Upon further review, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s suspension of four players for the “Bounty Gate” fiasco has been reversed.
This remarkable decision tells us either the evidence the NFL had doesn’t warrant the suspensions handed down, or it’s yet another clear sign the authoritarian regime Goodell has so meticulously created is another work stoppage or reversed decision away from spiraling into a modern day Iraq.
For good reason he remains an insulated figure operating under a cloak of secrecy, as both players and owners have taken to social media to openly question many decisions he has made in the past.
Americans love Goodell for being cocksure and an indefatigable warrior for truth whose blisters pus toughness; he’s John Wayne in a $300 suit. Fans of the former Soviet Eastern Bloc get teary eyed and wax poetic over his propensity for being heavy handed and uncompromising. Goodell’s approach has made him more commissar than commissioner, and he remains the closest thing we have left to a Cold War Era dictator.
But, just as any good communist regime before him, Goodell’s world seems to be crumbling down.
The offseason saw the NFL uncover one of the ugliest scandals in its history and, on a somewhat less significant note according to the league, the NFL referees have undertaken their own Perestroika movement.
The time has come for Commisar Goodell to do some real soul searching.
Is he destined to become the Mikhail Gorbachev of professional sports, or is he going to fill the void and become the iron-fisted ruler the world is so sorely missing.
Now is not the time for compromise; after all, Glasnost brought a Super Power to its knees.
And if the Soviet Union has taught us anything, it’s that nobody can look cool in an ushanka hat and giving people a more open government doesn’t always translate to world domination.
Forget fines and suspensions.
The North Korean government used to force citizens to pack their sports arenas to witness public executions.
Fifty thousand men, women and children, all clad in the most depressing shade of gray possible while sitting on the edge of their seats under a monotone voice droning over a crackling loudspeaker.
Something about the sanctity of the State being compromised because someone had the audacity to jaywalk during rush hour.
I don’t see any wardrobe malfunctions in the NFL’s future should Goodell adopt this policy for helmet to helmet contact.
So now the media wants full access to the Bounty Gate evidence and the phones in New York are ringing nonstop with frantic calls from junior high athletic directors everywhere begging for their referees back.
And when the people call for change or demand answers, the commissar must act.
What Goodell really needs most now is a convenient distraction.
The NBA lockout was a godsend, but that league is currently on the rebound.
He must remember that an uprising, or highly public purging of your once most loyal underlings isn’t always a bad thing.
In this case, however, Goodell might be surprised at the reaction should he simply announce that compromise is on the horizon before invading a smaller country.
In the meantime, the Commissar will consider his options and we will eat unhealthy food and watch football.
Still we are left wondering, had they not scrapped the idea, if the Ronald Reagan hologram the Republican’s planned to have at their convention was programmed to say “Vote for Mitt,” or perhaps it was destined to utter a more effective vote-eliciting declaration such as “Mr. Goodell, tear down that wall!”