Brady v the NFL

000827_1000473725_NoColorI am a Patriots fan so I enjoyed this book about Tom Brady and his fight for redemption after the insidious Deflategate nonsense perpetrated by Roger Goodell and his minions at the NFL offices.

This book paints Roger Goodell as the power hungry, amoral, lying, narcissist that he clearly is.  The book clearly explains Goodell’s motive in the fiasco, which was to assert his power over an iconic football player so that players with less stature would see that they will have to toe the line with any punishments he lays down for real or perceived infractions.  Goodell had already been lambasted publicly for clearly lying during the Ray Rice domestic abuse situation and getting his decision to suspend Adrian Peterson for alleged child abuse overturned in court.  But he knows how to please his bosses, the NFL owners, and the revenue keeps piling up so his safe from those narcissist billionaires.  The book also makes it very clear the Wells Report was in no way, shape, or form an “independent” investigation but one that essentially told the story that Roger Goodell wanted told.

I do wish the book had spent more time documenting all the leaks to the media of inaccurate or false information without retraction and the other dirty tactics the league took damage Brady’s reputation and his court case.  That would have made the book more powerful.

And while the book covers Robert Kraft’s ultimately giving up the fight for Brady to stay in good graces with the other NFL owners, and Brady’s and the fans dismay over it, more could have been explored in this area.

Ultimately the book is about Brady coming back from suspension for another Super Bowl run that found the Patriots cementing the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history in Super Bowl LI.  And Goodell having to hand the Super Bowl trophy to Brady amidst a chorus of boos.  The last part of the book goes into the Super Bowl run and the game itself in great detail, including Brady wanting to win it for his ailing mother.

And of course in conclusion, Tom Brady, with five Super Bowl rings, has cemented himself as the Greatest Quarterback of All Time.

12: The Inside Story of Tom Brady’s Fight for Redemption

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Roger Goodell: Leading the Way

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Adam Schefter reports on nfl.com that Roger Goodell will take a pay cut between 20-25 percent and freeze his approximately $11 million salary for the 2009 season. As most people know, the NFL has already had layoffs and there is a plan to freeze the salaries of NFL employees.

I have been critical of Goodell this year, even though I think he is a great commissioner, for being overzealous on fining players for hits and celebrations. I think he has gone just a little too far in trying to police the game and take the fun out of it. But this action speaks volumes about his leadership and willingness to sacrifice with the rest of the employees he leads.

Don’t get me wrong, nobody is going to feel sorry for Goodell. He won’t go hungry on a nearly $11 million dollar salary and whatever bonus he gets. But in a world where CEOs of major corporations layoff employees or impose pay cuts but increase their own gaudy, multi-million dollar salaries, rake in huge bonuses, stock options, and make money on boards of directors, Goodell has provided a breath of fresh air and leadership.

If Goodell wants to make the NFL not just a model organization for professional sports, but in the corporate world in general, he certainly took a big step in the right direction.

2008 NFL Football Season: Ridiculous Fines for Celebrations

I just read that the NFL has fined Ronnie Brown and three other members of the Miami Dolphins for excessive celebration. $10,000 even! And Antoine Winfield was also fined $10,000 for a touchdown celebration against the Saints. These fines are ASININE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I didn’t see the Ronnie Brown/Miami Dolphins celebration but given I didn’t hear, see, or know anything about it until I read about the fine leads me to believe it wasn’t that big of a deal. Here is a team that went 1-15 last year with Brown suffering what could have been a career ending knee injury, defeating a division foe (my beloved Patriots)…THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN CELEBRATING!!    

I did see Antoine Winfield score his touchdown against the Saints. I thought nothing of the celebration then and none of the announcers mentioned it as being out of the ordinary. THAT FINE IS ASININE AS WELL!!

I am all for Roger God, err, I guess he thinks he is anyway, I meant Goodell, policing unnecessary hits and outrageous off the field behavior. But what is the NFL trying to turn the league into? A bunch of automatons? It’s a game for crying out loud! Celebrating scores is PART OF GAMES! And it’s an exciting part of games. Now if Chad Ocho Stinko kisses the Dallas star after a touchdown, I could see a fine. That is simply unsportsmanlike conduct. If Ellis Hobbs dances on the San Diego logo after a hard fought playoff win, I can see a fine, that was unsportsmanlike conduct as well. Neither of these instances that resulted in fines were unsportsmanlike. This is getting ridiculous.

And the fine on the guy that had a facemask that wasn’t called on Reggie Bush is ridiculous too. Fines on vicious or unnecessary hits are judgment calls and I am all for them. But the facemask, and I don’t recall who was fined, sorry, was clearly and should have been a 15 yard penalty. But it also seemed inadvertent and the guy just trying to grab anything he could get on the shifty Reggie Bush and it just happened to be the face mask. It wasn’t an overly aggressive play.

Goodell is GOING TOO FAR in laying down fines for ridiculous things. And as an avid football fan I am getting sick and tired of it. He needs to rein it in a bit and realize this is a tough, exciting game played my men, not robots. I am starting to think Goodell is just an ass but I do like what he has done so far. But he is going too far now.

And while I’m at it, did anyone catch Goodell’s so called “answer and question” session on NFL.com a few weeks ago? It was so scripted and prepared and had so little information it was a waste of time and frankly a complete and total joke.

This level of ridiculousness needs to stop.