The Washington Post recently published an article about Roger Goodell’s role during the Deflategate controversy, and the reasons that Goodell might have for making a non-issue the dominating story since Malcolm Butler intercepted that pass at the goal line. What the article refers to is how various dictators stay in power, namely:
"To explain Goodell’s behavior, think about dictators such as Kim Jong-un of North Korea. They often have to do some unsavory things to get and stay in power. Moreover, these things are often effective — otherwise, why do them? Goodell’s behavior in the Deflategate case is similar.First, a key lesson from the autocrat’s playbook is this: After you take power, eliminate the powerful people who helped get you there. They know your weaknesses and the skeletons in your closet. For Goodell, no one fits that description like Kraft, who owns the Patriots."
Don’t shoot the messenger here. I do agree that the previous appeals by players in court have significantly decreased the commissioner’s standing in the eyes of the owners, and Deflategate is his attempt to gain it all back in one fell swoop. It’s the perfect crime.
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Why not let the team that has been labeled as ‘cheaters’ by every single hating fan of other teams fall on the sword? When this debacle started, it was a fantastic plan from Goodell’s perspective. Put the facts out there in a report and let media outlets like ESPN carry you to the promised land. But then the issues started popping up. It has been reported that the Wells report was not independent. Goodell flip-flops on the issue depending on who is listening to him speak. NFL employees leaked information that was blatantly wrong to the press in order to curry favor. The Post article continues:
"Goodell entered the Deflategate scandal significantly weakened, with some commentators calling for his replacement because of perceived mismanagement of controversies about concussions and domestic violence during the 2014 season. Throughout that period, Kraft supported Goodell so strongly that he was called the “assistant commissioner.”Now, because of Deflategate, Goodell gets to restore his reputation as a tough guy and show that he is even-handed by cracking down on one of his former allies. Moreover, given that some people thought Goodell went easy on the Patriots during the 2007 Spygate incident, he now gets a do-over to prove just how tough he is."
Judge Richard Berman in New York has been wading through the river of crap that the NFL has tried to feed him, and by all accounts, it looks on the surface that Tom Brady and the Patriots are heading toward a ruling that favors New England, or maybe even a out of court settlement with the league that lets Brady start against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 10th.
However, when dealing with Goodell, nothing should ever be left up to chance.