Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Roger Goodell and the Hypocrisy of the NFL

Since it is the season of giving , I felt that I would give some food for thought.

Roger Goodell has been on TV and in the media preaching that his main concern was the players and their safety, and that the rules would be changed on how defensive players were allowed to hit. They were putting a stop to helmet-to-helmet hits and things like that.

Ray Anderson starting laying down the fines and even some suspensions as of late for what they consider to be illegal hits. I call it football, but it is all for safety...or so we thought.

They have changed the way a defensive player is allowed to hit. Again sighting player safety, but, then, still allowing running backs to lead with their heads which is just as dangerous. But, that is for another blog.

The game between the Steelers and Browns on Thursday Night Football on NFL Network, Colt McCoy was hit by Steelers' linebacker James Harrison. The referees flagged the play, a helmet-to-helmet hit/roughing the passer call. Harrison was suspended for one game without pay for the hit.

After the game it was reported that McCoy suffered a concussion, yet he had been allowed to still finish the game. Well, based on Goodell's new and improved NFL, that is not supposed to be allowed. If a player suffers a concussion or shows "concussion-like symptoms" they are not supposed to return to the game. This has been well documented and talked about endlessly. It is all about safety, right?

McCoys father went to the media saying that he was furious that the Browns staff allowed his son to return to the game with a concussion. He stated that his son could not remember anything after the game and should not not have been allowed to return to the game with them knowing that he was injured. He also stated that they did not even check him for concussion-like symptoms, but only checked his hand and let him return.

But, the Browns took another stance on this and said that the medical staff missed the concussion-like symptoms.

There was outrage to this which started people speaking out and saying the Browns staff should be held accountable for this. Well, today the NFL announced that the Browns will not suffer any sort of punishment for this incident.

This is where I have an issue. After constantly listening to Goodell and his stance on this and his hard line on this issue and changing the way football should be played all for the safety of players, the medical staff missed this. How does that happen? Are they not trained to look for stuff like this, and aren't the referees supposed to be looking for indications of concussion-like symptoms as well per Goodell's rules for the new NFL? Yet, he was allowed to return to the game with a concussion anyway.

I am sure that with all their research into this they should have the knowledge to know that by letting Colt return with such an injury, they could have caused this young man more serious injury, including death. Do they not realize that one more hit like that and Colt could possibly not be around right? But the Browns staff, that is supposed to be trained to know things like this and what to look for, missed it. Thank goodness that he was not more seriously injured and will play again. Because this could have ended badly. Then what would Goodell have done?

But they find no reason for any punishment for the Browns not doing their job. They could very well have not only ended this young man's career, but possibly his life. So, therefore, to me this makes Roger Goodell and his staff hypocrites. How can you fine and suspend players for this and not punish teams when they allow players to play with the very same thing that you are trying to protect against and have gone on endlessly about?

You say, Goodell, that you are trying to prolong players careers, but did that same standard not apply to Colt McCoy? The last time I checked he is a player in your NFL after all. Don't you think that maybe Colt wants to continue playing? Or does such protection just apply to other, more marketable players? You say you are protecting players from these violent hits, but do not protect them from people that are supposed to have the knowledge to know they have an injury like this.

I mean, I was sitting at home watching and I could literally see the birds flying around his head, but trained medical professionals couldn't spot it, and therefore let him return to the field. James Harrison was held accountable for his actions in causing the injury, but the Browns' staff that allowed him to return to the game and the referees that called the hit are not accountable? I would think so, but...

I guess there are a different set of rules in these cases: ones that apply to the players of Goodell's, Anderson's and the media' choosing, and then the rules for the the people that are actually paid to keep these players safe. And these rules aren't quite the same. That is what I call Hypocrisy at it's finest.