NFL

Almighty Goodell: NFL Commissioner Weighs In On Michael Vick

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 30:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addresses the media at the news conference prior to Super Bowl XLIII on January 30, 2009 at Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Joe KessenichCorrespondent IMay 21, 2009

“Let he who is without sin cast the first blindside hit.”

I don't know about you, but I'm beginning to tire of the sanctimony of one Roger Goodell.

I've come to notice that when NFL players unfortunately crossover from the sports page to the police blotter, be it Pacman...excuse me...Adam Jones, or Plaxico Burress, or now Michael Vick, our NFL Commissioner seems to enjoy positioning himself as nothing short of infallible.

Each time one of his players is alleged, or proved, to have performed an unsavory action, Goodell sees it as high time to climb up on his pedestal...literally.

The Commish has no patience for formal investigations, or due process, or a jury of your peers. In fact, if he doesn't like what's scrolling across the bottom-line of his TV, and your name is next to it, you should probably expect a phone call.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am in no way implying that I condone any of these players' actions, proved or pending. What's more is I agree with Goodell's philosophy of aggressively taking on characters who would bring embarrassment, and in turn lost revenues, to the NFL.

What I do fail to see is the necessity to conduct each press conference or interview on these incidents, with the aire of a man who has made zero mistakes in his life.

I've heard this tone often from Goodell when past incidents have come across the wire. But it particularly hit home for me in a recent quote regarding the upcoming release of Michael Vick from federal custody following his conviction in connection with dog-fighting. The quote reads as follows:

"I will want to meet with Michael", [and ask him], "does he understand the mistakes he made and is he genuine and have remorse for those actions...That's something he has to prove to myself and the general public."

I disagree with Goodell's view. Vick is about to be released, after spending the better part of two years in Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. Most of us know the name Leavenworth, and it's not because they have the best Salisbury steak.

There is now a swirling debate on whether or not Vick should be punished further by the NFL, and Goodell feels like Vick has something left to prove.

Michael Vick's crime was ugly and reprehensible. As a result, he was tried, convicted, and sentenced in a court of law. He is now coming out on the other side of that sentence, hopefully with remorse in his heart. A federal parole board has deemed that he has adequately paid his debt to society.

Society includes both the NFL, and Commissioner Goodell.

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