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Will the Pacman Suspension Just Cause More Problems for the NFL?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Pat_Nasty, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. Pat_Nasty

    Pat_Nasty Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    The NFL's year-long suspension of Pacman Jones was a public relations move, clear and simple. Whether we agree with it on an moral/ethical basis or not, we all must admit that the NFL's main objective was to send a message to the fans that the league is doing what it can to curb what fans perceive as a growing amount of delinquency among the players. For the most part, it seems as though NFL fans + pundits alike support Goodell's tough stance, and the league has managed to admirably duck what could have been an ugly black eye.

    Nevertheless, the hefty suspension for Jones sets a precedent, and one that I believe is already starting to cause problems for the NFL by binding their hands in how they handle situations down the road, and ultimately bringing more attention to every time a player gets in trouble.

    Already, there have been a few minor rumblings about whether the NFL will treat such felons as Jared Allen, a 3-time DUI offender, and Joey Porter, whom the cops have on video committing practically unprovoked assault. Setting a precedent that someone like Pacman, whom the US judicial system hasn't deemed guilty of anything yet, will be suspended for a year, could force the league to mete out equally severe punishments to players like Allen and Porter.

    And these guys will be only the tip of the ice berg: there will be instances of domestic assault, nightlife skirmishes, DUIs, weapons violations, and for the conceivable future, each of them will get more attention than before, because it's bigger news for ESPN when the offender in question could end up missing anywhere from 4, 8 to 16 games. Every incident will be scrutinized in terms of how the league handles it, and whether it's penalty is in line with those handed down to Henry and Jones.

    Ultimately, wishing to appear strong on the issue could backfire the way the NFL's marijuana policy clearly has. Players are smoking dope with no less frequency than they were before, only now, every time someone's caught, it's a big story because they could end up missing games. Ultimately, fans end up hearing more about rampant put use, masking agents, whizinators and other ways to cheat the testing system than they would if the NFL never started testing for marijuana in the first place.

    Roger Goodell might be a little high himself if he thinks the new behavior policy is truly going to turn curb off-field incidents with the law -- is responding to what could be a coincidental rise in the number of run-ins with the law this past season worth putting them front and center every time they occur?
     
  2. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    How do you know that the NFL's Marijuana policy is being violated?? Dope is what it is, and people will always try to beat the system. But most of these efforts keep the honest people honest, there will be those who will violate it no matter the consequence. To some the need for excitement is greater than the need to make millions.

    If Goodell did not do anything the repurcussions may be worse, remember Congress getting involved in feel good hearings on steroids in baseball. The last thing any league wants is any type of oversight by anyone else. The Jones and Henry suspensions are probably good for the league, but that remains to be seen. Not sure if many of these guys ever will change, but for those thinking of crossing the line and getting stupid, they may think twice.

    Goodell did what he thought was best, and am confident he had a lot of input, from consultants, players, NFLPA and the owners. he does not operate in a vacuum, but in a political environment. His actions are clearly better than doing nothing.
     
  3. Pat_Nasty

    Pat_Nasty Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Anybody who wants to knows the NFL's marijuana policy is being violated. It's gotten to the point where players have gotten good enough at getting past the testing system that coaches + scouts have learned to turn a blind eye. Threatening the players' ability to "make millions" isn't succeeding as a deterrent, because they're all fairly confident they can get away with it. All testing for marijuana accomplishes is attracting attention to the times when players screw up and get caught.

    There's no parallel between the NFL's steroid problem, and a perceived player delinquency problem. Congress can threaten to intervene in the steroid issue because the pro sports leagues' very existence create the strong financial incentive to take performance enhancing drugs, thus the NFL can be seen as responsible for making sure their players don't. Exactly what is congress going to have to say to the league about players getting into trouble for off-field issues? Recreational drugs + bad behavior are issues for the NFL only where it comes to public relations.

    Well, that's the rub, isn't it? Personally, my opinion is that these guys are already plenty aware that there are bad consequences to driving drunk, getting into fights and other forms of reckless behavior. If they're stupid and immature enough to do them in the first place, they still will be. So ultimately, the question comes down to whether or not the sense that the league is "doing something" about the issue will be worth the negative attention that will occur when the league is forced to mete out a bunch of stiff penalties as players continue to get into trouble.

    I'm sure Goodell did have a lot of input and counsel when making this decision. Unfortunately, the outcome of these types of things are almost impossible to predict. Market polling can tell the league that fans are fed up with the recent string of player arrests, and would heartily approve of the NFL taking a "tough stance" on the issue, but it simply cannot tell how fans will be feeling a few years down the road, when the NFL has been forced to either suspend a dozen star players for 8 games or more, or back off the hard line it took.
     
  4. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #3 Jersey

    One not-so-minor point here: don't forget that all the alleged issues aside, Pacman made one other mistake: he decided not to tell the NFL about his encounters in Georgia(?), which is a clear violation of NFL policy.

    Most importantly, there was no precedent for this issue, so Goodell was able to come down harshly--and yet be able to say that Pacman represents a special case.
     
  5. g-fresh

    g-fresh On the Game Day Roster

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    This is the problem with the Pacman situation, it sets a harsh precedent and as of right now we don't know the plan for future offenders. What do you have to do to get a year long suspension? It seems to me that Chris Henry's repeated arrests should warrent the same punishment as Pacman's, as should Tank Johnson. Let's not forget such great role models as Ray Lewis, Jamal Lewis, and Leonard Little just to name a few who have all done things just as bad if not worse than Pacman. I need to hear a lot more detail about how they arrived at these decisions and how they will affect future punishments before I'm alright with them.

    As for the marijuana issue, I find it totally ridiculous that players could be forced to miss a season and potentially be banned from the NFL for using what is if anything a performance decreasing drug. I guarantee that there are plenty of NFL players hopped up on valium and percocet, which are more harmful than marijuana, and the league doesn't seem to have a problem with that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2007
  6. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I guess you have a lot of opinions, and they are backed up with more opinions, no facts. This looks like one of those posts that no matter what is said you will just keep going on, I will not.
     
  7. He Ban Me

    He Ban Me Banned

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    It's a good point. However, 8-10 time offenders have to be dealt with, it's clear their behavior is NOT good for the team, players, league.
     
  8. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Personnel issues always have repercussions, in this instance your concern that the suspension leads to greater problems does not seem to have a firm foundation. The NFL players put the pressure on Goodall to take strong action, it seems unlikely they will get too bent out of shape over the Jones and Henry cases.
     
  9. Gopats!!!

    Gopats!!! On the Game Day Roster

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    I think this is a great policy and one that has been long overdue.

    Players who are druggies, thugs, or whatever need to understand thier destructive behavior will not be tolerated. For most things it will require more than one or two incidents. Once it becomes clear that the individual is not attempting to correct the poor behavior, the commish will step in and lay down the law.

    Pacman and Henry didn't just make a few mistakes -- they were consistent screw ups. You are correct in saying people will still be stupid regardless of what policy is in place, but this policy is still much needed. It will open the eyes of those players who are borderline. Those with enough intelligence will realize they must correct thier behavior. While there are teams out there that would draft bin laden if he could play football, many teams are more likely to re-evaluate players based on thier character. They may still be signed, but the money will not be the same. Players without any character and unwilling to change will no longer be enabled by the NFL. They will face huge suspensions. Again, players who are bad people will continue to be bad people regardless of the policy - but the NFL does not need to be part of it.

    Most players have no problem obeying the law, and work hard to do good. They are as sick of the bad people as the NFL is. They are as happy about the new policy as most people are. And the new policy is even harder on other league personnel. Of course, most league personnel don't have much problem staying out of trouble anyway.
     
  10. Pat_Nasty

    Pat_Nasty Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I'm not sure you understand my argument. I'm not saying the players or anyone will get worked up over the Jones/Henry cases, but rather both fan and player alike will get bent out of shape when the precedent the NFL is setting with the Jones/Henry suspensions and the new set of behavior standards they've publicized forces them to heavily penalize and suspend more players down the line than the they want to...

    ...or, at the very least, have every player arrest now get 10x the play in the news, as the media ponder whether the guy will get a suspension in line with Jones and Henry's.
     

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