Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Bob Lobel: What's Next for the NFL and Ray Rice?

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

Does Roger Goodell resign? Should he be fired?

Clearly, he has become the focal point of this latest violence against women scandal. The NFL has historically done a great job of reacting to crisis, but a lousy job of preventing it in the first place. Their mission statement has been something like “we are untouchable, and when trouble comes along, we will adjust our rules to fix it." 

That may or may not include lying. 

Here is the deal. TMZ will find Amelia Earhart or the missing Malaysian Airlines flight before the NFL can figure out what a significantly powerful ally to society it could be if it only stopped counting the money, having the parties and just plain reveling in being in the most powerful club in the world.

So what if its springboard to all this is a dangerous game of speed, power and contact, where the average playing life of one of its players is three-and-a-half years. I know everyone will write this today, but still it has to become a referendum of media opinion of the unfathomable circumstance where TMZ can find the video evidence and the NFL, with all its connections, law enforcement programs, and a commish that is prosecutor, jury and judge for most offenses in its world, does not. 

Hey, TMZ has taken our minds off the sorry performance of the Patriots on opening day. Actually, TMZ has pretty much put a big time dent in the opening weekend of the NFL. Reacting instead of acting, Baltimore cuts Rice and his 10+ million dollar contract and Goodell, claiming not to have seen the TMZ elevator video, ups his personal 2 game suspension of Ray Rice to indefinite (read, probably forever). 

So what have we learned here today, besides the fact that the Patriots offensive line sucks and so do they at the moment? The NFL commissioner is so public relations smooth that he can say he got the Rice ruling wrong without knowing how wrong he was. 

He can thank TMZ for the reality show. Do we think TMZ cost him his job?  The owners probably will rally around him.  He has made them all a lot of money. The NFL can go all out next month since it's “domestic violence month,” with the color purple as its monicker. 

They have done a great job with the pink touch for breast cancer, so now is their chance for some redemption, even if it is a reaction to a crisis. When they realize that domestic violence is a crisis,  they will have taken a giant leap forward in using their power for good and not some selfish  endeavor. 

TMZ has given the NFL a gift, whether they wanted it or not. 

Let's see  if Goodell can make the crisis he has created part of the positive action that TMZ graphically illustrated is needed. Amelia is next.  

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