A recent NFL players poll gave Commissioner Roger Goodell a 39 percent approval rating. USA Today Sports conducted the poll with 300 active and practice squad players. I thought it was going to be even lower. Goodell has made a mess of the position ever since he took over for Paul Tagliabue. Some fans are saying he has turned it into the “No Fun League”.
I have mixed feelings about the commissioner. He is doing a lot for player safety, but I do not like his inconsistencies and how much he has cut back on players’ celebrations.
I liked seeing players dance in the end zone for an extended period of time, and I think it makes the game more entertaining to the fan that does not enjoy the game as much as people like I do.
Goodell has pretty much waged war on players like Baltimore Ravens‘ Ed Reed and Pittsburgh Steelers LB James Harrison. They play the game at a high level because receivers fear catching the ball in their zone. Harrison is probably the most vocal on how much he disagrees with the commissioner, basically saying it’s all about the money and Goodell doesn’t really care about the players’ safety. I, on the other hand, think it’s a combination of both.
The NFL and Goodell fined New England Patriots QB Tom Brady ten grand for a kick to Reed in the AFC Championship. However, they fined San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore 500 dollars more for wearing his socks incorrectly. In addition, he fined Washington Redskins Trent Williams less than eight grand for punching Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman in the face. Goodell seems to be looking out for some players more than others and he has shown very little consistency during his time as the head man in the NFL. If Brady was not the poster boy for the NFL you can be sure he would have been fined upwards of twenty thousand dollars.
Goodell is right about fining players for helmet to helmet contact. This is something that should have been done a long time ago. The NFL has known about concussions for a long time and really has not done anything until recently. Players are bigger, faster and stronger and they are moving at full speed making wild hits on defenseless receivers. However, the offensive player needs to be at fault at some point as well. Right now, it seems like a lot of players are leaning into a helmet to helmet hit to get that extra 15 yards. This is often a reaction, but some players are obviously doing it on purpose.
Finally, don’t even get me started on “bounty gate”, he completely mishandled the whole situation and for that, he should lose his job. I wonder if there is an impeachment process in the NFL. If there is, somebody should get on that right away.
Follow Kase Brammer on Twitter @KBlive33