Friday, September 28, 2012

Not buying it

Roger Goodell is making nice-nice with the American football public and it rings hollow and insincere.

In an e-mail letter to those fans, the National Football League commissioner all but apologized for his shameful handling of the officials’ lockout.

“I believe in accountability, not excuses,” he wrote. “And I regret we were not able to secure an agreement sooner in the process and avoid the unfortunate distractions to the game. You deserve better.”

The fans have always deserved better, Rog, only you didn’t take that into account when you allowed scab officials to work into the third week of the regular season. If you really cared about the fans, you would not have allowed this fiasco to reach such a disastrous stage.

“As a lifelong fan,” he wrote, “this wasn’t an easy process for anyone involved. I particularly want to commend the replacement officials for taking an unenviable task and doing it with focus and dedication in the mostly adverse of circumstances.”

It wasn’t an easy process because Goodell stubbornly refused to cave to the men who police the game and help make it the best and most successful product on the sports landscape. In hiring scab officials, he gave the regular officials the finger, never once taking into account the good and welfare of the game itself.

A good commissioner never would have let this nonsense reach the critical mass stage. Goodell, the martinet, made all the wrong moves and paid a dear price.

In a similar situation involving scab officials in 2001, Paul Tagliabue, as weak a commissioner as he was, didn’t allow the mess to progress beyond week one of the regular season because he saw the disastrous results. That lockout ended in a hurry.

What transpired at the end of last Monday night’s game between Green Bay and Seattle should never have happened. It could have been avoided except for the ignorant actions of one man.

And now he's apologizing? For what? Being a dummy? For pretending to care about the fans? Damage control at its worst.

This letter to the fans is too late. The damage has been done. Just ask fans in Green Bay.

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