The San Francisco 49ers only missed the Super Bowl because Eli Manning is unflappable, the Seattle Seahawks had an offensive upheaval, the St. Louis Rams are struggling with new systems and the Arizona Cardinals need to at least pretend that they believe.
Some days I think that the worst-case scenario -- no National Football League games this year -- might be a blessing. It would be a year in which we could study those leading American issues that football vivifies so well.
Leave it to Goodell to end a thrilling NFL regular season on a sour note. He issued an ill-timed letter that follows a tried and true strategy: blame the union and sow resentment between the fans and the players they pay to watch.