Wednesday, September 10, 2014
TIME TO PUT THE NAIL IN ROGER GOODELL'S COMMISSIONER COFFIN
This week I had planned on writing a review on the opening week of the Browns' season. And guess what the story was? Well yet again the Browns didn't show up ready for the season. This shouldn't be shocking, Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Pat Shurmur, and Rob Chudzinski head a list of Browns coaches that tended not to get their teams ready for the year.
Mike Pettine already had his work cut out for him. He inherited a team that was already in front office transition. His team drafted the most enigmatic player in the draft in Johnny Manziel. He had disgruntled veterans, tired of the constant turnover within the team. Then on the 2nd day of the draft in early May, he was informed that the league's reigning receiving champion was facing banishment from the league.
With the laundry list of distractions that Pettine had to fight through, he and GM Ray Farmer were forced to sit and wait patiently for the Josh Gordon appeal to be heard. Replacing the league's top receiver wasn't going to be possible, but not knowing what timeframe they were going to have to replace him made the scenario that much worse.
However the summer just ticked by, and by the time the league heard Gordon's appeal training camp was in full swing. He was continued to be allowed to practice and play with the team throughout most of the preseason, until about a week and a half before the regular season began. And after many of the roster decision had to be made, the team finally received the word that the league spent the entire summer dragging their feet to simply uphold their original ruling.
The Browns were then forced to make major roster changes to facilitate the hole in the roster. Only to soon find out that Gordon may have been part of an elaborate ploy to force the NFLPA to agree to sweeping changes in the league's drug policies. Suddenly there is word that Gordon and several high profile players could be removed from suspension if the NFL's demands are met, and the Browns and several other teams are now sitting and being teased with the notion of getting their players back. Wouldn't common sense dictate these issues should have been dealt with in the offseason? But instead they are being dealt with as the season is under way.
While I am certainly not solely blaming the league office for the Browns issues last Sunday, you will never be able to convince me they weren't a factor. Which to me begs the question, is the commissioner worried more about running the NFL like an asshole high school principal who treats his student body like delinquents, or is he more worried about the product that gets put onto the field on Sundays for us fans?
Goodell has been in the forefront of weeding out the fun factor of the game. Celebrations of almost any kind are now frowned upon and can be penalized, effecting game outcomes. The current Super Bowl Champions won the league due to a tough, physical secondary. So what did Goodell do? Well he tightened up the rules about how tough and physical a secondary could be.
Has the product suffered? Without a doubt. The league's insanely strict drug policy has promptly removed many of the top talent from the field. Anyone who watched the preseason can testify how almost unwatchable the games were, as the referees were probably responsible for as much scoring as any of the players were. So I think my question is answered, yes he wants to be that asshole high school principal.
So there I think that I have pleaded my case for Roger Goodell's removal from his position and not once did I even have to mention Ray Rice.
And for those of you that are wondering, yes I have a plan to go forward as well...
No this is not a joke, I will genuinely say that if I was building a model of what I think is the commissioner needed to save football, it would be former Browns safety Felix Wright (follow him at @FelixWright22)
I like Felix for the job for several reasons. First off after an 8 year NFL career as a player, Felix has been in an authority position with the NFL since 2001 (where yes he delivers fines to players). I think that Felix's unique perspective as both a player and authority figure would serve him well in the commissioner's chair.
Felix played the game clean. Still to this day he shows a respect for his former teammates, and opponents. Away from the field Felix has quickly become a tremendous ambassador for the Cleveland Browns. Felix has taken to social media, where he is possibly one of the most personable and humble professional athletes that I have ever seen. Felix routinely takes the time out of his day, to make a bunch of fans' days. So please don't tell me the NFL couldn't use his PR help.
And something tells me he would be willing to do the job...
Follow me @BrownsMemes and help me out with #FelixWright4NFLCommissioner