The Hypocrisy of Roger Goodell

By Sonny Palermo

Contrary to what our judicial system says, there are just some things you don’t need a trial, judge and jury for. Like that show, “The Jersey Shore” for example. I only needed to watch two minutes worth before coming to the obvious conclusion that every one of those f’ers should be taken out back and shot. While I’m not calling for a similar penalty for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, I’d say he deserves at least a kick in the nuts for his rank hypocrisy.

I’m talking about his statement last week, when he said the NFL Rules Committee will be looking into a way to address the “Colts Situation” as it is being referred to. Last week, in their game against the Jets, Indianapolis chose to sit many of their starters rather than risk injuries that might hurt their chance to win the Super Bowl. It is a common tactic, but the Colts game is at the forefront for two reasons:

1 – Nobody believes the NY Jets could beat the Colts with Peyton Manning and the starters in for the whole game (and they were, in fact, losing when Manning was taken out.)

2 – It supposedly gave a free ticket to the playoffs to the Jets, while costing other teams - like the Houston Texans and the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers - a post season berth.

I have no truck with number one – the Manning-led Colts would destroy the Jets.

As for number two, it is, well…number two. The Steelers aren’t in the playoffs because they lost the heart and soul of their defense, Troy Polamalu – and because without him they lost to the Raiders, Bears, Browns and Chiefs – all teams that finished with losing records. Same thing for the Texans – they missed the post season because their normally reliable place kicker missed key field goals in at least three different games, and because they lost to the Jets, at home in Houston, in week one. Tough to blame those circumstances on Colt’s coach Jim Caldwell.

But here is the true hypocrisy of the league. They say it’s not fair to the fans to purchase tickets to a week 17 game that the teams themselves treat like a preseason exhibition game. To the average fan, that statement slides by as passable, but season ticket holders must be screaming in anger. A few years ago the league made it possible for teams to include pre-season tickets as part of the season ticket package, meaning if fans wanted season tickets they were forced to buy tickets for all four pre-season games also.

Pretty bad, right? Here’s something even more telling – the sports betting aspect of the situation. The league foolishly mentioned that it will consider requiring teams to publicly announce which players will play, and which will sit.

Why would the public need to know who will play and who will not?

Regardless of NFL lip service about maintaining the game’s integrity, the answer lies, ironically, in their lack of integrity. The only people who care about who plays and who doesn’t, other than opposing coaches, are sports books, sports bettors and fantasy league participants. But, that reason cannot be mentioned, in line with the league’s long-standing “see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil” policy when it comes to the true driving force behind their incredible revenue – betting. So, for diversion, Goodell claims to be acting in the best interest of the game and its fans.

For the good of the league, Roger, really, is that what you’re going to try and sell us?

In October, the House Judiciary Committee held meetings on the increasing evidence of football-related cases of brain injury.

Goodell couldn’t be bothered to attend. One Congresswoman compared the NFL’s stance on links between playing football and conditions such as dementia and Alzheimers to the tobacco companies denial of links between smoking and lung diseases.

This latest intrusion into the game has nothing to do with the best interest of the fans or the league. Fact is, without betting there is no league, there are no fans. The popularity the sport enjoys would cease to exist, and with it – the billions of dollars the league makes.

It’s been rumored that Roger Goodell will be stepping down after next season. Based on his penchant for hypocrisy, I’d say a long and successful career in politics awaits him…

Sonny Palermo is a writer and on-air TV personality at You can read more of his articles and watch his TV programming at the site.

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