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Owners skirt blame for officials debacle


Our (or at least my) position that the Commissioner deserves a raise has raised a few eyebrows.

And that’s exactly what we (or at least I) wanted to do.

The point was and is that, from time to time, Roger Goodell does the bidding of the people who pay him. In this case, Goodell successfully provided cover for the owners, not a single one of whom drew a single ounce of criticism from the players, the media, or the fans.

Think of how different the narrative could have been if players like Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had called upon CEO Mark Murphy to stand up and take action or if Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis had said publicly that owner Steve Bisciotti should address whether he supports the lockout.

The owners wanted to break the NFL Referees Association, and but for the Week Three debacle it would have happened, eventually. Then, after the situation blew up in the league’s face in a dramatic and thoroughly unexpected way, with news programs buzzing and late-night talk shows guffawing, the NFL managed to get a deal that wasn’t the complete disaster it could have been, if the NFLRA had decide to apply a cleat to the league’s jugular.

And it was Goodell on Thursday, facing the music and answering tough questions and still catching the arrows that otherwise would have punctured the posteriors of the league’s owners.

As one league source with strong ties to ownership of one of the teams told PFT, “I agree with you 100 percent on Goodell. He is like an agent for the 32 biggest pain in the ass players of all time.”

Now that the crisis has ended, it’s unlikely that the owners will catch any retroactive flak. And that’s further proof that, even if the players and the fans think Goodell should be fired, he has successfully completed a very important aspect of his job duties.