May 16, 2015

Deflategate should be Goodell’s end

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

If Roger Goodell were a player in the NFL, the scouting report on him would be very simple: Terrible decision-making and little-to-no awareness.

How else would you explain the commissioner’s decision to hear the NFLPA’s appeal of the Tom Brady suspension handed down by Goodell himself?

The CBA somehow allows this, but common sense shouldn’t.

The penalty for deflate-gate is staggering, far too much for what added up to a negligible difference on a game that the Patriots would have won otherwise. A four-game ban for Brady, a $1-million fine for the Pats and a loss of their first-round pick in 2016 and a fourth-rounder in 2017. Can you say overkill?

Slightly deflated footballs weren’t what did in the Colts in the AFC title game, it was their complete ineptness on defence that did it.

I understand that yes, the Pats did break the rules, but that punishment does not fit the crime.

When you consider that Ray Rice’s original punishment for knocking out his fiancée in an elevator was just two games, no sane person can argue that Brady deserves four.

When you also remember that the last time that Goodell went HAM on a team that broke the rules – the Saints during Bounty-gate – the punishment for Jonathan Vilma was overturned by a cooler head, former commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

The Patriots have already posted their rebuttal to the Wells Report and it basically argues every point made.

You would think that a report that took more than 100 days to research and was more than 200 pages long would’ve at least put up either an inarguable statement, or at least be a little more bipartisan.

As many lawyers have already said, the Wells Report as very slanted against the Patriots and Brady and reads more like an attack than an independent report.

It’s this sort of the thing that makes you question how the NFL goes about things.

In an era where the league has been ripped for its handling of basically everything – and rightfully so – it should have done a lot better than this high-profile case.

Goodell has now painted himself into a corner: If he changes the punishment for Brady, he’ll look as weak as ever; but if he holds it up, he’ll look like an idiot for going over the top.

And this doesn’t even factor in what the Patriots are going to do.

If owner Robert Kraft decides to take this whole thing to court – where he very well could win – Goodell’s reign over the biggest league in the world should come to a swift end.

This whole thing should be the end of the Goodell era – an era that will be remembered for some of the best and worst times in NFL history.

While many debate if Tagliabue deserves to be in the football hall of fame, I’m not even sure if Goodell will be allowed there as a guest when his reign is over.

Follow me on Twitter @danbilicki

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