Just Because Goodell Keeps Talking Doesn’t Mean He’s Telling Us Anything
Roger Goodell held a press conference today. He talked about DeflateGate. He completely sidestepped legitimate questions from the media and left everyone confused. In other news from today about things that have been happening every single day of 2015, the earth revolved around the sun and my Instagram feed was 50% Kardashians, 40% Jenners and 10% throwback pictures
Ben Volin, the Patriots beat writer for the Boston Globe, asked Goodell why the NFL never corrected the inaccurate report that 11 of 12 Patriots game balls were deflated in the AFC Championship game. He also deftly managed to begin his question by reminding the commissioner of the fact that the NFL "consistently corrects misinformation and corrects wrong reports that are out there."
Volin tweeted the transcript of his question and Goodell's response.
First of all, there are actually people on the internet and in the media who believe that Roger Goodell's willingness to talk to the media somehow makes him more transparent and cooperative than Tom Brady.
Come on Sean, please tell me you know better than that.
Read that ridiculous, incomprehensible answer again. Have you seen any of his press conferences in the last few years? He is the worst. That's not "facing reporters", it's standing in front of them while they say questions out loud and you say words back while someone records it with a video camera.
It's one thing to feel that Brady should have stepped up and spoken to the media by now. That's not an unfair expectation and I tend to feel the same way. But let's not get fooled into believing that whatever Goodell is doing is anything better than just coming out, vomiting onto the podium and walking off. He is the aggressor in this situation and he runs the NFL; in this situation he is supposed to answer to us.
He doesn't have the choice to just not speak to the media about this situation for seven months. He initiated it and he has pursued it relentlessly. There is no hiding from it, so don't act like there is something admirable about him getting in front of a microphone to answer our deservedly abundant questions about it. Goodell and Brady do not have the same rules in this process; nor should they.
Now Sean Leahy is a Boston Herald reporter and I understand why he would be frustrated having had to cover this so often and never having any kind of answer from Brady himself. In fact, most Patriots fans have been echoing the same sentiment for a few months now. So I don't begrudge his point there. But ever since the transcript of that appeal hearing was released, Goodell and NFL have lost an incredible amount of trust in the court of public opinion. He either doesn't say anything and keeps looking worse by the day or he tries to appear fastidious by holding another press conference.
The reason those are Goodell's only options is that this was a shameless crusade from the beginning that has very obviously lasted a lot longer and been fought harder than he originally anticipated. He bet on the Wells report shutting Brady and the Patriots down and since they have continued to fight it tooth and nail, it is his obligation to explain to the NFL media and fans what the hell is going on. People may think that Brady is guilty and that he and the Patriots should have accepted their punishment; but even so, most can agree that it is not on them to keep everyone informed of a battle with the NFL that the NFL initiated.
Don't just be grateful that he got in front of a microphone for you. Hold your applause until he actually answers a question.
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