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Roger Goodell: Enforcer of the Wrong

[lead align=”default”]Roger Goodell, aside from being a pompous authoritarian, presides over the decrease in stature of the National Football League.[/lead]

This is part two of a Friday two-parter on the NFL and its domestic violence problem, amongst other things.

Before anybody asks, no, the author of this article is not a New England Patriots fan. This is not taken out of some honor vendetta on behalf of Tom Brady. Deflategate rose to a supermassive level of stupidity and farce for which the NFL should be ashamed. That, however, is not the only reason to criticize the commish.

In fact, isn’t that the problem with Roger Goodell, at least one of them? That he prosecuted Brady’s circumstantially-alleged misdeeds at a higher level than Josh Brown or Ray Rice? That he evidently cares more about a British-based revenue stream and punishing “excessive celebration” than the epidemic of criminal behavior in his league?

Perhaps that is in some respects an unfair characterization of the NFL commissioner, but it’s one shared by certain others. Seahawks corner Richard Sherman tore Goodell a new one for his league’s hypocrisy and double-standards. The Guardian hailed the “incompetent” commissioner’s ability to stick around despite numerous public relations disasters. The Orlando Sentinel thought little of Goodell’s comments on the league’s domestic violence “progress.” Forbes listed a litany of crises under Goodell’s tenure, some of which were self-inflicted wounds. Long story short: the criticism is deserved.

Why Roger Goodell Sticks Around

Yet, make no mistake, Roger Goodell is there because the owners want him there. The reason: he gets them money. That is the sole concern of the owners, and if the pockets stay lined, he’s fine. There is a public relations face to this, however. When fans stop watching games or withhold the dough, Goodell has a major problem. The issue is multifold:

-Ratings for the NFL are down.
-Some of the key reasons outlined in a recent survey include the protests over the national anthem, the comically sad presidential election, and the domestic violence scandal.
-Other reasons include decreasing quality of games, too many games, and the NFL turning a blind eye to real crimes while punishing laughable offenses.

Ratings down equals less advertising money, and less advertising money equals owners less happy with Goodell. This, more than anything else that’s happened under his reign so far, endangers him. On the other hand, a decline is the culmination of many of the problems during the Goodell era. When the fans and advertisers vote with their checkbooks, that’s Goodell’s problem, and few will be sad to see him take heat. He has helped make a mockery of this great league and sport.

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