Is Roger Goodell Ruining Football?

Pardon My Bias Bleacher ReportContributor IINovember 22, 2010

WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 18:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (C) listens to testimony during a hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee with NFL Players Association Executive Director Gene Upshaw (L) and Pro Football Hall of Fame player and Coach Mike Ditka (R) on Capitol Hill September 18, 2007 in Washington, DC. Former players and league officials appeared before the committee for a hearing on the 'NFL Retirement System,' focusing on the current compensation system for retirees with claims of advanced injuries that became symptomatic after retiring from the NFL.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

After watching the Pittsburgh-Oakland yesterday, two things stood out to me. One, the Raiders were just awful in all aspects of the game. And two, there were some terrible calls made against the Pittsburgh defense.

These were not your usual offsides, holding or pass interference calls, these were roughing the passer calls. From memory, there were two calls that I can vividly remember that were absolutely terrible. One was on LaMarr Woodley following a “tackle” on Jason Campbell after he released the ball. This was merely a two hand touch to the chest that probably included some flopping on Campbell’s part in order to sell the hit.

This call came a week after a $12,500 fine for a roughing the passer penalty against Woodley. Not to long after the first call, there was another roughing the passer penalty, this one was called on James Harrison and negated an interception returned for a TD by the Steeler secondary.

Harrison supposedly lifted the QB and drove him into the ground well after the play. A second look at this play shows that Harrison did no such thing and it too was a bad call. Harrison has been in the news many times this year for certain hits and he has been fined twice this season, losing $100k. Since both of these calls were bad it leads me to wonder that Goodell’s fines are affecting how the referees officiate the game.


There’s no doubt that concussions are a big problem in the NFL today. As players get bigger, faster, and stronger it is inevitable that injuries will occur. But a big selling point for the NFL is the big hits, and if players are getting fined for them then it is a little hypocritical. All of this has been said multiple times in the past 10 weeks, but now my gripe is with the officiating as well. While these calls did not have a direct impact on the result of the game, it is only a matter of time until it does have that effect. The officials seem to be more whistle happy when it comes to protecting the quarterback and respecting Goodell’s new rule change. Troy

Polamalu was right when he said Goodell has too much power in governing the league and the NFL is turning into a “pansy game.”

Polamalu went further: “If people want to watch soccer, they can watch soccer. The people who are attracted to this game, they’re going to see the big hits, they don’t care about touchdowns. So you’re also taking apart what attracts people to this game.”

Polamalu hit it right on the money,

Goodell is changing the way football is played and it needs to stop. Not necessarily quit fining players for their hit, because some hits do deserve fines (Richard Seymour’s jab to Ben Rothlisberger) but Goodell’s policy should not scare officials into making calls they wouldn’t have made in the past.

This is just an opinion…so please Pardon My Bias.

 Is Goodell ruining football?


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