An Open Letter to the NFL and Roger Goodell

I’ve been a long time fan of football. All my life really. I’ve watched the rise and fall of the Browns, the triumph of the Bengals getting to the Super Bowl and the subsequent heartache when they blew it.

I’ve watched through the referee strike and countless snow storms. I’m a loyal viewer.

That said, I’m losing faith in the NFL. Not the teams per se. I still bleed orange and black with my Bengals. I’m a proud member of Who Dey nation.

But there are some serious issues going on here. I have nothing against the teams, but I have some questions.

Tom Brady. If you weren’t guilty or had nothing to hide, then why’d you destroy the phone? It’s a logical question. When I get done with a cell phone, my first thought it’s to destroy it. I shelve them. If I have nothing to hide, then I’d willingly cough up said phone. It just looks bad. You’re a Hall of Fame caliber player. Don’t spoil that by deflating balls–or even knowing about deflating balls. Have some ethics and fess up.

While we’re at it, Mr. Goodell, the officiating this year has been the pits. I’ve seen some really awful calls. Holding flags on players who didn’t create the hold, calling out the wrong player numbers, not throwing penalties when the penalty was flagrant… it’s sad. Plays that shouldn’t be reviewed are and ones that must be reviewed aren’t. The sanctity of the game in question when the flags being thrown aren’t substantiated. The Browns-Ravens game was a perfectly good example. Yes, the Browns lost and it hurt, but on the last play one of the Ravens was blatantly off sides. Like practically on the Browns side of the ball. This wasn’t called. Why? I’d like to know. It should’ve been. Had the penalty flag been thrown, the play would’ve been reset. Would the Browns have won? I can’t say, but it would’ve felt a little less of a shaft if they’d have lost fair and square. (I have nothing against the Ravens. I don’t. Mike Pettine should’ve been arguing the case for the Browns and neither coach should’ve been on the field to congratulate each other after that particular play.)

While we’re on questionable actions, please tell me you’re not seriously considering narrowing the goal posts. There are some wonderful records that will stand, but afterwards will have to have asterisks beside them. Why? The pre-narrowing era and the post-narrowing era. Don’t punish the kickers for getting better. That should make the sport better to know the players are more than capable of doing their particular jobs.

Speaking of jobs, explain to me the whole kicking out certain players for bad behavior, but others are allowed not only to come back but to represent the sport is beneficial to the sport? I get there’s the chance the players can turn their lives around, but when there’s video proof of some serious wrongdoing or there are court proceedings… maybe these people shouldn’t be who we are holding up as role models for the youth of the nation.

Mr. Goodell, I think you’re trying to do the right thing, but it sure looks like the sport has some issues you need to work out before it can be great again. Do I have the answers? No, but I’m hoping I inspired you to do some serious thinking and a bit of overhauling.

Time marches on, but football is supposed to stay continuous. It’s in our blood. It’s in our DNA. Don’t screw that up.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s