Roger That, You Hypocrite
NFL Commissioner Roger Gooddell has sunk to a new low, and it's a seriously disgusting one. As I've said here many times, hypocrisy is right up there with cheapness among the most ugly of all human traits to me, and Roger Gooddell has it in spades.
For those of you who didn't see it, this past Sunday afternoon saw the NFL's best wide receiver in Andre Johnson get into about as bad of a fight as you ever see on the football field with Titans' cornerback Cortland Finnegan:
Once this happened, of course both players were immediately ejected from the game, and I along with about 30 million other NFL fans immediately started asking the question "How long will these guys be suspended for?" Not if there will be a suspension, but how long will it be. Because, I mean, this is Roger Gooddell and all, and he's a hardass, badass, tough-love, crazy disciplining type. Since this guy took over a few years ago, he has left a whole mess of suspended players in his wake. Violate your parole? Get suspended two games. Get busted on a DUI? Two game suspension. Get in a fight at a strip club, with no charges filed? Four game suspension. Convicted of DUI manslaughter? Four game suspension. Get accused of sexual assault (no charges actually filed)? Six game suspension. Torture a bunch of dogs? 34 game suspension. Hit a guy in the head during a game? One game suspension. And the list just goes on and on. Gooddell has done everything in his power to come off as a hard-line disciplinarian who clearly has no bones whatsoever about taking you out of the league for a few weeks when you act in a way that is clearly detrimental to the league or the safety of its players. And, much to the chagrin of the players' union since they very day he took over, there are basically zero exceptions to Gooddell's pattern of handling such matters.
Take another look at that video up there. Andre Johnson had this whole thing planned out, clearly. He reaches right up, with full intent, and grabs the facemask of Cortland Finnegan before yanking it willfully right off Finnegan's head. And then he starts swinging, going right for the head. He gets Finnegan on the ground -- the point at which even hockey referees will step in and stop the fight before someone gets really hurt -- and then while using his weight to keep Finnegan down, swings multiple times directly at Finnegan's head and face. He gets a major hit in right to the side of Finnegan's mug -- again, mind you, having deliberately and obviously planned this whole move out -- before the refs finally step in and separate the two players. It is nothing more than dumb old luck that Finnegan did not get bloodied and potentially seriously injured by Andre Johnson's deliberate and willfully violent actions. Nothing more, just plain old dumb luck.
And yes, Finnegan is known around the league as basically the dirtiest fuck on defense, and there are several highlights of him doing dick things to Johhson and other players during this game alone, let alone in previous games over previous seasons. He's a cock, he's an instigator, and there's really nothing good that can be said about his play. He's a dirty shit, and he pretty much got what he had coming to him. I will even say that I kind of cheered a little bit when I saw Johnson finally give Finnegan a taste or three of his own medicine. And lord knows Johnson was planning this for some time and was pleased to be doing exactly what he clearly set out to do on that play.
But just because I'm kind of glad Andre Johnson went all vigilante on Cortland Finnegan, doesn't mean for shit that he shouldn't have to pay the consequences. When a guy whose daughter got raped goes out and kills the three men responsible, everyone understands exactly where he's coming from, why he did it, and probably many people silently condone the behavior. But you'll be condoning it from the other side of steel bars, because that guy who took the law into his own hands is going to jail, quite possibly for life. You just can't do that sort of thing -- even if the culprit "deserves" it by his actions -- without having to pay the consequences, which of course is an opinion shared 100% over the history of the NFL as in all professional sports. I mean, when Roger Clemens, in a fit of roid rage, hits the same batter in the head three times in two games, the guy is eventually going to rush the mound and take matters into his own hands. You might cheer the batter when he does it, and you might hope he clocks that MFer right on his pitching arm like he surely deserves, but lord knows he's going to be suspended for at least a few games as a result. Throw in a Major League Commissioner who has spent the last few years taking every possible opportunity to throw the book at such offenders, and obviously this guy's going to be sitting down for at least a series or two. We've all seen it happen a million times. You physically attack someone during a game like this -- in any sport we know of -- you throw and connect with punches directly to an opposing player's face, and then follow that up by slapping away the referee's hand from your uniform like Andre Johnson did on Sunday, and it's never, ever even once in any sport been a matter of if you're getting suspended, but rather for how long.
Until now. And why has Gooddell, the king of
Roger Gooddell, you are officially a piece of steaming, smelly shit. Your league has unquestionably gone downhill in the time you've been in charge -- your officiating has gotten immeasurably worse, and you have lost total control of the referees and their influence over the games. Multiple games have been decided by clearly incorrect calls in the final seconds, let alone your league's complete and total inability to get almost any calls right even after taking three or four minutes to disrupt to flow of the game and stare repeatedly at the replays in slow motion. All the while, the NFL's play has gotten softer than ever due to your unbelievable rules regarding tackling and touching any players above the neck, below the knees, you name it. You heard it here first -- the NFL officially peaked in terms of popularity about two years ago, right around the beginning of Roger Gooddell's reign as commissioner, and has already begun its descent. It'll be a few more years before the general public really starts noticing this in the numbers, but if you read here then you'll already have seen it coming.
As I mentioned a few posts ago, nobody could ever have conceived back in 1993 of the NBA not being the sport in the U.S. and around the world for all times, but in just 15 short years, does anybody even follow the NBA anymore? These days, clearly football is all the rage, with baseball in second place, and only the incredibly lame NHL keeping the NBA from bumping along the bottom in terms of popularity of the major sports in this country. Just look at the similarities -- the NBA players have ruled the roost for years under David Stern, acting more and more in ways that alienate the very fans the commissioner was supposed to be taking care of for the past generation. Rules have been changed, re-changed, and changed again in an attempt to influence the direction the game is going. And the referees have been permitted to run amok so badly that eventually at least one longtime ref was busted for fixing games for years, a scandal I still can't believe did not completely ruin the NBA for years and years to come. But it all did its damage, and today the league is a shell of its former self, no doubt about it. Roger Gooddell is going right on this same path, and now with this level of hypocrisy thrown in for good measure, Gooddell is positioning himself as pretty much the biggest asshat in sports today.
Hey, Gooddell -- next time you're in New York, please come and find me. I'll bounce your ass off every wall in the room like you deserve. Then you can fine me an insignificant amount of money and we'll call it even.