On Tuesday morning NFL commissioner Roger Goodell appeared on ESPN’s Mike and Mike show. Over the last several months this has been one of his favored venues to get his message across to the public; the questions tend to be softballs with no follow-up, and at times appear to have been presented in advance in order for Goodell to have time to prepare the information that he desires to dispatch to the masses.
In this case Goodell may have unwittingly given away more information than he wanted to. For all the posturing about ‘integrity’ and ‘protecting the shield’, the commissioner came right out and stated that the ill-advised appeal in the Tom Brady case has nothing to do with the New England Patriot quarterback – but instead, it is all about how much power he is allowed to wield.
“This is about our rights in the collective-bargaining agreement. That’s all it is,” Goodell said. “We filed this litigation initially to reinforce the fact we had this right in our collective-bargaining agreement. We had a decision from Judge Berman. We disagree with it. That is what the appeals courts are for. I’m not spending any time on this issue, but it is important for us to know what we bargained for and what we agreed to in our collective-bargaining agreement and make sure that those processes that are agreed to in our collective-bargaining agreement are followed. We’re not going to allow that kind of decision to stand when we think it’s in conflict with our collective-bargaining agreement. That is the issue. It has nothing to do with any individual player or anyone else. It has something to do with Judge Berman’s decision. That is what we’re appealing.”
M&M failed to point out that the CBA states that an equipment violation of this sort – and even that is a stretch, since the PSI of the footballs was virtually right where they should have been, per the Ideal Gas Law – calls for a $25,000 fine to the club. No suspensions. No million dollar fines. No first round draft picks stolen away. And no four game suspensions for a player on a team where the air pressure in their footballs do what natural physical science says they will do.
However, Goodell was asked about there being nothing in the CBA about a player being suspended for an equipment violation. The commissioner implied (lied?) that there was no rule in the CBA for this specific situation and stated that “I disagree with it just from the standpoint of we can’t articulate every violation that can happen with all the rules we have in the NFL. These are NFL rules, these are not matters of law or in the legal system. These are rules that are established by the 32 clubs and are enforced evenly and fairly. That is something part of the integrity of the game and so from our standpoint we can’t articulate any specific way that these rules are going to be violated at any particular moment. That is a judgement that the commissioner makes, and/or his staff when you have those violations. That is certainly what was negotiated in the collective bargaining agreement and articulated very clearly with the commissioners authority.”
Now I am not even going to get started with the hypocrisy of the “evenly and fairly” rhetoric, or the bogus “integrity” bullcrap. But if it hasn’t already been obvious for some time now to anybody that has been paying even the least bit of attention to this case beyond reading a headline, this whole fiasco has absolutely nothing to do with the amount of pressure per square inch in game-used footballs. The mental midgets at 345 Park Avenue decided to use this situation to reclaim power against the players and the NFLPA. The smear job perpetrated against Tom Brady is a smokescreen. This is all about the Goodell – and the owners that back him – having absolute authority over their employees, those men who play football in the NFL.
Goodell has been exposed as a liar during the time leading up to his decision to suspend Brady, and during the sham of an appeals process. It is ironic that here today he is finally being truthful. This whole sad, sordid affair has nothing to do with integrity, or some far-fetched scheme to deflate footballs 0.2 psi. It’s all about power and control.
And for all of us as fans of this game, that is really sad.
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: CBA Deflate Gate DeflateGate NFL Roger Goodell Tom Brady