Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Roddy White Is Going To Get A Lot Less PI Calls

The Atlanta WR made the thoroughly reasonable point that the NFL's commissioner, Roger Goodell, might not be worth $20 million a year by the end of his contract.

Now, the fun part of this is how many people are going to bend over backwards and say that nope, no sir, no how, there's no way that you can find anyone else on the planet that could run the NFL for less and do it worth a damn... or that the NFL isn't going to remain the top five leagues in the country even if there were an absolute assclown running things.

Which, um, I'm really not prepared to admit that Goodell, well, isn't.

Remember, this is the guy that, more than anyone else, almost gave us a lockout this year, and severely diminished the quality of ball that you saw last year. (Not that you cared, of course. More offense equals more ratings, and if you don't like that you must be, like, old or something.) He's also the guy that was in charge when the league decided to neuter kickoffs, turn overtime into a two-minute playoff-only speech, kept ball out of Los Angeles so that every other franchise could use it for blackmail purposes, kept force-feeding foreign games into London, doesn't do away with the utter sham that is preseason games, monkeys with the Pro Bowl, spreads games out all over the week regardless of competitive imbalance, still hasn't done a damn thing to mitigate the Dallas Thanksgiving advantage...

So, um, what *exactly* has Goodell done that you can't live without? What, exactly, has been his idea, his signature accomplishment, his shining moment that requires eight figures of salary for a job that might take, oh, maybe half of your time and half of your year?

Proximity to success does not mean you caused it. America in this era is absolutely predetermined to like football, love football, *need* football; it combines violence with art, casual gambling with real gambling, in a program that can't be time-shifted and reaches premium demographics. The very *worst* commissioner you could imagine -- I don't know, someone like Goodell? -- would be on top of the same money pile right now.

What would a truly great commish have done by now? Created more leagues in more lands for the truly addicted. Broadened the talent sluice so that the best athletes on six continents, rather than one, wanted to grow up and play this game. Democratized the sport so that major franchises had farm systems to develop talent over years, rather than just trot out so many strangers every July. Figured out a way to limit stoppages, so that you'd never feel so bloated and sick as you do when you watch back to back elongated games. Worked to ensure that the same game is played for games with prime media coverage as for those in second tier markets. Somehow fixed the California stadium problem. And so on, and so on.

If Roger Goodell is worth $20 million a year... well, um, so are an awful lot of people walking the planet. He isn't. He's getting paid that anyway. White's a fool to point it out in public, but he's not, um, wrong.

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