America is a country governed by a system of checks and balances — the right to a fair trial.
But, all of those freedoms insured go out the window when the National Football League is involved.
Ah, the NFL, where the amount of greenbacks you have in your billfold can set you free. No one cares about whether you allegedly assaulted your girlfriend, or you abused your four-year-old boy.
As sickening as it sounds, that is the grave truth in the life of an NFL player. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell came under pressure with how he handled the whole Ray Rice incident where he punched his wife in an Atlantic City hotel elevator and dragged her concussed body back to their room.
So, he served a little suspension, but he will likely be back on the field next season with someone … after all, he is a very talented running back.
So long as you can run the football, catch it, or throw it, the NFL will have your back. It’s like the punishments my father would hand down after I did something stupid — two months of being grounded, often times turned into a day.
Goodell is the tough parent everyone thinks they need to be, but in actuality, he knows that upholding such a punishment will be too tough.
Take the recent case about the Patriots deflating footballs, or ‘Deflategate’ as many in the media are referring to it … why does every scandal need to have a gate?
Anyway, the league fined the Patriots $1 million for not properly inflating footballs and took away a first and fourth round draft pick. But, what has Patriots fans and the NFL PLayer’s Association up in arms is the four-game suspension dropped on quarterback Tom Brady.
Brady, without a doubt, is appealing, but guess who is hearing the appeal.
Yup, in true dictator fashion, Mr. Goodell. How is that fair and just, that the person who dealt the punishment, is the one who will hear the appeal brought forth from Brady and the New England Patriots organization?
Short answer: it’s not.
The NFL is a dictatorship ruled by Goodell, if he doesn’t like the way you tie your cleats, there is probably a bylaw in your contract somewhere that says you will be suspended.
Okay, so maybe I am bending the truth about that one just a little, but money talks in professional sports.
If you can afford the appropriate legal team, players can get off with just about any crime. It is the sad and unfortunate world we live in.
As long as the money keeps lining the league owners’ pockets and the NFL gets its cut, moral integrity can hit the fan.
So, when Brady enters the negotiation room cloaked by his legal team, he will see the commissioner’s ‘unbiased’ face intensely listening to his side of the story.
Yes, I am being sarcastic.
There is no way Goodell is going to recuse himself from the case and give way to a mutual arbitrator.
It show’s weakness, and Goodell, as we all know, is all about pulling the strings.
With that said, as it has been reported in the media recently, Brady’s suspension will likely be dropped to two games, but the blemishes on the four Super Bowls he’s won and his illustrious record-laden career will last a lifetime.
All because a Colts beat reporter with sour grapes about a 45-6 divisional playoff loss wanted to throw them under the bus. When you win, every team is against you.
When you’re the underdog, the odds are not in your favor.
New England is now the underdog, but these Patriots have something to prove.
Shame on the NFL for not documenting the air pressure of each football and keeping them in the control of the officials until they reach the field. Brady and Peyton Manning were the quarterbacks who proposed the idea of letting teams work up footballs to take off some of the newness.
The footballs should not have been passed off to the home team’s manager, if what the Patriots are accused of is such a big deal as the league proclaims.
NFL officials should be required to check the pressure of the balls at the half, before they reenter game circulation.
All of this talk about deflated footballs is just about as silly as Goodell overseeing the appeals process.
Will it ever end?
Follow Ed Niser on Twitter/Tout:@EdNiser