By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — An annual salary well north of $30 million cannot heal a bruised ego.
That is, at least, what can be gleaned from a Pro Football Talk report over the weekend which said that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is still — still — steaming about Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia wearing the famed T-shirt depicting Goodell as a clown.
Patricia wore the shirt in February.
It’s now July.
Goodell is still upset.
That means Roger would definitely not want you to see this tweet:
The commissioner would also prefer you not see this photo:
He does not want you to know about this:
He does not approve of this backdrop to Tom E. Curran’s show on CSN:
And certainly — certainly! — the commissioner strongly discourages you from bringing a sign like this to Gillette Stadium next season:
Do not even think about this:
To be fair to the commissioner (who’s been paid somewhere near $200 million during his tenure, in part to serve as a public punching bag to shield the owners from bad publicity), he does have some good reasons to be upset with regard to the lasting legacy of DeflateGate.
Here are the rightful reasons Goodell has to be upset.
1. He bet on Tom Brady playing like a typical QB in his late 30s … and lost. You see, if Brady declined like every other quarterback in history has declined, then Goodell would have still had some suckers who believed that a pinch of air defined the quarterback’s greatness (as idiotic as such a belief would be). Instead, Brady put forth a career renaissance, played some of the best football of his Hall of Fame career, and put to bed any consideration from any fools who were ready to believe that a wisp of air could make such a widespread impact on an offense.
2. He was proven to have lied on a grand stage. You see, Goodell is supposed to be the authority. But the authority loses all credibility when the authority lies. The authority cannot lie. And yet, Goodell lied. It’s in black and white. He hoped you’d never find out, but Judge Richard Berman decided to shine a light on the truth. That’s a tough break for Roger, and if he’s still miffed about getting exposed as a liar, then we understand.
3. His head of officiating blew the cover of the NFL being unable to stop the alleged offense. Dean Blandino said the NFL had no prior knowledge of any accusations of ball deflation, which Ted Wells proved to have been another lie told by the NFL. Tough break for the league. Fortunately for the NFL, Blandino left his post this year.
4. The new head of officiating almost single-handedly caused the chaos of DeflateGate. If Roger really didn’t want to give DeflateGate some extra life, he wouldn’t have promoted the guy who called for the shoddy, scientifically bunk, junior-high-chemistry-project level “tests” during halftime of the 2014 AFC title game to ascend to the job in charge of overseeing the game’s officiating. But he did. Roger could be mad about that … but it was his call … so maybe not.
5. Goodell was outed again as a liar for the destruction and/or suppression of collected data which would have proven every scientist correct and exonerated the Patriots. You see, after the excrement hit the fan, Goodell and the NFL implemented a new rule which called for officials to check the PSI of footballs during halftime of random games. The new rule required mandatory reporting of that PSI data to the league office. This is not up for dispute; it is fact. And yet, after the NFL collected the data (and saw that yes, indeed, the PSI in the footballs does indeed fluctuate based on environmental conditions), the league said that data was not recorded and that these were simply “spot checks” to make sure there were no issues with the “chain of command” of the footballs. This was an out-and-out lie. For Goodell, being exposed for telling this lie publicly could surely lead to some residual anger.
6. Goodell was the recipient of perhaps the loudest booing in NFL history while he had to give the Lombardi Trophy to Robert Kraft.
The fact that this video exists on YouTube cannot sit well with the commissioner. This is the same commissioner who (we imagine) demanded the producers of the very bad movie “Draft Day” mix in some hearty cheers for his appearance at the NFL Draft. In real life, Goodell always gets booed at the draft, but in Hollywood, he made sure he got cheered. That’s the man we’re dealing with here, so yes, it’s likely that he’s still not happy about this booing situation.
7. Another high-ranking NFL executive was proven to have told a big, fat lie during the saga. That would be Dave Gardi, the NFL’s senior VP of football operations, who got the Patriots to open their doors to the “independent” investigation by lying to the Patriots about the PSI reading of a football at halftime. When the NFL paid Wells millions of dollars, the league probably didn’t plan on this lie coming to light. But it did. Again, anger.
8. Despite pushing the “independence” of the investigation roughly 3 million times, this was again proven to be not true when the NFL admitted that Jeff Pash edited the Wells report before its public release. You see, the thing about “independent,” is that as a word, it has a meaning. And that meaning does not allow wiggle room for the executive VP and general counsel of the NFL to rewrite the report as he sees fit. That’s not how “independent” works.
9. Goodell trashed his own self-promoted reputation as a commissioner who believes strongly in “upholding the integrity of the game.” The idea with DeflateGate was that Goodell could harden his image as a hard-nosed NFL sheriff, one who wouldn’t take it easy on owners typically considered to be his close friends. And on that note, he got Bob Kraft. Got him good! But … well … if Goodell was willing to wage a two-year war with the Patriots over an offense which was proven by science to have not taken place, then why was he so timid to even approach a harsh level of discipline for his friend John Mara’s New York Giants for committing an offense which most definitely, absolutely took place? Why did Goodell do a solid for his friend John Mara when allowing kicker Josh Brown to avoid the mandatory six-game suspension for domestic violence — the mandatory ban which Goodell himself instituted? Put yourself in Goodell’s shoes; if your fraudulence was exposed on a national level, you’d have every right to be mad about it.
There may be more, but for the sake of (relative) brevity, we’ll stop the list there.
And now, here’s a list of all the reasons the commissioner of the NFL has no reason to be upset:
1. A man wore a shirt poking fun at him.
Get over it, Roger. The fact that you think you don’t deserve any mockery for your fumbling of this nonsensical “scandal” over two years is the problem you really ought to consider addressing.