Has Anyone Started A Roger Goodell Pool Yet?

roger-goodellHow long until Roger Goodell exits the NFL? This month? This week? This evening? I suspect his time is short.

I don’t have to rehash this story. What Ray Rice did was inexcusable.

The question now is, did Roger Goodell do the inexcusable too? I think so.

Forget AP’s revelation for a moment. Nothing in the tape released by TMZ offers anything the commissioner didn’t know earlier. Rice, as reported, was up front about the fight. He was charged with a violent crime. He knocked his girlfriend unconscious with his fist!

How did seeing the TMZ elevator video change that? The only difference was now we could see what the NFL already knew! That was their worry — not what Rice had done, but that we knew.

And, again, this is regardless of whatever tape they did or didn’t see. They knew this was a brutal act by a 206 pound athlete based on Rice’s own admission.

Goodell will leave the NFL a wealthy man. I just saw a report he made $29 million in 2011. Don’t cry if he loses his job.

Violence against women is a scourge which must be stopped. If Rice’s punishment serves as a warning to others, so be it. The same goes for any punishment Goodell receives in his role as whitewasher and enabler.

It’s Really Tough To Be A Fan

With no snowballs to throw, the stadium full of season ticket holders booed them to the locker room.

Helaine and I were dumbfounded, beside ourselves. “When does spring training start,” she wondered?

BA6RWe were excited to watch the Eagles play this afternoon. There’s been a lot written about them this summer. Expectations were high. And, today the Eagles were playing patsies, The Jacksonville Jaguars.

On the first series, Nick Foles the unexpected, but apparent, savior of Philadelphia, looked very mortal.




Just like that it was 7-0.

Foles coughed it up again, was sacked five times and threw an interception as the Eagles were threatening. 17-0 at the half.

With no snowballs to throw, the stadium full of season ticket holders booed them to the locker room.

Helaine and I were dumbfounded, beside ourselves. “When does spring training start,” she wondered?

Fans are fans. If you’re one you understand. We watch the Phillies play, though their view of the rest of the National League is dim tail lights in the distance. We weren’t going to abandon the Eagles either. We’d be crushed nonetheless!

A different Eagles team came out for the second half. How is that possible? How can a turnaround be so movie script dramatic?

All of a sudden the Eagles were unstoppable. The scored 17 to tie it, then another 17 for good measure. Final score 34-17.

Via Instant Messenger&#185, my buddy Bob in Florida typed, “clearly the best half time locker speech ever.”


Meanwhile, H and I were so invested in the Eagle’s season we were still emotionally distraught from the first half! It’s sort of crazy, isn’t it? To be that much of a fan?

It’s not a choice you make. It just happens.

&#185 – My friend Bob and I are the last two people on AOL Instant Messenger. I remember when that was the Internet’s hottest property.

There’s Less To The NFL’s Pink Program Than You Think

breast cancer research pie chart“Did you hear about the NFL and pink,” Stef asked?

If you’re a football fan you’ve seen pink all over the field in every October football game. The NFL is raising awareness and money for breast cancer research.

That’s not what Stef was asking about.

According to Business Insider, a shamefully small percentage of the pink proceeds go toward breast cancer research, the stated purpose.

In the end, after everybody has taken their cut, only 8.01% of money spent on pink NFL merchandise is actually going towards cancer research

And since the NFL is often the retailer, receiving 50% of the take, they may actually be making more money than the stated charitable purpose.

I’m a believer in doing good work through charitable donations. For two decades I helped JDRF raise money for diabetes research and a cure. Not only was 100% of my time volunteered, Helaine and I always gave an additional cash donation.

When I asked my blog readers to vote on an organization to receive a free website, Beacon Falls Congregational Church got it gratis. The same goes for the site I’m currently building for Hospice.

My father taught me you don’t make money on friends or charity. He was right.

The NFL makes more money than God. They squeeze cities to build their stadiums. I applaud their program to raise money for breast cancer awareness, but question whether their contribution is equal to the fans’ expectations.

NFL California Style


My first week of NFL games from California is nearly over. It is a brand new experience.

With a Thursday game, Sunday night, plus two on Monday there was more choice than usual. That would have been the case back east or here.

What’s obviously different is the 10:00 AM start for the first game! I was just getting up and the game was already a few plays old.

Helaine usually stays up to watch the late Sunday game. Often she’d complain about how late it lasted and how it would screw up her schedule. No more! Sunday’s late game was over well before bedtime, around 9:00 O’clock.

I’m not sure how the local affiliates feel. Thursday’s game on NBC meant no early evening newscast on Channel 4. Local news is a big money maker for TV stations. Football is too, but the local stations get fewer commercials to sell.

In the East Sunday’s evening game leads into a delayed edition of the news. Sunday night’s game here ended early enough for an hour of network filler before the local news at its normal time of 11:00 PM. I’m not sure which is better, news after midnight or an hour of much less compelling fare before the news?

Tonight’s second game will end early enough for SoCal fans of the Chargers (are there any?) to get to bed at a reasonable hour.

All things considered the NFL’s schedule is a dream for West Coast viewers.

Oh… one more thing concerning football. I know, it’s off topic, but what a night for the Philadelphia Eagles. They stunned the Washington Redskins in a game no one predicted they’d even keep close. For big fans like Helaine and me it was heaven on Earth.

It started before dinner!

A Tale Of Two Front Pages

Here are the front pages from today’s New York Daily News and Philadelphia Daily News.

Sunday night on NBC’s primetime football game Bob Costas admonished the NY Giants not to listen to the radio today! Is there reception where they’ll be hiding? I’m sure the feeling in Philadelphia is very different.

With that in mind here are the front pages from today’s New York Daily News and Philadelphia Daily News.

The Giants Should Have Known

All week the forecast called for a chance of snow Saturday. By Wednesday it became “likely.

Just in case anyone asks the Minnesota snowstorm that took the New York Giants by surprise was well forecast. This is an embarrassment for the Giants and NFL and a pain-in-the-ass for everyone else.

All week the forecast called for a chance of snow Saturday. By Wednesday it became “likely.” Winter Storm Watches were issued Thursday. A Blizzard Warning was up on Friday.

This Isn’t Football!

Call me when the real season begins.

I’ve got football on. Hold a sec. Check that. Football off.

I like football. This is not football.

I’m sorry NBC I’m not picking on you. These games are missing all the excitement of football because they are not competitions.

Favre was pulled after one series. He went down under heavy defensive pressure. Grass stains on his tush!

If the game was tight and coming down to the wire would the starters go back in? Seriously? Why do I even use the word game?

It’s the summer. TV households are usually down. I’m sure it makes economic sense and there are people who want to watch (and certainly enough channels to set aside one), but this isn’t why I watch football.

Call me when the real season begins.

Now I Hate The Patriots Even More

Seriously, how stupid do they think we are? Do they really think the Google hasn’t hit Connecticut? Maybe it’s not Connecticut that doesn’t understand!

Over at the TV station Tina Detelj had a sad story of disappointment in Lebanon, Connecticut Wednesday afternoon. An explainer first, then part of the story you probably haven’t heard.

From WTNH.com: Picture this – a hundred students waiting in the Lebanon Middle School gymnasium for members of the New England Patriots. But what they got was disappointment.

They thought they’d be rewarded with visits from Patriots players for taking part in an NFL-sponsored program, but it didn’t turn out that way.

The Middle School students had participated in the NFL’s “Fuel Up to Play 60” program. Literature had promised the winner “celebrity coaches.” Instead an intern came with a video.

Let me hit pause for a second. I dislike the Patriots. I’m not talking as an NFL fan, but as a Connecticut resident.

Robert Kraft played our state and specifically our then soon to be convict governor as rubes. He promised us the Patriots in order to exact a better deal from Massachusetts. Kraft walked away from his deal with us when he got what he really wanted.

Though I never believed the Pats would come (and told anyone who’d listen what extra piece of anatomy I’d grow if they did come) what Kraft did is still inexcusable. Blank him.

Where were we? Stick with me because I promise a payoff.

Tina’s story (and similar ones on other TV stations plus the original reporting of Paul Petrone in the Norwich Bulletin) embarrassed both the Dairy Council who sponsored the whole thing and of course the Patriots. Tonight the Pats issued a statement.

From WTNH.com: A spokesperson for the Patriots told News 8 the reason there were no players or coaches here in this gymnasium is because the term ‘celebrity coaches’ actually refers to a local celebrity like the principal of the school, a mayor, or a DJ acting as a coach for the work out which was done here. It’s a miscommunication the Patriots say they will try to straighten out.

Repeating–I don’t like the Patriots. I don’t trust the Patriots. That’s why I went to Google News and searched “NFL’s “Fuel Up to Play 60″ school player”

  • Today, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack joined Washington, DC, schoolchildren and National Football League (NFL) Washington Redskins players Malcolm Kelly and Reed Doughty at the U.S. National Arboretum
  • San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith was all smiles Friday morning. Why wouldn’t he be? The 49ers have his back. While interim general manager Trent Baalke, coach Mike Singletary and other 49er brass were in New York on Thursday night for the first round of the NFL draft, Smith was here, preparing for a Van Gorder Elementary School assembly Friday morning.
  • Dairy Council of Utah/Nevada has teamed up with Alex Smith, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, in a campaign to fight childhood obesity. The campaign, known as Fuel Up to Play 60, is part of a national initiative to promote healthy eating and physical activity by the National Football League and National Dairy Council. Alex Smith joined students at Brockbank Junior High during a school assembly to share the benefits and importance of eating right, exercising, and being prepared.
  • Packed into Holy Savior Elementary School’s gym Friday afternoon, nearly 300 students fidgeted with barely contained energy. They weren’t there for a lecture or an ordinary pep rally, but to hear from a Super Bowl champion. Thomas Morstead, a punter for the New Orleans Saints, talked with the students about the importance of exercise and proper diet before he was mobbed by students and adults for autographs and pictures

Seriously, how stupid do they think we are? Do they really think the Google hasn’t hit Connecticut? Maybe it’s not Connecticut that doesn’t understand!

Have I mentioned how I feel about the Pats?

World Series Game Three With Helaine

As you can imagine, tonight is pretty special. The Phils are in the World Series and Helaine is hanging on every pitch.


Sebastian knew there are certain things in life that are indescribable–you talk about them anyway. Such is Helaine’s love of sports. She will watch any NFL game and most baseball games. She roots Philadelphia exclusively and the Eagles and Phillies religiously.

She understands the minutiae that goes on–the game within the game. I’m not sure any other friend has ever had her deep grasp. She’s always ahead of the announcers on strategy–always.

As you can imagine, tonight is pretty special. The Phils are in the World Series and Helaine is hanging on every pitch. It is very intense.

Being with her on a night like tonight is a lot of fun. Her love of sports is one of her most endearing qualities.

Sweating To The Phillies

If I wasn’t here the sound would be off. She’d be watching the game, but not listening. She is that intense.

I’m a sports fan–much more now than when I was younger. This is totally the fault because of Helaine. She is “the” sports fan in our family. It was Helaine who brought the subscription to Sports Illustrated into our relationship. It was she who shared Phillies season ticket plans with her dad. I was an Eagles season ticket holder, but the short season makes that much less of a commitment.

We are spending the evening watching the Phillies/Brewers playoff game on TV. Right now the Phils are behind. However, Helaine’s persona during a game is not lead dependent. Each pitch, no matter the score, is pivotal and cause for anguish.

She will poo poo this, but I’ve never watched a game with anyone who had more insight. Helaine watches and comments… and often the TV voices comment behind her.

It’s the bottom of the 7th and the Phils are down 4-1. If I wasn’t here the sound would be off. She’d be watching the game, but not listening. She is that intense.

I brag to my friends about having a sports fan wife. They are often very jealous–as well they should be. Not many people are married to a woman whose perfect Sunday is spent in pajamas, on the sofa, watching the NFL.

The Perfect Sunday

Her perfect Sunday is spent wearing pajamas, sitting on the sofa watching the NFL.

“Fine.” That was Helaine’s answer when asked if her sports expectations were answered today. The Phillies won big. The Eagles won bigger.

Helaine has said, and I have often repeated, her perfect Sunday is spent wearing pajamas, sitting on the sofa watching the NFL. Wish granted. She was down here when I came downstairs and has remained on the sofa “with limited commercial interruptions&#135” ever since.

Because of yesterday’s inclement weather the Phils play a second game against the Mets tonight. Remember when baseball used to have single admission Sunday doubleheaders? I do too. MLB seems to have forgotten. They make the schedules.

If the Phils win tonight they will be tied with the Mets–again. Helaine will sleep like a baby.

&#135–Helaine reminds me she did two loads of laundry and made dinner while the games were on. I stand corrected, in clean clothes, well fed.

Why She’s The Perfect Woman

Helaine is the ultimate sports fan. When we married, it was her subscription to Sports Illustrated that started coming to the house. Her ‘perfect Sunday’ is sitting home, in her pajamas, watching NFL football – especially the Eagles.

I’m still very much in love with my wife. It’s OK to say it in the blog. I say it to anyone who will listen.

Helaine is beautiful and smart and puts up with (most of) my crap, but there’s more.

She is the ultimate sports fan. When we married, it was her subscription to Sports Illustrated that started coming to the house. Her ‘perfect Sunday’ is sitting home, in her pajamas, watching NFL football – especially the Eagles.

This time of year she’s following the Phillies.

I got the call tonight around 10:45. I answered, but Helaine said nothing. All I could hear was crowd noise. Loud, happy, excited crowd noise.

“Un***kingbelievable,” she finally said.

And then, she asked me to say the phrase. I knew what she wanted.

“Put another one in the win column for the Phightin’ Phils.”

After blowing a lead, then going down by a run in the top of the tenth, Pat Burrell’s walk off homer won the game. Helaine will sleep happy tonight.

She’s a helluva find.

Blogger’s addendum: A regular blog reader somehow got a copy of the radio aircheck from Burrell’s homer. Enjoy!

Annoying Ads On Football

If you watch a lot of football, and we do, you see a lot of the same ads repeated… and repeated again.

Helaine likes the animals singing along with Andy Kim’s Rock Me Gently. I like the NFL merchandise spot where players deliver ‘swag,’ like Adam Vinatieri kicking a grill long distance to a fan.

We like anything with Peyton Manning, especially his “pep talks.” Helaine just rewound the DVR to see MasterCard was the sponsor. Oops. I’d work on that brand recognition boys.

We’re disappointed by Southwest Airlines’ new business oriented spots. We like Southwest as they were, people oriented.

Mostly, I’m bugged by the Coors Light ads. You know the ones. Twentysomething guys infiltrate NFL post-game press conferences. Using actual coaches responses, the script inserts new questions.

This bit was pretty funny when Steve Allen did it in the early 60s&#185. It is not funny now.

Good writing is incredibly valuable. These are terribly written. There is no subtlety, no nuance. The match between question and answer is often tenuous. The whole thing is just forced.

There is one unforeseen problem with my distaste for these spots. I can’t turn away! Helaine was first to notice, as soon as the commercial came on TV I’d snap my neck in that direction.

Maybe I shouldn’t let Coors know.

&#185 – I remember Allen using this on his Sunday evening show. He would play back studio supplied, filmed interviews with movie stars on location. First he’d do the interview straight. Then he’d do it again, with new questions.

Steve Allen invented most of what’s on TV and everything that’s on late night.

Reporter Or Flack – You Make The Call

Helaine and I are watching tonight’s broadcast of the Pats/Giants game. Comcast has it on five channels, plus NFL Network (which I don’t buy).

Before the game began, an on-field ‘reporter’ ‘interviewed’ NFL commissioner Roger Gooddell. Well, at least that’s how it appeared. Certainly, that’s how it was intended to appear.

Don’t be fooled. It was not a reporter. It was not an interview.

Roger Gooddell was quizzed on NFL Network by an NFL Network employee. As NFL commissioner he controls NFL Network. He is the interviewer’s boss.

Which tough, embarrassing questions are you prepared to ask your boss on national television?

Gooddell answered with no follow-up.

This wasn’t an interview. It was a stealth press release. That wasn’t a reporter. Tonight, he was a PR flack.

That NBC and CBS allowed this to happen on their air is nearly as distasteful as NFL Network doing it.

NFL Network Sacked For A Loss

So, it looks like the Patriot – Giants game will be on ‘free’ over-the-air TV (seen mainly on ‘paid’ cable or satellite). Originally it was scheduled to be on the NFL Network alone.

This is a complex story, but it seems the NFL is the real short term loser here.

Basically, the NFL created its own sports network and seeded it with a handful of games. In years gone by, these would have been shown on free TV and, in fact, they were still going to be shown on free TV in the teams’ home markets.

The idea was to force cable companies to carry the network year round. That would be the only way to have access to these individual games. The NFL wanted it to be included on cable as a basic service, like CNN or ESPN and not a pay add-on, like HBO or Showtime.

It was a lot to swallow for a few out-of-market games and lots (and lots) of filler.

Unfortunately for the NFL, the cable companies balked and few fans cared. Did you really miss the Broncos – Texans game on December 13 (or the other random match-ups&#185)?

This would have all passed quietly, except for this weekend and the Patriots going for an undefeated season. Now the NFL had leverage. Fortunately, it blew up in their faces.

Under enormous pressure from Congress on down, the NFL relented. Now, this marquee game will be seen on the NFL Network, NBC and CBS! In Boston and New York City it will be on a fourth station as well! ABC might as well run the “All-Star Salute to Cheese.”

In trying to force the cable companies to carry their network, the NFL didn’t have a leg to stand on because of one other move they’d made: NFL Sunday Ticket.

NFL Sunday Ticket is the NFL’s package, offering every game live. As much as the cable companies and Dish Network want that (and I’d probably buy it), it is only offered on DirectTV.

This is a guess on my part, but I’ll bet Sunday Ticket is the most powerful selling point DirectTV has.

The cable ops (and I) wondered, how the could NFL cry about their fans inability to watch these NFL Network games when it wouldn’t provide all the other games to those same poor fans? This is the definition of chutzpah!

There’s an old story about a guy who kills his parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court because he’s an orphan. That’s the NFL!

I don’t know how this will all come out. At some point the NFL will have to accept defeat and decide if this in-house network is really a viable concept.

Is it just me, or is there a cosmic thread which runs through America where we root for the evil, greedy corporation to get its comeuppance. At the moment, I couldn’t be happier.

In the Fox house, we will continue to root against the Giants. The Pats achievement is less important.

&#185 – NFL Network 2007 Game Schedule

Week 12: Thursday, November 22 at 8:00 PM ET (Live)

Indianapolis Colts at Atlanta Falcons (Thanksgiving)

Week 13: Thursday, November 29 at 8:00 PM ET (Live)

Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

Week 14: Thursday, December 6 at 8:00 PM ET (Live)

Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins

Week 15: Thursday, December 13 at 8:00 PM ET (Live)

Denver Broncos at Houston Texans

Week 15: Saturday, December 15 at 8:00 PM ET (Live)

Cincinnati Bengals at San Francisco 49ers

Week 16: Thursday, December 20 at 8:00 PM ET (Live)

Pittsburgh Steelers at St. Louis Rams

Week 16: Saturday, December 22 at 8:00 PM ET (Live)

Dallas Cowboys at Carolina Panthers

Week 17: Saturday, December 29 at 8:00 PM ET (Live)

New England Patriots at New York Giants