The NFL has not even begun to systematically examine holistically whether the on-field behaviors they champion translate into off-field recklessness. If NFL leadership fails to make that connection and render changes to the sport's culture of violence, then the banner of flag football may get the call to save the league even sooner than I once predicted.
All leaders at some point in their career are faced with a sword they must either pick up and use to continue the great fight, or instead, recognize their reign is over, smile, give thanks for the opportunity of service, and fearlessly succumb for the greater good.
Let's let our boys read books, make bracelets, tap dance, sing, make music and anything else they want to do, with no judgment.
Over the last five years, the average price for games on the Cowboys schedule on the secondary market has risen by 57 percent, which is good for the fifth highest increase over that period. But why?
Make no mistake about one thing: the NFL is a business, created to make money. It's not a church or a prosecutor's office. Still, it is a business that is rooted in the creation of symbols and the building-up of heroes.
Here's my modest proposal: We have, in only a few decades, changed society's acceptance of another addiction: tobacco. Can we make it as socially unacceptable to hit a woman in a elevator as to light a cigarette in one? I think we can. And I think we can do it the same way.
Whether Goodell is guilty of a cover-up or not, female fans represent a huge segment for the NFL and the bottom line is that it needs to change the playbook for women.
It goes without saying that this has been a bad couple of weeks for the NFL, so much so that a tweet -- post-Ray Rice, pre-Adrian Peterson -- came my way that read, "Let's all start watching soccer instead!"
We can't expect adults to refrain from violence if, as children, they learn it's acceptable when cloaked in terms of "discipline." We cannot interact in ways that rely on or revert to any form of physical and emotional battering, even if we label it "discipline" or "tough love."
I thought our biggest conversation with our son and football would be around concussions. Instead, our biggest conversation will be about violence against women, corporate greed and putting winning in front of right and wrong.
Silence is not acceptable. Sweeping problems under the rug is not acceptable. "Boys will be boys" is no longer acceptable as a credo.
The decades-old blackout strategy is nothing more than a wedge that is driven between the team and long-time fans who cannot afford to regularly attend NFL games at stadiums their tax dollars built.
While the NFL's handling of domestic abuse cases is being scrutinized, and folk are calling for Goodell's job, the league's inquiry skills concerning other sensitive matters is also worthy of further review.
The only way to change professional football is at its foundation, transforming the culture in our schools and what defines masculinity -- and what defines being a girl or a woman or gay or transgender -- and, most importantly, that needs to happen within sports programs, not separate from them.
Goodell's challenge, like Giamatti's, is to protect his league while also protecting the sacred trust of his fans. Thus far, he has not shown he's been able to do that.
As the nation faces a historic moment in the domestic violence prevention movement, let's not forget that children are the often neglected "other victim" in domestic abuse cases.