Dodgers 0 on Saturday ran 3:21. Phils 10, Mets 7, 16 pitchers, lasted 4:29 on Sunday. Big game? Citi Field was empty by the seventh.
From the Museum of Unnatural History, SNY’s Gary Cohen on starters being used more like long relievers: “At one time, starters walked this earth.”
Judging from Serena Williams’ Barney the Dinosaur outfit in the U.S. Open final, Nike played a dirty trick on her.