Football Really is Family

In Off The Field by Emily Staker

Was Roger Goodell’s “football is family” a self-fulfilling prophecy? This dysfunctional “family” has proven to be more drama filled than a season of Real Housewives; a dumpster fire fueled by the shared rage of usually calm and collected characters like Donald Trump and Jerry Jones.

Goodell is on schedule to receive a contract extension for a small sum of $50 million a year, with a private jet for life thrown in on the side. Arthur Blank, Clark Hunt, Robert Kraft, John Mara, Bob McNair and Art Rooney together comprise the compensation committee that has negotiated with Goodell thus far. This would be a $20 million increase in salary for Goodell from past years, but the timing of the salary increase in wake of a tumultuous season has spurred plenty of criticism.  It is hard to know how much of the drama surrounding the season can be proportioned to the fault of Goodell, and how much blame is a matter of convenience, but some (Jerry Jones) seem to accredit the totality of NFL discord to faulty management by Goodell.

Trigger fingers turn to Twitter fingers, and Donald Trump’s lowly remarks regarding the player protests this season have escalated so far as to accuse Goodell of losing “control of the hemorrhaging league”. Trump further added his distaste for the protests via Twitter, by claiming that “Players are the boss!”, while going after individual players specifically and most notably, Colin Kaepernick and Marshawn Lynch. It is obvious that Trump feels convinced on the issue, considering any rational person would think twice before criticizing Beast Mode about anything.

Adding to the family discord, the League’s “allegedly” Italian cousin Papa John blamed his entire downturn in pizza sales on a lack of Roger’s leadership surrounding the players’ protest of policy brutality. This accusation did not bode well for Papa John, who was later compelled to announce Papa Johns is not the official Pizza of nazism. Isn’t it a great time to be alive?

It’s unlikely that any amount of Coors Lite could mitigate this family feud, particularly after Jones recently claimed he would sue the league and fellow NFL owners if they extend Goodell’s contract.  Just a few short months ago, Jones, along with the 31 other owners, approved the compensation committee to secure a deal with Goodell. So why the love lost?

Jones is quick to defend his callousness after many accused him of going after Goodell post Ezekiel Elliot suspension, which is not too unreasonable of an inference, considering that Jones literally told Goodell “I’m gonna come after you with everything I have”. There’s no surprise why Jones would be upset considering the Cowboys’ post-Elliot fallout, but it seems a bit misplaced to blame Roger Goodell when the NFL investigation found three actionable claims of physical violence against Elliot. Jones claims he simply wants “accountability” from Goodell, but his recent actions seem to be part of a greater power-struggle within the league.

Before becoming commissioner, Goodell had resolved to increase the revenue of the league and in his words, “protect the shield”. Now, Goodell may want to reconsider protecting a shield that is actually a hand-grenade with Jones’ face on it. It seems he has become more reliant on the protection of other owners, particularly those on the compensation committee, who bestowed upon Jones a cease-and-desist warning after he threatened to sue the league. They also threatened Jones with fines, draft pick docks and an individual suspension of Jones himself. Some owners have even suggested forcing Jones to forfeit the team he has owned since 1989.

The real MVP of all of this drama, in my humble opinion, is Roger Goodell’s wife, who pulled a Kevin Durant and was outed for creating a fake twitter account, defending her husband against the haters for years. The Goodells are officially relationship goals, because if your significant isn’t dragging your haters on Twitter, is it really love?

It seems the vision of football as family has become true in its most honest form. As Bob Costas once said, “Bring out the hearts and the tinkling piano music because it really is a touching tableau”.