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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

NFL steeped in scandals as Goodell flounders

Assistant sports editor Kevin Lucena. Photo credit: Trevor Ryan

You know what really sucks. That was a great Super Bowl and a great end to the football season.

In the aftermath of the game, fans were questioning Pete Carroll’s decision to throw the ball, which resulted in a last-second interception by the Patriots. The play took the focus off the NFL’s troubled commissioner, Roger Goodell, for a brief moment.

All the media could seem to talk about in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl was Deflategate.

Who would have thought that we would see ESPN analysts going on about subjects like pounds per square inch, shrinkage and the proper inflation of a football.

The NFL’s “in-depth” investigation found a lead suspect, one of the Patriots’ ball boys. From that, we also know that it takes roughly 90 seconds to disappear from camera and deflate 11 out of 12 game balls.

Or maybe the time it takes to stop and take a piss on the way to the field.

Goodell has been leading the NFL as commissioner since replacing Paul Tagliabue in 2006. He also may be a robot, built by the owners to act as their puppet and face the media.

His year of hell started when the NFL made a mess of handling the Ray Rice domestic abuse incident. Questions still remain unanswered as to what Goodell knew, and when he knew it.

When questioned by reporters on the subject, Goodell said he was not aware of what happened inside the elevator. It’s hard to believe the leader of a billion dollar industry couldn’t make a phone call and get that video before making his decision.

It was the same kind of defense Goodell said was unacceptable when he suspended the New Orleans Saints’ head coach Sean Payton for his role in the Bountygate scandal, when team members were awarded money for injuring opposing players.

Who knew a robot could be so hypocritical.

Then in a true example of his power, Goodell and the NFL had the NBC broadcast crew read a prepared statement on the Mueller report. During a suspiciously long timeout in the AFC divisional-round playoff game, the camera focused on Goodell and his wife in the crowd as Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth both commended Goodell’s handling of the Rice incident.

Going forward, Goodell and the NFL have many questions to answer. Are the people who cover the NFL nothing more than puppets for Goodell to speak through? Why was there more coverage of Deflategate than there was of the Rice scandal and other domestic abuse issues?

Did Jed York and the NFL just con the citizens of California into building a new billion-dollar stadium right before cutting costs on the team and raking in the revenue? Are Jerry Jones’ eyes too far apart? Who really knows what a concussion is — does Julian Edelman?

Kevin Lucena can be reached at [email protected] or @klucena824 on Twitter.

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