My 3-year-old, August the Diva, was having a meltdown for the ages this morning and I knew challenging her would only make it worse. The best recourse was to let her blow off steam. I still have no idea what her problem was, but when I dropped her off at preschool she was back to being her smiling, charming self.
Roger Goodell? Take a lesson.
You're in charge of 32 spoiled children -- a.k.a., the NFL owners -- and you have no idea how to parent. You have no idea how to control them. Sometimes, digging in simply doesn't work. Digging in when it's unnecessary leads to things like four-game suspensions and million-dollar fines and stripping of draft choices over . . . what? Like I've said a million times, this was the football equivalent of jaywalking and you handed down a murder sentence.
And, in the process, you created one pretty pissed-off owner . . . who, coincidentally, was probably your biggest booster.
Key word: "Was". See what happens without Robert Kraft having your back when you make your next Ray Rice-type misstep (and, judging by your track record, that could be any day now).
This sort of thing simply didn't happen when Paul Tagliabue ran the NFL, or when David Stern ran the NBA. They knew how to handle their children, when to pull on the reins and when to ease up. And they certainly never let a tiny snowball like this go barreling down the hill and become a giant avalanche. One that may, coincidentally, bury Goodell before all this is over.
Because of his massive screwup in the Rice scandal, Goodell is running scared. Now he has to show he's the bad-ass commish he proclaimed he would be when he first got the gig. The problem is, the Rice situation should have no effect on Deflategate, None whatsoever. One involves a man punching his wife out. The other involves deflated footballs.
Are Tom Brady, John Jastremski and Jim McNally guilty? Hell yes. So are offensive linemen who grease their jerseys with Vaseline. And receivers who take a swipe of Stickum. And God knows how many NFL players guilty of other minor acts of gamesmanship.
What Roger The Parent should have done was fine the Patriots $25,000 -- like it says in the rulebook -- and then tell every team and every quarterback to stop messing with the footballs because if you don’t, you're going to get nailed. Which is just what he did in the Spygate case, incidentally, and that's why the Patriots passively accepted the penalty after they got caught.
But they're not passively accepting this one.
If only Roger knew how to parent. We wouldn’t have this embarrassing display of a meltdown from all parties.