Roger Goodell’s handling of the Brady suspension is just another in a long line of decisions he has made that should have most people questioning his ability to lead any organization, let alone the National Football League. Goodell is all over the place when it comes to handing out suspensions. If you take into consideration Ray Rice’s initial two game suspension for domestic violence, the Brady suspension of four games is pretty steep. Tack on the forfeiting of a first-round draft pick and the $1 million fine for the Patriots organization, and Goodell’s decision seems even more ludicrous.
On the surface, it seems that Goodell is starting to bend to the will of the masses. It wasn’t until an enormous public outcry until Goodell indefinitely suspended Ray Rice. In an interview with Norah O’Donnell of CBS This Morning, Roger Goodell explained how he wished he’d seen all of the evidence before handing down the suspension.
“That’s why we asked for it on several occasions. Because when we make a decision we want to have all the information that’s available. And obviously that was the — that when we met with Ray Rice and his representatives, it was ambiguous about what actually happened.”
Now, forget the fact that Goodell did observe an unconscious Janay Palmer lying on the ground after the fact. We are done with the Rice situation. I want to know what was so damning in the reports that persuaded Roger Goodell to feel that a four-game suspension was warranted. A NESN column from earlier in the week did a good job showing a lack of evidence on the part of the NFL.
If you aren’t going to record the air pressure before the game, how can you know that the ball has been tampered with at halftime? The referee knew the weather could be a factor. In seventh grade physical science, you learn what happens to air pressure in cold temperatures. I’m not saying the managers couldn’t have filled the balls to 12.5 PSI before the game knowing what would happen once the balls were in the elements. I’m just saying everything is circumstantial.
The real reason for the Brady suspension by Goodell is two-fold. One, most people do not like Tom Brady for one reason or another outside of Boston. Is it because he’s won four Super Bowls? Probably. Is it because he is one of the best quarterbacks to ever take a snap despite not being the prototypical QB? Probably. Is it because he’s married to a supermodel? Probably. Does Roger Goodell try to appeal to the masses? Probably.
The second reason is because most people outside of the New England area hate the Patriots. They have been the single most consistent team in football for the better part of 15 years. They have the majority of their success by developing their own talent. Finally, Bill Belichick is not an outgoing, fun-loving, always good for a comment kind of guy. Roger Goodell is looking to repair an already tarnished image. Why not pick on the team everyone loves to hate?
Brady is already appealing the suspension, and who can blame him? According to the 243-page Wells report handed to Goodell, attorney Ted Wells said that “it was more probable than not” Tom Brady was “generally aware of inappropriate activities.” According to Roger Goodell, the “probables” and the “generals” were all he needed to reach a decision.
“We relied on the critical importance of protecting the integrity of the game and the thoroughness and independence of the Wells report.
Since when is “probable” and “generally” words you might use to describe “thoroughness”? What do you think of the Brady suspension? Is it fair, or is Roger Goodell once again letting the court of public opinion sway his judgment?
[Photo by AP]