by Dylan Craig ’16
Every Fall Sunday afternoon, millions of Americans slap on their jerseys and trek into their basements with family and friends with one goal-watching their favorite football team win a game and inch one step closer to the big one: the Super Bowl. For many, the game is an emotional rollercoaster, with highs that leave fans feeling like they just won the lottery, and with lows that leave others with a heavy heart and a feeling of hopelessness. And that, that’s what football’s all about. The emotion. The power. The dedication. But there’s one man, a man who’s been the cancer of the NFL for the past eight years; that man is the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
As the head of the NFL, Goodell has the job of upholding the integrity of professional football. First on his agenda should be protecting the faith of the fans in the quality of the game. He’s done anything but that for the past eight years. In fact, he might’ve done the opposite.
Goodell is simply just ruining the NFL. What was once a proud product is now a hollow shell of its former self. Millions of fans and even some players have pleaded to the NFL owners for him to be removed from power, but he remains in place and is worse than ever. First he doled out unprecedented bounty punishments without demonstrated evidence. After learning that bounty programs have existed for decades in the NFL, Goodell punished the Saints. Why solely the Saints? Nearly every NFL team has or has had bounties at one point. Wouldn’t it have been fairer to punish all the teams that were guilty of similar systems? Goodell suspended key players and even banned the Saint’s coach for the season. The Saints now have a 1-4 record, a vast difference compared to last season when they went 13-3. Saints fans can thank Goodell for destroying their season and giving their team a bad reputation.
Additionally, Goodell watched and did nothing about the debacle of the replacement refs, as the game spiraled downward. Each week the evidence was mounting to prove that the NFL should settle it’s dispute with the professional referees and get them back. The desperate cries of fans and players went ignored by Goodell. He sat idly by and did nothing about the replacement refs and a game in trouble. Goodell didn’t want to spend more money by paying the regular refs more money, so instead he hired amateur and inexperienced refs, some whose only experience refereeing was the Lingerie Football league or Pop-Warner leagues. These refs showed just how awful they were during the Seahawks-Packers game on Monday night football. Goodell and his replacement refs cost the Packers the game with arguably the worst call in the history of NFL football.
What he’s done is a disgrace to the sport of football and its fans everywhere. Goodell is more concerned about profit for the owners than the actual sport. Football is not about the money; it’s about the American tradition, it’s about the sport and everything it represents. Roger Goodell clearly doesn’t know that.