Monday, March 26, 2012

I Will Not Bow To "The Shield"

The NFL has come down with the Death Penalty for the Saints.

To date, no coach in the history of the league has been suspended for even a single game. Sean Payton gets 1 year. A year!


I warned everyone about Goodell, a long, long time ago. So my conscience is clean.

This guy is not just not that smart, his ego is apparently the size of Montana.

It's all about HIM, and what HE has done to improve player safety, and about how HE was "lied" to, and HIM, HIM, HIM!

I don't know if Sean Payton and the Saints "lied" to the commish during this "investigation." The league just implies that they did. The 10,000 page "investigation" and report on this matter, is not yet downloadable via PDF for us to make our own conclusions. And it never will.

So if YOU just want to take this league's word on it, then go ahead.

Most writers, columnists and talking heads who cover the NFL, have done just that, applauding the penalty as "harsh" but "right."

It's like they are sitting with their legs crossed on the floor watching and clapping for the NFL's little puppet show. The real story, is that the NFL is running scared - very scared - about these concussion lawsuits. So throwing the Saints under the bus is a cheap price for some litigation insurance.

Which means, I'm just rooting for the lawsuits now.

I hope this league gets it's ASS handed to it in court, in a little Chinese takeout box.

Of course there's a reason why many supposedly "independent" media outlets/journalists/pundits/talking heads are just mindlessly applauding the draconian penalties. It doesn't pay to be against this league, and this commissioner, in any way...... ANY....

Not that the NFL could get a columnist fired, but if you cover the NFL, who wants doors closing and calls going un-returned just because you have staked out a hard position that makes the NFL look bad?

Luckily, a few smart people out there aren't just buying Goodell's punishment hook, line, and sinker.

Randy Galloway of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram cuts to the chase....

When Goodell was finally finished, the New Orleans Saints were placed in a commissioner-induced coma for the 2012 season, and the beating was so severe recovery after even one season is certainly not guaranteed, or even expected.

Oohs and aahs were heard from a shocked yet pleased national media, and this was followed by appreciative standing O's in print.

That'll teach 'em. That'll also send the message that the NFL is no place for organized violence if it comes in the form of "bounty" incentives. Goodell stopped that stuff, huh?

The Saints, as an organization, received the toughest overall penalty in the history of the league, and the toughest in any sport since the death penalty ruling against SMU.

We can, of course, use that SMU thing as a guideline, because 25 years later, the death penalty has never been used again by the NCAA, which certainly indicates to me that any form of cheating in college football ended immediately when the ruling came down in 1987.

At least I can't recall any cheating scandals in college football, can you?

Based on Goodell's explanation, he said he was lied to by the Saints when the "bounty" investigation first began, and that his original order to end the bounties was ignored for two years.For that -- the lying, and ignoring orders -- Goodell obviously blamed Payton more than anyone else in the Saints' organization.

Again, we've only heard Goodell's side of the "lying" story, and because he's the NFL version of judge, jury and also the appellate court (appeals are accepted by the NFL, but Goodell hears the appeal of his own rulings) is it wise for anyone found guilty to speak up in protest?

REACT: Thank you, Randy. THANK YOU. That's EXACTLY it. For numbnuts who say "well, Payton hasn't disputed any of this...." just think about it. IT DOES YOU NO GOOD! Not only do you have to re-try your case in front of the same guy who just bashed your head in, it makes you look feeble and dishonest trying to explain just YOUR side of the story, when the NFL is withholding some 10,000 pages of information that might actually make your side of the dispute look a whole lot better.

And of course, the worst, most nauseating part of the whole story, is the "player safety" issue. My sweet ass it is. Dave M. in Ohio properly dissects that one.....

This Sean Peyton thing cracks me up. I'm actually fine with the severity of the penalties.

What do I care?

But it's funny how the "narrative" quickly becomes distorted. For every Jaworski or Platscke who says..."I applaud the's all about player safety" I just want to rip my hair out.

If you were really concerned about player safety you'd drop that 18 game nonsense and mandate the newer/safer helmets for all players. You'd mandate mouthguards (the real kind proven to reduce concussions) and you'd fit the helmets properly so they can't be removed like baseball caps. I know I sound like I'm channeling Easterbrook here and that troubles even me. But that's the truth. Safest equipment available and less overall contact by way of fewer games.

That's step #1.

Now onto his real motives and the illogic of the ESPN argument...Follow me on my logic train for a moment. The NFL new about this Saints stuff at least a couple years back. Their investigation fizzled without corroboration and all parties were warned to knock it off. Am I right? Peyton, Loomis, Benson? All warned to stop this a couple of years ago. But they were warned privately so as not to give the league a black eye on the issue. If you care about player safety then you do something at THAT point in time. Not now.


These penalties are as much, if not more, about having lied to the league, ignored the league, embarrassed the league. Ignoring the issue...failing to punish it THEN automatically negates the player safety cover for this. This is the parental equivalent of overlooking shoplifting of your tween and then sentencing them to 15 years in the pen when you find them still doing it years later.

And again if this is all for PR?, fine. Who cares? But just say so then is my take. You want perjury type penalties in place? Fine? Put in place automatic year-long suspension "lying to commissioner during investigation" penalties if you want to. What I can't stand is the lack of consistency and feeling that the NFL deals with each new scandal from the seat of their pants. And it all comes back to Playmakers. They can't acknowledge the craziness that happens on their watch, let alone PLAN for the inevitable consequences.

The NFL needs a starting point of penalties (with a range), a fairer appeals process, and to get their arms around what might happen next. How can these guys appear to get caught flat footed by every little thing?

REACT: Great points here about how the NFL's FIRST instincts, were to keep the warnings ultra-PRIVATE, so as to avoid embarrassment. In other words, player safety was the LAST thing on their mind. Keeping a shiny gloss to the image of the mighty "Shield" was, however, the FIRST thing on their mind.

Also, the equipment issue is a huge one. The league's crackdown on "illegal" hits is admirable - in theory - but it's just one piece of the puzzle. And it's the piece that costs the league the LEAST amount of money. In fact, it MAKES them money! Fine the players! There, that was easy! Not pushing for 18 games would COST money. Playing just two pre-season games would COST money. Purchasing and mandating new high-tech helmets would COST money. The league has very little interest in any of this.

Player safety. Pffftt. Get outta here with that.

The "net-net" of all of this, is that the league as we once knew it, is gone for good. It was once a legitimate sports league, operated by a central authority that knew the limits of its legal and ethical boundaries. There were rules and they were known and agreed upon. The Commissioner's power was not as over-arching and limitless as it now, obviously is.

The league existed to make money before, of course, but now it's lust for more and more profit, and less risk at any cost for its member teams is beyond insatiable.

The league is also in the greatest peril for lanscape re-shaping legal verdicts on multiple fronts that it has been for many years. Let me summarize them.

Player Lawsuits vs. NFL on concussions (actual and numerous)

Cowboys/Redskins Lawsuit on Salary Cap Penalty (possible)

Collusion Lawsuit by NFLPA (possible)

Blacklisting Lawsuit by Gregg Williams (possible)

And these are just a few of the legal storms currently on the extended radar. What we still can't account for, is the "unknown unknowns" as they say in military terms.

In other words: "The shit we haven't even seen coming yet."

I will still watch NFL football, because the GAME is awesome. Fast, hard hitting, unpredictable. It's a spectacle. And the athletes are just freaks.

But I am not going to worship the league like I once did. I won't likely buy the NFL Sunday Ticket again either. I don't need to burn an entire afternoon on Sunday when it's 75 and sunny in September sitting in my mancave watching three TVs.

A good game at 4 p.m., plus highlights of the other games and then the Sunday nighter. One more for good measure on Monday. That, along with my local "free" NFL team on over-the-air TV is quite alot.

Plus, I hear there is something out there callled... "a highlight package."

Hmmm. Do tell. Sound interesting.

Have fun with all of this stuff Roger. Looks like you and lawyers are going to be busy.


  1. Glad to see you are coming around Czabe. I have thought for years that the NFL will end up just like the NBA. They just aren't as far along in the implosion process, but make no mistake, it will end up like the NBA.

    Nice hedge on the threat that you "wont likely buy the NFL Sunday Ticket". After the way you caved last year I'm sure the NFL and DirecTV are shaking in their boots.

  2. Czabe,

    I couldn't agree more with you on this one. However, it really doesn't matter. 95% of this country doesn't give a shit about these issues. Just look at the ridiculous ass-reaming the players got during the last off season. The fact that people were defending the owners just shows that all the public cares about is that the games go on for their enjoyment. Ridiculous. The NFL jumped the shark about 10 years ago, when the profit and power of owners became the only thing that mattered. It was always important, but now its the only thing that matters. The players are just well paid pieces of meat. I actually get the sense that many of the owners resent having to pay the players what they make today, despite the fact that it is artificially depressed due to the salary cap. Think about that for just a second. A salary cap is designed to keep one owner from outbidding another owner for services available. The very concept is Un-American

    As much as I do like the sport, I wish the public would man up and take a season off to show the league that they do not have a blank check with our signature on it.

  3. Nice melt, Steve. Roll up a mattress and plug up your giant bleeding vag.

  4. Shockey is going to sue that fat bastard Sapp too, because Sapp wanted to be Big Mr. Mushmouf and blurt out that he knew, he knew who snitched! I hope Shockey buries that guy.

    But you know what...if I'm a guy who was maimed by the Saints after Rog told them to "knock it off wink-wink" then why can't I sue the league?

    If I go to work and there are guys there that the boss knows are going to beat my ass and he does nothing about it, is it possible I have a lawsuit? How about Brent Farve after they ripped him to shreds? I would guess the players signed away a lot of their rights to Demorris Smiff and Gene Upshaw's corpse to get an extra bag of Doritos on the plane.

    Really, Goodell is a schmuck...Tags might have known what was on the horizon, but I just think he would have handled it better...this is a league of mercenaries, and when Harry Edwards said it's just going to get worse twenty years ago, he knew...these guys are insane.

  5. Czabe:

    I came to similar conclusions regarding the rationale of the suspensions. Incentive programs for good plays in the form of stickers on helmets or cash in envelopes have been going on for a long time. This is all about PR, saving face, and preparing for defense against lawsuits.

    Just a few weeks ago, you scoffed at the idea of the demise of the league that was opined by a couple of writers on Grantland. But now it seems as though you are at least open to their arguments. This boils down to greed on the part of the owners, nothing more. Czabe, you will be like Charlton Heston at the end of Planet of the Apes. You ride up the beach in the forbidden zone and find the crumbling ruins of FedEx Field on the shore. "you maniacs, you blew it up! Damn you, damn you all to hell!"

  6. Steve - THANK YOU! As a Saints Fan, all I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you! Sean Payton deserves so much better, and it is horrible to watch how a great man is being so maligned by the Ginger Hammer.

    Even our local media doesn't appreciate that Sean has had zero trial, zero chances to present the truth in an open and fair system.

    Like you, I am now rooting for the lawsuits. I loved football but this is to much.

  7. Yep. How will The Saints ever recover from this?

    Yeah right!

    They will probably bring in a big name interim head coach to be the CEO during Payton's absence. Payton will probably sign on with FOX or CBS dor a sweet in-studio gig during the season which will supplement the money he will lose. And he will stretch the appeal process as long as possible so that he can have as much involvement in the draft as possible.

    Yeah this is just terrible for them.

    Czabe, like always, has gone nuts over something that is not worth going nuts over.

    I am not a Goodell fan by any means, but I think if Roger Goodell ran in to a fiery building to save 100 kids, Czabe would surely write about how Goodell only did it for himself.

    Times, they are a changin', Czabe. Best get on board and give the complainin' a rest or you'll miss some good football because you can't see out of your 1980's NFL goggles.

  8. The story here is an out of control commissioner with no check on his "powers" and no one that he is accountable to. A couple of years ago, he was asked what his job is. He said to protect the shield.
    So, let me ask, how did hiding the bounty program for two years protect the shield?
    How does allowing players to use substandard equipment protect the shield?
    How does going to an 18 game schedule protect the shield?
    All it does is grow revenue for the owners.

    And for the record, Grantland is the biggest waste of 1's and 0's on the internet. Bill Simmons is an ass.

  9. If I didn't know any better, the paragraph starting with "The "net-net" of all of this" is where the comparison of the league to the country begins....commish and Obama.....lawsuits to lawsuits.

  10. Hey czabe I was expecting to come on here and read all about Tigers bad career choices, his broken swing, his extra marital affairs, his holier than thou attitude.

    Then I remembered he won last week.....never mind.

    Don't worry I've given up even asking for a snickie anymore.

  11. Czabe,

    Do you think that Goodell may be ballsy enough to try and strip the Redskins of the #2 overall pick they mortgaged the house for as a penalty for having had Gregg Williams and his bounty program several years back?
    I wouldn't put it past him to try

  12. "The shit we haven't even seen coming yet."

    Check this out.

    They're not finished investigating the Deadskins Bounty program.

    While Gibbs, when he's not drooling in to a bucket, is denying knowing about anything to do with anything (I kind of believe him; he didn't even know when to call time out), Roger the Dodger is snooping around Deadskins past and present.

    And if he finds the Deadskins did indeed have a bounty program?

    John Mara said they almost had picks taken away for manipulating the cap.

    They can't penalize Gibbs; he's not in the league anymore (not that he would even realize it if they did).

    Hitting Super Shrimp in the belt buckle, er, pocket book wouldn't send the right message after what they did to Sean Payton.

    So what do they do?

    Let's put it this way:

    On April 26, 2012, you'll hear Roger the Dodger get up and say:

    "With the second pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the MINNESOTA VIKINGS selct Robert Griffin the Third from Baylor".

    You don't think so?

    The entire NFL hates the Deadskins and Super Shrimp's guts.

    They would LOVE to stick it to them.

    And they will.