Remember the great movie “Goodfellas?” After the crew pulled off the Lufthansa heist, Jimmy Conway — played by Robert De Nero — told the rest of his gang to lay low, and don’t call any attention to themselves. But instead, some of the not-so-wise-guys went out and bought flashy cars, fur coats, and gaudy jewelry that would easily catch the eye of law enforcement.
Well, watching the NFL stumble and bumble around this week on the PSI data they collected this year made me think of that scene in “Goodfellas” as the NFL is truly the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.
After the nonsense that became Deflategate, the NFL instituted new rules to test the PSI of footballs before, during, and after random games. So what did the NFL do with that data? On The Rich Eisen Show (Eisen is an anchor on the NFL Network, a paid employee of the NFL) NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said, “What the league did this year was what we do with a lot of rules and policies designed to protect the integrity of the game, and that’s to create a deterrent effect. We do spot checks to prevent and make sure the clubs understand that we’re watching these issues. It wasn’t a research study. They simply were spot checks.”
— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) February 4, 2016
Not a research study? Why not? A research study may have proved the Patriots and the Ideal Gas Law to be correct. The NFL does not want that to happen.
Then two days later Dean Blandino, the Head of NFL officials, contradicted his boss by telling SiriusXM NFL Radio, “We did spot checks throughout the year, and we measured PSI levels and recorded that information,” Blandino said. “So right now we’re evaluating the information. We didn’t have any violations this year, but again we’re still in that evaluation phase to look at the information and then we’ll see what that tells us.”
So which is it? Are you analyzing the information or not? It amazes me that the NFL, the most successful sports enterprise in the history of mankind, is run by idiots. They cannot get their story straight in a simple matter like this. No wonder they lose court case after case.
Even with a fool like Goodell running things, the NFL seems bullet proof. TV ratings and revenue continue to climb higher and higher with no end in sight. It just goes to prove how much America loves pro football.
Goodell gives his annual State of the NFL address on Friday. Having covered five of these dog-and-pony shows in the past, I can guarantee you no big news will come out of it. But the NFL has a PR problem. Goodell is not good at these type of events. He is stiff and comes off as very defensive. Bob McNair, the owner of the Houston Texas told the New York Times, “We’d like to see him more relaxed and smiling and answering the questions, You know, he’s got all these legal advisers telling him you can’t say this or you can’t say that.’’
Goodell will be asked about Deflategate, PSIs in footballs, and the pending appeal in the Tom Brady case. It will be interesting to see how he dances around those issues. Don’t expect to see a warm and fuzzier and honest Roger Goodell. That would be asking way too much. But as long as the money keeps flowing into the owners coffers, Goodell will be their man and fans of the NFL will be the ones who suffer.