To Get Rid of Cockroach Goodell, Litigation Is ‘The Way We Do Things’ In The NFL

I have never liked Roger Goodell. He has made the top brick of America’s prized sport–football–into a lawyer-infested pyramid scheme, at the expense of the game. Instead of acting in the interests of football, which, by the way, exists for the benefit and entertainment of fans, he’s become the cockroach lawyer hiding from the light at the head of an increasingly corrupt cadre of billionaires out to pad their own pockets while extracting every last dollar from emotionally-invested fans.

Goodell doesn’t deserver a nickel. In fact, Jerry Jones is absolutely correct in threatening legal action if the NFL’s compensation committee approves a $50 million deal through 2024 without sending the contract back to the entire league membership.

“Are you telling us you’re prepared to file litigation against us?” committee member John Mara of the Giants asked, according to the source. Jones, a former disciple of the late, contentious Raiders owner Al Davis, said he was, per the source.

Mara spoke. Committee member Art Rooney II of the Steelers spoke. The committee chairman, Arthur Blank of the Falcons, spoke, and said this, per another source who heard the call: “I’m shocked. I’m disappointed. We may have differences, Jerry, but this is not the way we resolve them. This is not the way we do things in the NFL.”

Oh yes, Mr. Blank, Extortionist of epic proportions, Praetor and Master of Mercedes Benz palace in the lesser Kingdom of Atlanta. That is exactly how we do things in the NFL, thanks to the cockroach Roger Goodell.

On the soapbox

Years ago, I detached, emotionally, from the league. Though I’m a member of that hated class of Americans known as Patriots fans, I decided that I would only watch selected games, and not plan my Sundays (or Monday nights, Thursday nights, etc.) around watching a sport that generally leaves me feeling like a schoolboy with a crush on the class gold-digging slut: unfulfilled, dirty, broke and heartbroken.

Now I don’t watch at all. I liked football better in the 1970s and 80s, when the Patriots sucked, to be honest. At least I could root for Jim Plunkett or Joe Montana. Now I couldn’t root for the 49ers unless I’m politically aligned with Colin Kaepernick. And that’s only part of what’s wrong with the NFL. Actually, the political drama is really the smallest part.

The league–and the game in many ways–has not become a sport for lawyers. Many of the referees are actually lawyers who ref on the weekends as a part-time gig. The NFLPA is a hive of attorneys ensuring that every player becomes a millionaire (though relatively few of them remain rich after they depart the “not for long” league). The owners are a group of fat-cat billionaires (with the exception of Green Bay–cue the angel choir) who exist for their own personal fiefdoms and corporate sponsorships.

Networks like ESPN, that used to cater to actual sports fans, have become nothing more than parodies of District 1 Hunger Games announcers, substituting football and lifestyles of the Champions for the ones who died in fiction. They might as well call the whole league Panem at this point.

End of my rant.

Jones wants a rollback

Jerry Jones came from an era when NFL owners were rich bastards. But they were rich bastards who didn’t hide behind cockroach lawyers. They wore their bastardness full on their chests.

“When I walked into my first owners meeting, I looked to my left and saw [Kansas City Chiefs owner] Lamar Hunt,” Jones said in August. “I looked to my right and saw [Cincinnati Bengals owner] Paul Brown. These were guys who bucked back. The NFL wouldn’t give Lamar a franchise, so he went out and started a whole other league [in the AFL] and forced his way in. Paul Brown basically got his [Cleveland Browns] franchise taken away from him – a franchise that was named for him – so he goes down south a few hundred miles and helps found the Cincinnati Bengals. These were people that looked at their situation and when it was called for, they made changes.”

Goodell got rid of the NFL league office’s classification as a non-profit, not because he thought it looked bad that a billionaire’s club would appear to be not about money, but so he could hide his tremendous salary that would put many sultans to shame. Instead of dealing with issues head-on, like CTE or anthem protests, he always took the damp, hole-in-the-ground route. He treated the game of football like a law client instead of a treasured sport.

Simply put, Jerry Jones wants a rollback to the time when owners were bastards and proud of it, and the league basically stayed out of the way. Reports (like the one from SB Nation) that attribute Jones’ war on Goodell to issues related to the Dallas Cowboys are misinformed, or missing the point.

Yes, Goodell has nearly-dictatorial power in player personnel matters. Yes, he has used them, even heading to court to defend his decisions. But no, that’s not the primary reason Jones wants to clip the commissioner’s wings (by toppling Goodell).

The simple explanation

It’s simple, really. Goodell has made the NFL owners into patsies and rubber-stamps; investors who collect fat checks and make player and stadium deals. Jones sees the owners as the ones who “make” the league. Goodell sees himself in that role.

Since the rubber-stamp owners voted 32-0 to give its compensation committee complete authority to negotiate and execute Goodell’s Brobdingnagian salary and bonus, it will take a lawsuit to force the issue. If Jones isn’t bluffing, then the league, and Goodell have reason to fear. Not from the possibility that Jones would win in court and force the league owners to reconsider his contract. But because the whole thing will be played out in public.
Cockroaches hate the light.

Goodell should settle up right now and flee. The game of football will thank him for it.

The Eagles Offense Was So Good Yesterday, It Caused This Unforeseen Problem

It’s good to be a Philadelphia Eagles fan these days, unless you need the experience of stadium gimmicks to pump you up and have a good time.

Yesterday’s 51-23 crushing of the Denver Broncos led the team to a league-best 8 wins with only 1 loss. The “offensive explosion” meant that so many fireworks were shot off after Eagles scores that the stadium ran out of them, according to Fox 29. Fans were informed by a post from the team’s Twitter account.

It’s a good problem to have.

Having lived abroad for a year starting shortly after the beginning of last football season, I have had difficulty keeping up with the NFL. Carson Wentz, the Eagles quarterback, is a relatively new name to me. He was impressive in the game — cool, in command, and throwing perfect passes, but competitive enough to show frustration when a solid run of his came up a yard short of first-and-goal at the 1-yard line.

CBS switched coverage to the Titans-Ravens game in the middle of the third quarter, so I witnessed only two-thirds of the game. I’m not sure if the programming change was because the outcome of the game — by that point a 38-6 non-contest — was inevitable, or because Wentz was given the rest of the night off after his four touchdown passes (he has thrown that many in three of his last five games to lead the league with 23) created that very inevitability.

Though Wentz isn’t having quite the passing season as are Tom Brady and Alex Smith (who finally threw his first interception of the season yesterday), he looks excellent for a second-year quarterback. His stats are especially impressive when consideration is given to the fact that he was a Division I-AA quarterback at North Dakota State. (His draft position, second overall in 2016, is the highest ever for any player from a non-Division I-A school.)

Because Wentz and his teammates look unstoppable, I’m calling the Eagles as the NFC’s representative at Super Bowl LII. In fact, I am predicting that US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis will host the first all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl, not just because the Pittsburgh Steelers are my favorite team, but because they are looking increasingly strong and resilient in comparison to the waning Chiefs and Patriots.

Regardless of whether my prognostication comes to pass, from the looks of the Eagles’ offense yesterday, the team had better stock a lot more fireworks along the way.

Papa John’s Cites NFL Protests for Sluggish Pizza Sales

Papa John’s, the official pizza company affiliated with the NFL, is not too keen on the football players protesting the national anthem, suggesting these very action are hurting company sales.

“The NFL has hurt us,” company founder and CEO John Schnatter said. “We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this.”

“Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership,” Schnatter added.

Papa John’s stock is reportedly down 8.5 percent as of yesterday.  The company not only has a deal with the NFL, but 23 different teams comprising the league.

Schnatter, who is reportedly a Republican, has been in the news before. In 2012, he said escalating healthcare costs under Obamacare will contribute to the rise of pizza prizes. He also took flak for his defense of buying himself a 24,000-square-foot home.

Earlier this year, he published a book called Papa: The Story of Papa John’s Pizza in which he slammed regulation and compared the U.S. in 2016 to 19th century Germany.

“America in 2016 is on the path to becoming what Germany was in 1867,” Schnatter wrote in his new book, per Business Insider.

“If you believed the wrong thing, the government attacked you. If you became successful, the government took your money,” he said. “And if you dared go against the whims and will of society’s rulers, the government beheaded you.”

“You’ve got to have free markets with limited government, with the proper amount of regulation where you don’t jam entrepreneurship,” Schnatter continued.

It’ll be interesting to see how the company will be affected by this in the long-term.

A Rookie Shows the Pros How It’s Done

It’s Friday feel good day—and since we’ve spilled a lot of pixels bashing the NFL over its total bungling of #Kneelgate, I thought we could change things up a little bit by highlighting a player who recognizes that it isn’t all about him.  Fox News has the details:

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has made a strong impression on the field early in his rookie season. But Watson may have made his best pass this week, when he donated his first game check to help three women who work in the team’s cafeteria.

The women lost all their possessions in the floods that devastated Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey last month.

The Texans captured the moment Watson handing over the game check, worth just over $27,000, to the women.

“Anything else y’all need, I’m always here to help,” Watson told the women.

The Texans posted video of Watson’s act of kindness in a tweet:

The quote pretty much says it all.  And at a time when it’s very easy to be cynical, Watson reminds us that football can be so much more than a game.  It can be a force for good, sweeter than any championship, more powerful than any tackle.  And instead of using petty politics to divide us, Watson has shown how our common humanity can unite us.

Veterans of the league who took a knee last week could learn a thing or two from him.

The NFL, The Anthem andThe Flag – Silly Ignorance

This Star Spangled Banner Flag kneeling kerfuffle has virtually everyone talking, with many voicing stark disapproval for those NFL athletes who choose to kneel during the playing of our national anthem.

What is surprising is how many different reasons are given for the anger felt for this disrespectful act. It seems each starts with “I feel…” or “What it means to me…”, and while these reasons are patriotic, there doesn’t seem to be one specific reason for the anger.

Have no doubt, this is a flag thing. Our national anthem is about the flag. Francis Scott Key wrote this beautiful song while watching the bombardment of Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore. Being abroad a British ship HMS Tonnant on a prisoner exchange mission approved by President Madison, Key was kept captive during the night battle and had a front-row seat during the fierce battle.

Come dawn, the fort ran up their large U.S. flag and as the sun rose Francis Scott Key was able for the first time to discover the Americans had held the fort and won the battle. That day, in patriotic fervor, Mr. Key wrote the poem on a back of a letter he had in his pocket.

From time immortal, a country’s flag has been a symbol for land ownership. It has been the sign, the identifier of who owned and controlled that particular piece of land. Really nothing more, nothing less. This, because all war is essentially about land. Storm the beach, capture this hill, that road, take this town, conquer this country. Once taken, run up the flag and let all the citizens know a new power is in control.

This is why the flag is immediately raised when a foreign embassy, or military base is opened. It tells the world who has control of that land, and sends both a warning and welcome. It is also why the opponents flag is taken down immediately upon land capture.

The silliness of this kneeling is so rich in irony, you’d have thought someone would have realized it by now. After kneeling in front of the flag which signifies the fact we own the land in this country, (even the land they are going to play on), after kneeling during the anthem which is all about the defense of said land, the players go out on the field to play a game which boils down to a sophisticated game of “Capture the Flag”.

Football is essentially about capturing and controlling land. Cross the 50-yard line, and you are in the opponent’s side of the field. Go further, and you are deep into their territory. Obviously, the prize is to force your will upon the defense and grab their most precious piece of land. That 10-yard piece of land decorated with their logo (their flag).

Which is also why you see such elaborate celebrations when they are able to defend their land, and even greater displays if they’ve captured their opponent’s land to the end zone. And the winner is the team which has captured the end-zone the most times.

The ignorant part of this kneeling protest movement comes down to the difference between national and local issues. This started and for many still is about protesting police killing black Americans or at the least treating them brutally.

But this is a local thing. It’s very hard for someone in Boise to get into much of a concerned rage over what happens in St. Charles MO, much less maintain that rage to productivity. It just is. Boise, Silver Springs, Sacramento, they all have their local problems, every city and town does. The playing of the national anthem with the flag is an event. It’s a national event. Conflating a local issue with a national event rarely, if ever is successful.

Besides that, it just looks lazy. I can picture Colin Kaepernick standing up afterwards, dusting the off of his uniform, and thinking, “OK, now it’s Miller time.”  A person can’t be blamed for assuming if he or others were really serious, they would be protesting in front of the local City Hall, or organizing a rally, or voter drive, anything to stir up local outrage and effect change. Kneeling is easy, gets attention and cost them nothing but a second’s worth of time.

As an aside, the easy way to fix this is to do what colleges do. Don’t broadcast the national anthem. You can bet your bottom dollar, without national TV, this kneeling thing goes away in a New York second.

If you’ve noticed these kneelers, ask yourself how many have grown up understanding the ethic of owning land? How many have experienced the difficulty of holding land, caring for that land, and depending on that land. The sad fact is many have come into adulthood without that knowledge, then they receive huge bonuses, and promptly purchase a beautiful home. Maybe even one for their mom.

Most didn’t go through the process of a small starter home. A home that required a bit of fixing up. Whether it’s the shower leak, the toiler which won’t flush, the fence needed a new post of two, it could be any number of things that need attention. It is in this process of claiming your home by stint of hard work, not to mention budgeting to make ends meet and make the mortgage payment, that carves this love of land into the human heart. Land that comes easy is never as loved as land fought for, tamed and defended.

In all probability, many of these kneelers have never mowed the lawn, trimmed the trees, or performed any of the myriad of “honey-dos” that crop up on an daily or weekly basis. They’ve got their MacMansions because of their talent, they’ve got people who take care of their place, and even pay the bills. Because of that, it’s just another place. Certainly, not their cherished land.

The millennial’s celebrating with them are no different. Whether they are still squatting in their parents basement, living in a college dorm on their parents dime, or renting with a dozen other millennials, they’ve never struggled for anything, much less land or a home.

If you can’t appreciate land at a local level, how can you cherish land at a national level?

Our flag and our national anthem stand for the ownership of this land we call America. Standing in honor of that flag during the anthem, or pledging allegiance to that flag is in essence telling the your countrymen and the world this one defiant statement “This is my land, I will give my life defending it, as will my countrymen. Come and take our land over our dead bodies.”

This silly ignorance makes you wonder if these fearsome defenders of their end zone would so fiercely defend their home country. Their actions before the game certainly inform us differently.

In the NFL’s Suicide Drama, the Media Play Dr. Kevorkian

After Donald Trump’s rather colorful admonition last week to fire any football player who takes a knee during the national anthem—and after Sunday’s entirely predictable snit fit thrown by said players in response—one can only come to the sad conclusion that the words “professional” and “athlete,” when placed next to one another, form quite the oxymoron, at least in the NFL context.  How else do you explain why, when faced with being called out as punks by the president of the United States, these giants of the gridiron can’t wait to dogpile each other to prove his point?  Never in the history of sticking it to the man has the stick been wielded with such incompetence.  Roger Goodell must be the only man in America right now getting pity from Hillary Clinton.

And for what?  To whom exactly is the NFL trying to pander?  It’s certainly not their fans.  Half empty stadiums and a steady ratings slide have made their feelings on the subject abundantly clear.  Even my own dad, who has been a professional football addict all his life and used to spend his Sundays in a room with three TV sets watching games, told me yesterday that he’d had it with the NFL.  Why spend three and a half hours with a slow-moving showcase for beer and Viagra commercials played by a bunch of prima donnas who complain about the injustice of a country in which they became millionaires for moving a ball up and down a field—particularly when they can’t even move that ball more than five yards without a penalty flag?  NASCAR is a lot more fun anyway, and as an added bonus they try not to piss off their fans.

Or is the NFL just trying to placate the social justice warriors?  That’s a possibility—but the kind of man who talks about health care in his pajamas while sipping hot cocoa isn’t exactly their target demographic, so that theory might have a few holes.  And while the gals who marched on Washington in their p*ssy hats could certainly be rowdy, I don’t think that’s what ol’ Hank had in mind when he sang about his friends coming over to watch some football.

So who’s left from the usual suspects?

The institution that fuels the fire, of course:  The American media.

It was the media, recall, that first called attention to all this business with Colin Kaepernick, who may have really been sincere in his belief that the police target minorities with excessive force and took a knee during the national anthem to raise awareness of an injustice.  On the other hand, Kaepernick may have also been a quarterback in a slump who had been riding a bench and knew his days were numbered, and so he decided to insulate himself by engaging in some social justice warrioring of his own.  That way, when he got dumped, he could say the 49ers cut him for his activism and not because he stank on ice.

Guess which way the media decided to cover the story?

This was the same media, by the way, that stoked Kaepernick’s grievances with myths like “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and basically painted a target on the backs of cops across the country.  So it only made sense that they would rally to Kaepernick’s side and give him all kinds of attention, which naturally led to copycats dropping to their knees faster faster than the intern pool at Bill Clinton’s White House.

And poof!  Just like that, football got political.  Never mind that the fans didn’t want it that way.  Never mind that they just wanted to open a few tailgates, grill a few burgers, pound some suds and escape the dreary day-to-day for a few hours.  They had to be made to care, for in the progressive mindset there is nothing outside politics.  And with ESPN acting as an enforcer, there was no getting away from it.

So the NFL did what most linguini-spined institutions do, and took the path of least resistance.  They allowed the problem to fester.  Even as the fans began peeling away, they insisted that their players had every right to alienate those fans with their antics.  As long as the progressive media continued to fawn, that’s all that mattered.

There’s thing that seems to have escaped the NFL’s notice, though:  progressives hate football.  They hate the attitude that winning is everything.  They hate the competition that creates losers.  They hate that football is a boys-only club filled with locker room talk that demeans and degrades women.  Most of all, though, they detest football’s toxic masculinity.  For that reason alone, they’d just as soon end the sport—and they’re well on their way to destroying it, what with their breathless coverage of head trauma and other dangers that are keeping more and more boys from taking up football in the first place.

So ask me again, why is the NFL trying to appease this beast at the expense of its fans?

That kind of behavior can only be described as suicidal—but if the NFL is determined to take that path, they’ll find that the media will be only too happy to play Dr. Kevorkian for them.

BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones Kneel Before Anthem

In what they describe as a show of unity, the entire Dallas Cowboy team, together with team owner Jerry Jones, locked arms and knelt before the performance of the national anthem. The Cowboys were preparing to take on the Arizona Cardinals in this week’s Monday Night Football matchup.

Both times locked arms and stood while “American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks performed the “Star Spangled Banner.” Per ABC News, Sparks performed the song with a Bible verse on her hand. Proverbs 31:8-9 reads, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

Jerry Jones was reported to have warned his players that he would fire anyone who took a knee during the national anthem. San Antonio’s KSAT reported that Jones never made that statement, but that he did discuss the issue on an appearance on a Dallas sports radio show last month.

“I just feel so strongly that the act of recognizing the flag is a salute to our country and all of the people that have sacrificed so that we can have the liberties we have,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. “I feel very strongly that everyone should save that moment for the recognition of the flag in a positive way, so I like the way the Cowboys do it.”