I don’t really have a special rooting interest in either team, but I think I’m going to pull for the Patriots for the simple reason that I want to see Commissioner Roger Goodell have to hand the trophy to Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft. Goodell did his best to penalize the Patriots for “Deflategate,” an infraction with no direct evidence that Brady was guilty.
I think the NFL Commissioner has too much discretion in how much punishment players receive for infractions even with a Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiated between them and the owners. We’ve seen him initially suspend Ray Rice in 2014 for all of two games after video evidence emerged of the player punching his fiancée and then adjusting it to four games after the public outcry became too big to ignore. Then this season he gave a one-game suspension to kicker Josh Brown of the NY Giants despite the following:
…here are the facts the NFL officials were in possession of more than a year ago . They knew that Brown was arrested for assaulting his wife, Molly, in May 2015. They knew that Brown went after her again at the January 2016 Pro Bowl, drunkenly pounding on her door, until NFL security were called. They knew that Molly Brown and her children had to be moved to a different room for their safety.
Brown confessed to the New York Giants. “He admitted to us that he’s abused his wife in the past,” team owner John Mara told WFAN on Thursday. Mara then added this stunning qualifier that explains the whole deal. “I think what’s a little unclear is the extent of that.”
So Goodell reduced Brown’s suspension to one game because, maybe, he only roughed her up a little?
That’s Sally Jenkins, longtime sports columnist for the Washington Post. She goes on:
Goodell will go down as a figure of historical ineptitude. Of this he is blissfully unaware. He failed to get all the facts on Brown and handed him a light one-game suspension for domestic violence, while pursuing Tom Brady for four games over the amount of air in a football. He seems to think anyone who questions these priorities lacks intelligence and fails to discern his subtle brilliance.
“I understand the public’s misunderstanding of those things and how that can be difficult for them to understand, how we get to those positions,” Goodell told a BBC reporter while in London for the Giants game Sunday.
There you have it: The public is stupid.
I agree with her that he’s inept. He’s also arrogant as hell. In fact, he reminds me of our newly-inaugurated President that way, come to think of it.
Here are the results of the previous fifty Super Bowls.