An interesting article I read today on ESPN.com was about how Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL, may have too much power. The players are beginning to question whether he is protecting them or if he is protecting the business. And I do think the players have a point. I understand the NFL is a multi-billion dollar business in America and you need to have it, but don’t you need the players to have the business? But what I have seen Goodell do is something that other commissioners in other sports do, and that is take control. He is a no-nonsense kind of guy, who will lay the hammer down on you to teach you a lesson. Look at the Saints for example. I think Goodell did the right thing, he is in a way protecting players, by suspending those who were trying to hurt others.
Osi Umenyiora said, “The stupidity of some people gets me sometimes.” “A lot of players think he’s trying to take away our game, but Roger really cares about us. He’s a regular guy.”
I think Roger Goodell does his job better than David Stern. Metta World Peace nearly decapitated James Harden when they played each other in April. The elbow was uncalled for and was absolutely meant to hit Harden, but all World Peace got was a 7 game suspension? I mean come on he should have been out the whole rest of the season for something like that. Especially with how careful sports are with concussions now.
Goodell may be a little harsh at times but I believe he has good reason to be. He is running the greatest business we have in America, and he has to take his job very seriously. Goodell clearly understands that such hostility comes with his job. What makes him so intriguing is his unwavering desire to forge a relationship with players who are at odds with his reign. Arizona Cardinals kicker and NFL Players Association representative Jay Feely said, “There’s a general distrust for him.” Goodell has had a tough time because the players don’t know what they’re going to get out of him, especially after the lockout.
Kansas City right tackle Eric Winston, who joined the Chiefs after six seasons in Houston, added, “He’s judge, jury and executioner. The joke around the locker room in Houston was that Goodell is like Xerxes [the ruler] in the movie ‘300.’ He can do whatever he wants. Obviously, he has the power to do that — and that’s partially our fault because we didn’t get it addressed in the [collective bargaining agreement] — but it also doesn’t make for a friendly environment.”
Goodell, in my opinion, has done a fair job, at times he may hand out a couple harsh penalties for players but he does them for the right reasons. Such as, when James Harrison nearly ended Josh Cribbs’ life on a crossing pattern this past fall. Harrison was fined $75,000 dollars for his hit and rightfully so. Like I said earlier in the article, concussions are a serious deal. We just had the suicide of Junior Seau, caused by an apparent brain disease caused by concussions.
Goodell is trying to protect his players, whether they are retired or currently playing. And I believe he has done a great job at his position. For the players, I can understand where they are coming from. They are sick of being suspended and fined, but they need to realize that it is for a reason. Goodell needs to keep doing what he is doing and he will be fine.