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Ministry of Pain

Will Roger Goodell create a Civil War in the NFL?

228 posts in this topic

In a sense, maybe there already is something of a "culture war" going on in the NFL right now. It's not Goodell vs. Owners/Players, though ... I think it's more like the old "football is violence" mindset versus the new "football is lucrative sports entertainment, so how can we clean it up and have more games?" mindset. Bountygate is but one battleground, while the back-&-forth with James Harrison is another.

Good stuff DB
There are battlegrounds outside of the league, as well. You'll be interested in this: Bill Simmons calling out the sports media for hypocracy (Twitter, earlier today).
Great that you posted this. He's flipping his #### because of how the league handled concussions years ago. WTF does that have to do with anything? They should just let it continue?

As expected, he's getting destroyed on Twitter. The only people agreeing with him or those retweeting it and adding "EXACTLY!".

Yeah, I was reading my timeline and just shaming my head at his stupidity.

His tantrum basically boils down to: the NFL didn't do anything 5 years ago, so they can NEVER do anything about it.

Good logic there.

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In a sense, maybe there already is something of a "culture war" going on in the NFL right now. It's not Goodell vs. Owners/Players, though ... I think it's more like the old "football is violence" mindset versus the new "football is lucrative sports entertainment, so how can we clean it up and have more games?" mindset. Bountygate is but one battleground, while the back-&-forth with James Harrison is another.

Good stuff DB
There are battlegrounds outside of the league, as well. You'll be interested in this: Bill Simmons calling out the sports media for hypocracy (Twitter, earlier today).
Great that you posted this. He's flipping his #### because of how the league handled concussions years ago. WTF does that have to do with anything? They should just let it continue?

As expected, he's getting destroyed on Twitter. The only people agreeing with him or those retweeting it and adding "EXACTLY!".

Yeah, I was reading my timeline and just shaming my head at his stupidity.

His tantrum basically boils down to: the NFL didn't do anything 5 years ago, so they can NEVER do anything about it.

Good logic there.

Yes, I thought it was ironic that Simmons tweets attacking Goodell for not doing anything about concussions comes up in a thread where Goodell is being attacked for trying to stop hits to the head of defenseless players.

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I am glad I saw Simmons tweets though, because I followed one of his links to a youtube video of an ESPN Jacked Up segment.

Which by itself wasn't all that viewer worthy, but when it was done, a link popped up for

. A video that should have gotten Oscar buzz in a just world.

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Great that you posted this. He's flipping his #### because of how the league handled concussions years ago. WTF does that have to do with anything?

MOP and I are having a back-and-forth abot "culture war" within pro football (read through the last dozen or so posts in this thread). I posted this to make the point that the culture war spills over into the media.

They should just let it continue?

With all due respect, you missed my point totally.

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[simmons'] tantrum basically boils down to: the NFL didn't do anything 5 years ago, so they can NEVER do anything about it.

I disagree -- I think Simmons is simply pointing out that the league is not owning its past sins.

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[simmons'] tantrum basically boils down to: the NFL didn't do anything 5 years ago, so they can NEVER do anything about it.

I disagree -- I think Simmons is simply pointing out that the league is not owning its past sins.
Most people being sued for something don't publicly own up to related past sins.I sure hope that's not Simmon's point, I've thought him a better writer than that. I think he just ranted without thinking about what he was saying.

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*Puts MOP on a list*

An alias is born. Oh good.
I've had that registered for a bit and never used it. This place seemed appropriate.

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I sure hope that's not Simmon's point, I've thought him a better writer than that. I think he just ranted without thinking about what he was saying.

Well, Simmons thought about it some more and posted this at his site. Some excerpts:

The league never turned off its "We're gonna look the other way, keep being violent and keep those hits coming" switch until the 2010 season, after that infamous October weekend with all the signature hits, when Roger Goodell said, "Oh, crap, maybe I should start fining these guys because the Sports Legacy Institute has accumulated three-plus years of rock-solid concussion evidence and lawsuits are coming. Better later than never!"

And so the league started cracking down. Less than 18 months later, we're supposed to be baffled and appalled that the Saints would shrug off those warnings, that they wanted to win money for crippling opponents or knocking them out … you know, because football players aren't supposed to think that way or something. (Watching ESPN this morning was pretty funny — it's like every talking head took an oath to forget the network was running "JACKED UP!" segments a few scant years ago.)

As Peter King wrote in his column this week, the same league that's making such a fuss about violence ran a show called 10 Most Feared Tacklers on its own network last week. The truth is, the NFL doesn't know what the hell it wants. It's the most successful sports league ever; the value of its franchises has never been higher; its television money haul has never been greater. Only there's an elephant in the room — and it's not the Williams tape, Bountygate, or even the hundreds of concussion-related lawsuits from former players that are coming. If they change how football is played and turn it into a glorified version of the Pro Bowl, there's a chance people won't like the sport as much.

So what do you do? You pretend you care. You make an example of the Saints. You crack down on the language of your game. You overreact to cheap hits, and you fine players because sometimes they can't control their bodies at 18 miles an hour in the split second after an opponent ducks his head. You lean on media cronies and convince them to spin stories your way. You hope and pray nobody notices, and that CTE awareness never moves into the mainstream. But meanwhile, your players are bigger and faster than ever, and they're colliding at speeds at which human beings aren't meant to collide.

Simmons is not on an island here. Even a back-pocket NFL guy like Peter KIng has pointed out the the NFL's inconsistency (see bolded above).

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In a sense, maybe there already is something of a "culture war" going on in the NFL right now. It's not Goodell vs. Owners/Players, though ... I think it's more like the old "football is violence" mindset versus the new "football is lucrative sports entertainment, so how can we clean it up and have more games?" mindset. Bountygate is but one battleground, while the back-&-forth with James Harrison is another.

What you meant to say is some people love the sport and its violent tough nature vs the people who look at it as a billion dollar business and how we can maximize our profits. This is why I dont care for Goodell. I love the sport the way it was intended to be played. Its supposed to be a tough violent game, and taking it out of it is taking away from the game itself. Same as MMA, its a violent sport, and if you take away the violent hitting and punching then you dont have a sport at all. At this rate it will turn into flag football, and as fun as that is as a sport its just not real football.

Goodell wants the game to be played like the Pro-bowl where nobody gets hurt, a huge offensive show, and alot of media attention. He wants a show that makes money, not good football. There is a reason the pro-bowl sucks, and thats because it has no intensity and violent nature.

Again, dont confuse this and talk about dirty hits. I am talking about tough game play that is clean. I think cleaning out a WR who dares go across the middle on a defense is a great play by both players. Its great that the WR has the balls to attempt it and great that the DB drops him. And at the end of the game you shake hands and congratulate each other. That's football to me. Yeah, there are risk of injury but you get paid MILLIONS! I'll trade spots with them if they want.

Edited by Devine Intervention

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Definitely not a staff-worthy thread.

How many years has he been vying for a FBG staff gig now? I'm beginning to develop a Chris Yandek-esque level of sympathy for him. They both try so hard.

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In a sense, maybe there already is something of a "culture war" going on in the NFL right now. It's not Goodell vs. Owners/Players, though ... I think it's more like the old "football is violence" mindset versus the new "football is lucrative sports entertainment, so how can we clean it up and have more games?" mindset. Bountygate is but one battleground, while the back-&-forth with James Harrison is another.

What you meant to say is some people love the sport and its violent tough nature vs the people who look at it as a billion dollar business and how we can maximize our profits. This is why I dont care for Goodell. I love the sport the way it was intended to be played. Its supposed to be a tough violent game, and taking it out of it is taking away from the game itself. Same as MMA, its a violent sport, and if you take away the violent hitting and punching then you dont have a sport at all. At this rate it will turn into flag football, and as fun as that is as a sport its just not real football.

Goodell wants the game to be played like the Pro-bowl where nobody gets hurt, a huge offensive show, and alot of media attention. He wants a show that makes money, not good football. There is a reason the pro-bowl sucks, and thats because it has no intensity and violent nature.

Again, dont confuse this and talk about dirty hits. I am talking about tough game play that is clean. I think cleaning out a WR who dares go across the middle on a defense is a great play by both players. Its great that the WR has the balls to attempt it and great that the DB drops him. And at the end of the game you shake hands and congratulate each other. That's football to me. Yeah, there are risk of injury but you get paid MILLIONS! I'll trade spots with them if they want.

Going after people's ACL's and paying money for injuries? I don't care to see that. It doesn't add a Damn thing to what I like about the NFL.

If this new wussy NFL makes certain fans stop watching, then good riddance. A lot of people talk a lot tougher when its someone else's life expectancy being cut short by 30 years.

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...

Well, Simmons thought about it some more and posted this at his site. Some excerpts:

The league never turned off its "We're gonna look the other way, keep being violent and keep those hits coming" switch until the 2010 season, after that infamous October weekend with all the signature hits, when Roger Goodell said, "Oh, crap, maybe I should start fining these guys because the Sports Legacy Institute has accumulated three-plus years of rock-solid concussion evidence and lawsuits are coming. Better later than never!"

And so the league started cracking down. Less than 18 months later, we're supposed to be baffled and appalled that the Saints would shrug off those warnings, that they wanted to win money for crippling opponents or knocking them out … you know, because football players aren't supposed to think that way or something. (Watching ESPN this morning was pretty funny — it's like every talking head took an oath to forget the network was running "JACKED UP!" segments a few scant years ago.)

I think we should always be baffled and appalled when a person wants to win money for crippling someone else.

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I can't believe people are so concrete to think there is hypocrisy in cheering on physical play while simultaneously denouncing deliberate intent to injure another player. There is a lot of real estate between these two concepts, yet some people seem to think they are one in the same.

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I can't believe people are so concrete to think there is hypocrisy in cheering on physical play while simultaneously denouncing deliberate intent to injure another player. There is a lot of real estate between these two concepts, yet some people seem to think they are one in the same.

And I would like to add that I am in no way shape or form condoning or endorsing violence in the game for the sake of injuring another player. I want a good clean hard hitting football game and when the refs and Goodell stay out of it for the most part that is exactly what you get with some exceptions. How many of those flags thrown for hits levied by Safeties last year were actually violations of the rules? Maybe half? Late hits on Quarterbacks?

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I can't believe people are so concrete to think there is hypocrisy in cheering on physical play while simultaneously denouncing deliberate intent to injure another player. There is a lot of real estate between these two concepts, yet some people seem to think they are one in the same.

And I would like to add that I am in no way shape or form condoning or endorsing violence in the game for the sake of injuring another player. I want a good clean hard hitting football game and when the refs and Goodell stay out of it for the most part that is exactly what you get with some exceptions. How many of those flags thrown for hits levied by Safeties last year were actually violations of the rules? Maybe half? Late hits on Quarterbacks?
I don't know. What's your point?

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In a sense, maybe there already is something of a "culture war" going on in the NFL right now. It's not Goodell vs. Owners/Players, though ... I think it's more like the old "football is violence" mindset versus the new "football is lucrative sports entertainment, so how can we clean it up and have more games?" mindset. Bountygate is but one battleground, while the back-&-forth with James Harrison is another.

What you meant to say is some people love the sport and its violent tough nature vs the people who look at it as a billion dollar business and how we can maximize our profits. This is why I dont care for Goodell. I love the sport the way it was intended to be played. Its supposed to be a tough violent game, and taking it out of it is taking away from the game itself. Same as MMA, its a violent sport, and if you take away the violent hitting and punching then you dont have a sport at all. At this rate it will turn into flag football, and as fun as that is as a sport its just not real football.

Goodell wants the game to be played like the Pro-bowl where nobody gets hurt, a huge offensive show, and alot of media attention. He wants a show that makes money, not good football. There is a reason the pro-bowl sucks, and thats because it has no intensity and violent nature.

Again, dont confuse this and talk about dirty hits. I am talking about tough game play that is clean. I think cleaning out a WR who dares go across the middle on a defense is a great play by both players. Its great that the WR has the balls to attempt it and great that the DB drops him. And at the end of the game you shake hands and congratulate each other. That's football to me. Yeah, there are risk of injury but you get paid MILLIONS! I'll trade spots with them if they want.

Going after people's ACL's and paying money for injuries? I don't care to see that. It doesn't add a Damn thing to what I like about the NFL.

If this new wussy NFL makes certain fans stop watching, then good riddance. A lot of people talk a lot tougher when its someone else's life expectancy being cut short by 30 years.

No, this wussy NFL is one where you can't touch a QB, or hit a WR. In no way did I say anything about purposely blowing out someone's knee or paying for injuries. Im talking about taking away clean hits. The worse thing I ever seen ways years back when Vince Young was playing the Giants and the DE was literally AFRAID to take the QB down to not get penalized, he held him up for a second, let him go, and Young threw for a first down and ended up winning the game. Come on, its football and the lineman are afraid to hit a QB!

So are you saying the only way to make this league a non-'wussy' league is to let them take cheap shots at each other? Cause i'm sure the league could still be tough and violent with clean hard hits. Not throwing a flag every time someone grazes a QB or bumps a WR would be nice.

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You guys are 97 posts into this thread and I'm the first guy to point out that this defense of the players who executed Greg Williams' destructive agenda is being posted by a guy who calls himself "Ministry of Pain"? Seriously? Is there not an obvious agenda here?

I'm with Amanai Toomer - NFL players need to take a cue from the late Eazy-E and realize "We're all in the same gang". These guys work way too hard to become and remain NFL players, for someone else to try to injure them is ####### disgraceful.

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You guys are 97 posts into this thread and I'm the first guy to point out that this defense of the players who executed Greg Williams' destructive agenda is being posted by a guy who calls himself "Ministry of Pain"? Seriously? Is there not an obvious agenda here?I'm with Amanai Toomer - NFL players need to take a cue from the late Eazy-E and realize "We're all in the same gang". These guys work way too hard to become and remain NFL players, for someone else to try to injure them is ####### disgraceful.

His alias is timchchochet, who can be found in the FFA. Bottom line, two voluminous writers here. They have the constant need to hear themselves talk ans write. They set up polls and posts that are supposed to be edgey and stuff.

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When these suspensions start coming for players which I am adamantly against since it was the coaches who put the orders in and players were just following orders. You can debate it, if it sickens you what they did, more power to you. I don't condone it but I'm fine with Goodell going after the coaches and GM for now. I think the punishments are harsh but as long as the folks being punished are taking it on the chin for the players involved, I'm fine with it. The President of the Players' Union was very vocal about Goodell seeming like he had already reached some decisions and punishments for players. If Goodell suspended players for a year like he did with Payton, or even half a season...this could really be the tipping point for some of these guys. I do feel like I am in the minority camp these days with a bad taste in my mouth for what Goodell has done. A lot of posters however in the last year have bought in hook line and sinker to what Goodell has done to the game. He really had to take a backseat last year with the lockout and now it seems he is out for blood. Goodell caters to the casual fan and doesn't give 2 spits about the hard core NFL fans and maybe eventually people will get their fill of this and see that Goodell does not care about the players, just the almighty $$$. I don't like it, I'm getting tired of it, and at some point some of us are going to go away. Some already have although ratings I'm sure do not reflect that. I can get behind a league that is looking out for player safety but it's a load of horsespit and I have been very vocal that if they really care about the players they will put in weight restriction limits so we don't have 360 lb Nose Tackles falling on 200 lb RBs. The spread over the last 25 years has gotten way out of control and the players destroy their bodies, many of them die early in life from a variety of medical conditions. So don't sit there on your high horse feeling better for quenching your thrist for blood, the same as the Romans did 2,000 years ago, you cannot sit there with a straight face and say that Goodell is genuinely concerned about the players...he is concerned for certain players, elite QBs that pack the stadiums and TV ratings. It's going to take a few key media and sports pundits to get vocal about this and show Goodell for what he really is. For now things seem rosy but guys like Gruden last year going toe to toe with Tirico in the booth. Now we have to allow the receivers a chance to catch the ball and make a football move...so then we should allow RBs to get a full head of steam going and not touch them until they reach the LOS right? Let's just put flags on the players and run a 7 on 7 which will slash payrolls and then they can just run 5 WRs out every play and the QBs can throw for 7,500 yds and 60 TDs. That's crazy talk, no one would ever change the game into a strictly passing league where the fundamental idea of moving an oblong ball made of pigskin 3-4 yds at a time with grown men fighting and scrumming along the line on both sides of the ball...that would never change would it?

:goodposting: MoP shouuld get a medal for this!

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i dont even think you know what a civil war is go listen to roland the headless tomson gunner and you will have a better idea but until then you are not norways favorite sun and will probably never understand the plight of the congolese so this thread should not throw around the term civil war so lightly take that from here to johannasburg to the bank there brohan

:goodposting: It's not very eloquent, but a very good point nonetheless. MOP, you should strongly consider changing the title of the thread.

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There has got to be something in your life more deserving of anger than this.

I've mellowed
Not much evidence of this in this thread.BTW, you're not thinking straight. Goodell has to--and will--come down extremely hard on Vilma, especially. Others will get theirs, as well.As it should be. As it DEFINITELY should be. These are not drones, and they were not forced by anybody to do anything to anyone. Players have to take responsibility as men for behaving like neanderthals. Sorry, you're just way off base here, and I'm not sure what your issue is.As always.
Can't speak to the as always part, but the part of this post about the players is dead on. These guys are old enough to sign contracts, go to war, vote, etc. So the argument that they're just kids and are blindly following orders without being able to process what the consequences could be for them and/or the player(s) they go after is just silly. They'll get no pass of that sort from me, and apparently not from Goodell either, which is a good thing. They knew what they were doing was wrong and against the rules, and they did it anyway. These suspensions will not be life changing for any of them, and they'll send a message to the entire league that will last for a long time, and that's a good thing for the players, the fans and the NFL.

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Honestly, they could change it to flag football and a good majority of us would still watch the game. So the "wussy" comment doesn't really fly. It's a balance and right now, the league *has* to err on the side of player safety or the owners will lose a ton of money to lawsuits (let alone have any chance of expanding the number of games played a season). Goodell may seem a bit capricious at times, but he's moving in the right direction.

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I can't believe people are so concrete to think there is hypocrisy in cheering on physical play while simultaneously denouncing deliberate intent to injure another player. There is a lot of real estate between these two concepts, yet some people seem to think they are one in the same.

I don't agree, and here's why: I don't believe it's difficult to hide intent to injure within the confines of accepted physical play.

Another way to phrase that: if intent to injure is never expressed out loud, does it exist? Of course it does, but it never sees the light of day and never gets held against the person holding that intent. No one re-evaluates the careers of widely-accpeted greats like Deacon Jones or Dick Butkus or Jack Tatum or Ronnie Lott and brands them "thugs".

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Looks like he did say "take" for Calvin Johnson.

Said "select" for Joe Thomas:

"Select" for Ginn:

From just searching YouTube clips, it looks like Goodell said "take" instead of "select" 4, maybe 5, times max. He was obviously a bit nervous and tight to start, but he grew into it fairly quickly and had some great interactions with fans off camera.

If that's what gets your panties in a bunch, then you may be wound a bit too tight.

If there was anything to complain about that draft, it was that the fans that stood in line the longest to get in got screwed, and that draft took WAY WAY WAY too long.

I'm not wound that tight about that, just because I brought it up doesn't mean that it's keeping me up at night. I only brought it up because it did stick out to me and made a first impression about Goodell that he looked like an idiot on his first try at the draft. Just like the saying goes, you only get one time to make a first impression...

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I can't believe people are so concrete to think there is hypocrisy in cheering on physical play while simultaneously denouncing deliberate intent to injure another player. There is a lot of real estate between these two concepts, yet some people seem to think they are one in the same.

I don't agree, and here's why: I don't believe it's difficult to hide intent to injure within the confines of accepted physical play.

Another way to phrase that: if intent to injure is never expressed out loud, does it exist? Of course it does, but it never sees the light of day and never gets held against the person holding that intent. No one re-evaluates the careers of widely-accpeted greats like Deacon Jones or Dick Butkus or Jack Tatum or Ronnie Lott and brands them "thugs".

And guys from those eras look like what now?

How many of them have long lasting physical ailments due to that style of play?

How many of them in a heartbeat will take up litigation with the league in order to get their bills paid?

Those greats were great...no doubt. But in today's game, with what we know about the long term effects of the game...yes, those guys would be thugs and their style of play is no longer acceptable in the league.

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Honestly, they could change it to flag football and a good majority of us would still watch the game.

That was partly my point. Fans seem content to continue to watch the games no matter what...it's incredible. No one has to like what I am saying but it's the truth. He has changed the fabric of the game and found millions and millions of folks who will lap it up no matter how it's served.

That's fine but I am still allowed to question and comment.

Edited by Ministry of Pain

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Well what do we have here...it's my good buddy Dan LeBatard and what might he be writing about today in the Miami Herald? A Civil War? Well, he didn't quite phrase it like that but...

Dan LeBatard "Roger Goodell cares more about cash than player safety"

It really has been fascinating to watch the flames climb on this New Orleans Saints story, the emperor of a very violent business feeding a howling and eager media one crumb at a time, keeping this dirty story in front of the eyes of his customers for more than a month now. You remember how NFL commissioner Roger Goodell became famous, right? For unprecedented penalties against players who dared to bring bad publicity for extended periods upon the league’s shield. That’s what he calls it, the shield. He did not want arrests and negativity in front of his paying customers in the news cycle, staining his shield, so he’d come down on misbehavior from repeat offenders with a punitive fury previously unseen in major American sports.

But the Saints bounty story has been so different, prepared and packaged for our consumption by the NFL. That’s unusual, and not only because every ex-jock on TV is telling you that everybody in the NFL workplace did the kinds of things the scapegoated Saints are being sacrificed for today. Goodell clearlywants this in the news. He wants people to be shocked and outraged and clucking. And, yes, safety is his primary concern ... if by that you mean keeping his league safe from lawsuits. This is all a shield for his shield, you might say.

First, in this media age when no one can keep a secret, nobody broke the Saints bounties story. The NFL volunteered it. Revealed it in an announcement after a private investigation. How often does that happen, exactly? And Goodell was quoted in that initial statement saying very sternly that this wouldn’t be tolerated. That marinated in the news cycle for weeks. Then came the jaw-dropping punishments for the organization and executives. That marinated in the news cycle for a few more weeks. Next up: The players. And a few more weeks. Drama building over time, like with all the best dramatic soap operas.

That’s quite a bit different than how Goodell handled Spygate, when his most famous coach was caught cheating and Goodell had to defend the NFL destroying the incriminating tapes and investigation notes before a United States senator. Goodell doesn’t want this buried. Quite the opposite. He wants his handling of this out in front of everybody for as long as he can keep it there. That’s why the NFL’s initial release went out of its way to use the word “bounty.” That’ll get the media’s attention every time. Call it a “big-hit pool” instead of a “bounty,” and you’ve got a nation of football fans shrugging instead of a national debate about right and wrong.

The barbaric nature of football hasn’t merely been tolerated for decades; it has been celebrated. Everyone in the pipeline teaching it and learning it embraces the violence, and everyone who doesn’t is viewed as a sissy. That’s the culture, these bounties not unlike the Code Red in A Few Good Men. If Goodell had wanted this story to be about merely safety and punishment and protecting the league from bad publicity, he would have done it more privately, and punished everyone at once so that it would stay in the news for a couple of days instead of a couple of months. But he has made a big show of this with the help of an enabling media. The punishments, excessive and unprecedented as they are, aren’t as important as everyone noticing them.

Why?

Because there is one thing the NFL cares about far more than player safety, image or anything else: The dollar. The NFL is an absurdly profitable violent business, recently doubling TV dollars that were already insane. It somehow keeps getting even bigger, even though it is already the biggest. And about the only thing that can derail that is your sad, old, former employees limping through a courtroom en masse with canes and wheelchairs and a multibillion-dollar lawsuit accusing you of negligence because you were dishonest about the brain dangers of your workplace. And Goodell, a bit too late, is suddenly very interested in giving off the appearance that he won’t tolerate this violence that, you know, was sold in big-hit videos just a few years ago.

In 2006, the NFL’s concussion committee and appointed rheumatologist — not a neurologist, mind you — declared that concussions “in professional football are not serious injuries.” This was after Hall of Fame center Mike Webster died homeless and demented at age 50, concluding dinner parties back when he had a home by urinating in the oven in front of his family and friends because his brain wasn’t working right. Medical scientists contradicted the conclusions of the NFL’s committee, and torched the methodology, while the NFL tried to discredit doctors such as Bennet Omalu, the pioneer who discovered the obvious link after studying the brains of the NFL’s deceased. Goodell, so very late to this particular party, is in a huge hurry to catch up, and the Saints are the ones being trampled in his overzealous wake.

All over the country right now, former players with depression and dementia are gathering with lawyers. Christmas week, lawsuits were filed in Miami and Atlanta with dozens of players. On Jan. 31, a multidistrict federal judicial panel approved six cases being tried together in Philadelphia, former Vikings guard Brent Boyd quoted as saying, “Here might be the weapon that brings the mighty billionaires to their knees and forces them to accept their liability.”

The emperor of a very violent business wants his barbaric gladiators to stop behaving like barbaric gladiators, right now, today, this minute, and he’s filing it under safety because that’s a lot easier to cheer than the real reason — liability. And he’s in such a big hurry to do it that it is disorienting for menacing people such as Steelers linebacker James Harrison. It is like the porn industry waking up one morning and deciding that sex is bad.

Former Dolphins player Oronde Gadsden is named in the Miami lawsuit. Contacted Saturday to talk about his ailments, he politely declined, saying he didn’t want to say anything that might dissuade other players with brain injuries from coming forward to join the suit. Very publicly, Goodell might have gotten the little ol’ Saints, but there’s an army of his violent former employees gathering in strength more privately. Bounty hunters, you might call them, as they prepare to hit the NFL in the place it hurts most.

<br style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/08/2736942_p2/nfls-roger-goodell-cares-more.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/08/2736942/nfls-roger-goodell-cares-more.html#storylink=cpy

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The emperor of a very violent business wants his barbaric gladiators to stop behaving like barbaric gladiators, right now, today, this minute, and he's filing it under safety because that's a lot easier to cheer than the real reason — liability. And he's in such a big hurry to do it that it is disorienting for menacing people such as Steelers linebacker James Harrison. It is like the porn industry waking up one morning and deciding that sex is bad.

Former Dolphins player Oronde Gadsden is named in the Miami lawsuit. Contacted Saturday to talk about his ailments, he politely declined, saying he didn't want to say anything that might dissuade other players with brain injuries from coming forward to join the suit. Very publicly, Goodell might have gotten the little ol' Saints, but there's an army of his violent former employees gathering in strength more privately. Bounty hunters, you might call them, as they prepare to hit the NFL in the place it hurts most.

The 1st bolded is just funny, the 2nd sounds an awful lot like war to me.

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But the Saints bounty story has been so different, prepared and packaged for our consumption by the NFL. That's unusual, and not only because every ex-jock on TV is telling you that everybody in the NFL workplace did the kinds of things the scapegoated Saints are being sacrificed for today. Goodell clearly wants this in the news. He wants people to be shocked and outraged and clucking. And, yes, safety is his primary concern ... if by that you mean keeping his league safe from lawsuits. This is all a shield for his shield, you might say.

Very few outside of New Orleans will buy into this ... but there is a strong, strong sense of artifice about the whole Bountygate affair. Yes, yes, it's all based on true things that actually happened, but the packaging of the coverage is highly contrived.

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But the Saints bounty story has been so different, prepared and packaged for our consumption by the NFL. That's unusual, and not only because every ex-jock on TV is telling you that everybody in the NFL workplace did the kinds of things the scapegoated Saints are being sacrificed for today. Goodell clearly wants this in the news. He wants people to be shocked and outraged and clucking. And, yes, safety is his primary concern ... if by that you mean keeping his league safe from lawsuits. This is all a shield for his shield, you might say.

Very few outside of New Orleans will buy into this ... but there is a strong, strong sense of artifice about the whole Bountygate affair. Yes, yes, it's all based on true things that actually happened, but the packaging of the coverage is highly contrived.
Can you flesh this out a bit? My biggest issue with LeBatard's article is that I think the **last** thing that Goodell wants is this in the news. I imagine him sitting back and fuming over Pamphilon releasing the tape, because this crap had finally died down.

It seems to me that Goodell **absolutely does** care entirely about the cash, but Bountygate as a news cycle is **hurting** that. Cash for Goodell is the equivalent of new viewers. Just like any business, a new customer is much more valuable than an existing one. The Saints news cycle is doing nothing more than alienating a group of people who might not have otherwise understood exactly how violent this sport is. He's lost way more traction than he's gained through this.

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Can you flesh this out a bit? My biggest issue with LeBatard's article is that I think the **last** thing that Goodell wants is this in the news.

If that were true ... does Goodell still release the initial information about the investigation on March 2nd? Goodell controlled whether or not this would all be released to begin with.

Bountygate shouldn't be hurting the NFL's bottom line a whit. Instead, it gives the perception that player safety is the first, second, and third thing that the league concerns itself with. That's important because some portion of the many lawsuits filed against the NFL by former players will be fought in the court of public opinion.

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Can you flesh this out a bit? My biggest issue with LeBatard's article is that I think the **last** thing that Goodell wants is this in the news.

If that were true ... does Goodell still release the initial information about the investigation on March 2nd? Goodell controlled whether or not this would all be released to begin with.

Bountygate shouldn't be hurting the NFL's bottom line a whit. Instead, it gives the perception that player safety is the first, second, and third thing that the league concerns itself with. That's important because some portion of the many lawsuits filed against the NFL by former players will be fought in the court of public opinion.

You're going to have to give me a cliff's notes on the timeline, because I don't know it as well as you do, but I can give some reactions based on what I think it is...

Let's start with "Goodell controlled whether or not this would all be released to begin with"... As soon as the investigation uncovered the bounties and the lies, this was coming out. No question. Goodell couldn't not penalize the Saints for obvious reasons, and he couldn't penalize them without publicly saying why, also for obvious reasons. The best he can do in this case was to control the news cycle by releasing it himself.

Next is the question of whether he releases on March 2. I assume this was because its relatively close to when he was handed the final results of the investigation, and he didn't want to risk it leaking before he released it. You're absolutely right that he needs the league to be perceived as safety first, and if this stuff had gotten out without him doing so, then there would always be corners of the media questioning whether his punishments and actions were because of the leak or not. I'm no political strategist, but it seems like this is all pretty standard PR stuff when you find your own dirty laundry.

---------------

As for Bountygate hurting the NFL's bottom line, I definitely have to disagree there. Absolutely the NFL needs to win the PR battle in the upcoming lawsuits with the former players... but its a pretty weird strategy to try and win the public's favor in a safety suit by reminding the public that the NFL's representatives are contributing to the fact that its an extremely violent game.

Additionally, the former players and that PR battle are really only a small part of what Goodell's interested in. His focus is the casual fan. In his best case, Jane the Soccer Mom is sitting at Starbucks and talking about how football players are role models and she's happy that her son has an Aaron Rodgers Fathead on his wall. He'll accept Jane the Soccer Mom sitting in Starbucks and talking about Vanity Fair without mentioning the NFL at all. He's got to absolutely **hate** Jane the Soccer Mom sitting in Starbucks talking about the neanderthals playing football and how she'll be taking her son to see the Spurs next week.

He's got the die-hards on this board. We're locked in. People like you and I and Dan Graziano and Matt Waldman can talk until we're blue in the face about how football shouldn't be like this and how despicable Williams' behavior was. But none of us are going to turn off Thursday Night Football go watch the Cubbies instead.

What Goodell wants are Jane the Soccer Mom ( or at least her son ). He wants women. He wants the guys in England. He needs **new** customers, and I'm dead certain that Bountygate being in the news like this is costing him that.

Now, I'm not saying Goodell hasn't handled this thing well, because he has. I even say that as a Saints fan who doesn't think he's been a spectacular commissioner. I'm just saying that he'd be much happier if Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow were dominating the news cycles.

Edited by PranksterJD

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Next is the question of whether he releases on March 2. I assume this was because its relatively close to when he was handed the final results of the investigation, and he didn't want to risk it leaking before he released it.

I believe this was the case, that the NFL didn't go public with it until they were notifying the rest of the league of the investigation. At which point someone would have leaked it, so might as well just release it yourself where you can have some control. At least then you can set the tone of discussion about it and avoid speculation that makes people think it was worse than it was.

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Can you flesh this out a bit? My biggest issue with LeBatard's article is that I think the **last** thing that Goodell wants is this in the news.

If that were true ... does Goodell still release the initial information about the investigation on March 2nd? Goodell controlled whether or not this would all be released to begin with.
Was his other option NOT telling anyone why he was about to suspend a coach?

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Can you flesh this out a bit? My biggest issue with LeBatard's article is that I think the **last** thing that Goodell wants is this in the news.

If that were true ... does Goodell still release the initial information about the investigation on March 2nd? Goodell controlled whether or not this would all be released to begin with.
Was his other option NOT telling anyone why he was about to suspend a coach?
What did you think of LeBatard's article?

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Was his other option NOT telling anyone why he was about to suspend a coach?

He had some other options:

a) a repeat of the sotto voce league-wide warnings of 2010, this time with penalties explicitly spelled out.

b) another approach entirely: make the initial investigations into NFL bounty and/or "pay for big plays" systems public back in 2010, fine/penalize any franchises that were then involved (well less than current Saints penalties, though), and carry on.

Although with the opportunity to execute (b) above passed, the league may have painted itself into a corner once the Saints' insider came forward with new information in 2011.

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