Listen, Mr. Goodell, I understand that you work for the owners and that the NFL is a business to you, but for the fans, it's much more than that.
"Protect the shield." -- That's what the NFL and its stone-faced commissioner Roger Goodell tell its players. After Monday night's debacle between Green Bay and Seattle, the NFL should be embarrassed by the product it put on the field.
This might be a first. A New Jersey high school football game was canceled because they feared for the underdogs.
This was truly the NFL's Night of Shame, and it had better be the last. Last night's misadventure in Seattle is bigger than one football game. It's about the stunning arrogance of Roger Goodell and the NFL in thinking fans will not care if the game they love is officiated in a remotely professional and fair manner.
As new technologies and channels are developed, the NFL will be sure to tap into new revenue streams. With a global reach, there are more channels to feed, track, and monitor but also more challenges in collecting and analyzing with any efficiency unstructured (big) data.
Sports fans are often hesitant to want to mix sports and politics. Problem is, sports team owners have no problem doing so. In fact, they have been doing so for decades, which is why sports leagues in America are legal monopolies.
Professional football has been blacking out games since 1953. And for nearly just as long, fans have opposed the practice and have sought ways around blackouts.
Triple Crown fever hasn't exactly gripped the country. How come? We haven't had a Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, the longest drought. And yet I sense a lack of excitement over I'll Have Another.
I knew Junior Seau from our days at USC when I worked as a student intern in the football office. I hadn't talked to him in years, but we share many friends and memories from what most of us consider to be some of the best years of our lives.
Perhaps Mickey Loomis, Sean Payton, Greg Williams and the rest of the Saints' coaching staff are modern day equivalents of rebellious elders. Maybe they are not. Either way, Goodell understands this and his punishments are designed to make sure that this will never happen again.
This one didn't make the Masters telecast. A 40-year-old Masters "patron" was arrested for trying to steal sand from one of the sand traps. Police said he was drinking heavily at the time, and failed to get any sand into his cup.
Whether or not Payton deserves his year long suspension, Saints fans have every right to be upset. I'm talking about the tax money they've paid over the last decade just to keep the team in town.
The real reason that Goodell lowered the full weight of the NFL hammer is unbelievable arrogance. And that's where this scandal resonates with American culture.
It may seem absurd that a collection of teams that generated at least $9 billion in revenue last season would be given tax-exempt status, but the NFL is technically classified as a 501(c)6 organization.
Call the bounty program that sought to hurt, maim, destroy and purposely injure high-powered football players what it is: criminal. This is organized crime at its worse -- nothing less.
You can put the tennis ratings in a thimble when you compare it with the zillions who will watch Sunday's football game. However, if you were one of the fortunate ones to have watched the Djokovic/Nadal final you saw something special.