Roger Goodell: Professional Piñata
Washington Commanders Owner Dan Snyder is a bad, bad boy.
I am not using hyperbole, he is a borderline criminal and should be out of the NFL.
But I learned a secret yesterday, apparently poor ol' Roger Goodell CAN'T act in the Best Interest of the NFL in the Dan Snyder Scandals after all. Why? I'll let Mr. Goodell explain it to you himself-
No wait, even better, I'll let him use his own words when he testified in front of Congress earlier this week: "I don't believe I have the authority to remove (Snyder), Congresswoman" - Roger Goodell via ESPN
Hmmm, very curious. So let me get this straight, according to Roger Goodell himself, he can discipline any player he wants, circumventing the NFLPA. He can discipline any front office employee without repercussions from an organized union. But somehow, someway, the owners are untouchable?
Let's put this in flowchart form.
The Owners: They are the top of the food chain. They pay Roger Goodell $64 million a year to make unpopular decisions on their behalf. They are above the law.
Commissioner Goodell: He is the law for the employees. A living pinata avatar for the owners, he gets all the hate for the owners' unpopular decisions and, in return, they back the money truck to his front door every week. Goodell makes over a million dollars a week.
NFL Front Office Personnel: They are at the whim of the owners and are kind of screwed. In professional soccer, you are not beholden to a sports league. Say you burn your bridges in England, go get a job in France. The NFL really is the only game in town and if you don't tow the line, you are out of football. (Unless you can trick a Division I school that you're an 'educator.')
NFL Players: The average NFL career is 3.5 years. An NFL Player's job is to make as much money as possible in a short amount of time while praying they don't get CTE.
But what Commissioner Goodell doesn't tell you is that there ARE mechanisms to get rid of bad owners. Just like in any other Good Ol' Boys Club, there are systems in place to get rid of EXTREMELY bad owners. How does that happen? The Office of the Commissioner was created in 1941 and I cannot find one historical case where those mechanisms were triggered against an owner in football. Guess who controls those levers today? Roger Goodell. Again, according to ESPN, "an NFL owner can be removed only by a three-quarters (so, 24 out of 32) majority vote of fellow owners."
Why is Goodell loathe to put Snyder's status up for a vote? Because he is paid to protect, not punish, the owners. Once it becomes public knowledge that an owner can be voted out of his/her position, where are the lines?
In Cleveland, for example, Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam asked for a billion dollar stadium this week. I think he should be removed as owner of the team. Roger Goodell is not paid to protect the team, the City of Cleveland, or the fans, HIS JOB IS TO PROTECT JIMMY HASLAM. Haslam could move the team and not face ramifications for his actions from the league. IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE.
But what Dan Snyder has been doing is criminal, not wildly unpopular. Roger Goodell knows once a vote takes place to remove Snyder, the public will demand votes in other cases, fair or foul. Lawyer Goodell knows that would be a public relations disaster for the National Football League, so he doesn't set the vote into motion.
Long story short, Roger Goodell lied to Congress.