Sunday, July 27, 2014

Roger Goodell Is An A Spectacular Idiot

Everyone Loves The Rice Decision
By now, I'm sure you've heard about how the NFL decided that beating your woman on camera is a far less suspendable offense than drugging yourself to gain an advantage (either by mistake or on purposes), stepping on an opponent once, partaking in a recreational drug that's legal in an ever-increasing number of states, getting a DUI or a host of other offenses.

Basically, as the Ray Rice resolution shows, domestic abuse is a false start flag, while everything else is 15 and a loss of down.

First, to the man in question. It's hard for me to really crack down on Rice here, in that he's a RB with serious tread on the tires, and this could easily be a manifestation of early onset worries from the rigors of the role. His wife has seemingly turned the page, and reportedly was asking the most overpaid man in American sports (that's NFL commish Roger Goodell) to go easy on her husband. Rice is likely to be out of the NFL in a year or two, assuming last year was a prelude to the end, rather than some false sunset. And after this little experience, he's not even getting the courtesy cup of coffee in some other odd looking uniform, because no one is going to want the PR hit.

Rather, I want to touch on Goodell's move here, and the legs it has had. The Shooter Wife doesn't really watch sports and isn't likely to be up on a story before me, but Keith Olbermann's pitch-perfect rant made her social media feed from other people, and it's a spark that has hit a dry forest floor. The low suspension length has led to calls for a boycott, a fresh examination of the league's involvement with the pink-washing entity that is the Susan Kommen breast cancer organization, and so on. The idea that a huge group of people who consume NFL product can be so carelessly disregarded stings, especially when these are the folks that were latest to the party, and most likely to leave.

Oh, and if you are of the fringe belief that if a guy avoids hail time, he should also avoid a suspension? Please. The NFL isn't the broken system that the US justice system has become. If you are rich and famous here, you don't get off, mostly because you are going to be costing the other teams money. And when you do that, you're getting suspended. Even if the money is borderline theoretical. That's a given, really.

I don't know how the Ravens are going to handle Rice's return in Week 3. (Oh, and Tony Dungy? This is what a real distraction looks like. Note the absence of Gayness.) Rice has been a stalwart for this franchise for a while, and they've won Super Bowls with him. If his first touch from scrimmage is a tough run with yards after contact, people will cheer. The laundry is that reflexive, and the identity with the team is that total.

But I do know this. The NFL is at a saturation point, and the only incremental revenue comes from foreign markets, gouging the current base, or getting more from the casuals.

The foreign market has their own sports, and no native players of the game, and no history beyond the annual games in London. It's not an empty cupboard, but it's not exactly cup overflow, either.

The current base has been gouged for a very long time, and can probably stand a little more now that the economy has perked up, but maybe not. And in marketing and advertising circles, a stadium sponsorship is becoming something of a bad joke in terms of the intellect of the purchase.

Which leaves just the casuals. They were already shaky, given the head injury problems, the natural fracturing of popular culture, and the plain and simple fact that bloodsport is never going to appeal to everyone. The NFL has been doing everything it can to limit that, knowing that the current base is locked no matter what, but there's only so far it can go, or, at least, so quickly.

So, back to the meat of the matter.

A two game suspension, in a news dead cycle, to a guy that isn't even that much of a star any more.

Beyond whether or not you agree with the call, this.

How more idiotic could they have been, really?

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