Every few weeks since Paul Tagliabue retired, I have asked myself, "Who the hell does Roger Goodell think he is?" This offseason has certainly been no exception.
I am not going to say he made the wrong decision on the lengthy suspensions placed on the New Orleans Saints. Harsh? Yes. Necessary? Maybe.
To quote myself, "Who the hell does this guy think he is?" How many of your friends do you work with, or are at least friendly with? And I doubt you have been with the same organization for the majority of your professional life.
Imagine you screwed up at work (or, more accurately, your subordinate screwed up) and you were suspended for a period of time. OK, it's your job, what the bosses say goes, at least in the confines of the office.
So, to recap, if Drew Brees has a baby, Payton can't call to congratulate him. If Darren Sproles' grandmother passes away, Payton can't call to console him. Where does it end? Can he go golfing with his long-time friend and mentor, Bill Parcells?
How about the fact that Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis own vacation homes less than a mile away from each other? Summer is coming up and both men (remember, Loomis has been suspended, as well) don't have anything better to do.
Do they need to call in with Goodell and alternate weekends at the beach? Should Payton check in with NFL security and make sure Loomis is not enjoying an ice cream cone at the local parlor? Roger, this is laughable.
I guess we should have seen this coming when Goodell arbitrarily decided he was going to change the game, after the adverse affects of football on a player's health became public knowledge. Really, was anyone surprised that football was and is terrible for your body?
There really is not a chance that the league can stop players from playing they way they have been trained to play since they were in grade school. And yet, the fines kept coming. Then his poster boy for punishment, James Harrison, was suspended. Now, Goodell is deciding who his employees can and cannot talk to off the clock.
We have discarded power-drunk Presidents before. Can we get rid of an NFL commissioner?