HOUSTON — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was at it again Wednesday. The man is a master of passive aggression and manipulation. If his ginger hair were on fire, he would calmly tell you that he is not warm.Shank is also a master of passive-aggressive behavior; he's spent the past two years attacking and criticizing the Patriots and Tom Brady on the issue of Deflategate in particular and is now about to change his tune because it suits him, and he has cover from other Boston area media. He has done the same with the Patriots for over two decades, criticizing them at every turn, then pretending to support them whenever they made serious playoff runs. These two sons of bitches ought to be exchanging notes.
Roger Dodger (never heard that one before! - ed.) held his annual Super Bowl media session Wednesday at the Houston Convention Center. We will not bore you with anything Goodell said about the Chargers’ move to Los Angeles, the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas, “Thursday Night Football,” or NFL games in London.I'm thankful for small favors - let's get ready to rumble!!!
All we care about is Deflategate, and Goodell allowed five Deflategate queries during his 45 minutes at the podium.Bear in mind that Shank was quite pleased with this investigation and its eventual outcome, with Shank concluding that Tom Brady and the Patriots are lying cheating bastards as he scolded the entire Patriots Nation.
Give him credit for taking some bullets. The typical NFL method is to deny the obvious and censor all dissent. In a room with hundreds of hungry reporters, it would have been easy for Goodell to rig the session and make sure he took no questions from New England. He did not do this.
The Globe’s Ben Volin was first up, and he told the Commish that Bob Kraft (who was sitting in the front row with Jonathan) is still going around telling folks that Goodell got bad Deflategate advice from folks in the league office.What Goodell doesn't mention is the transmogrification of this case from an equipment violation to a 'conduct detrimental' matter in order to impose the four game suspension on Brady.
Goodell quickly dismissed that with, “We had a violation. We went through a process. We applied the discipline in accordance with our process. It was litigated, as you know, extensively and validated by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, so we’re moving on.’’
Moving on? Not bloody likely. The Patriots and their fans are not moving on. In this spirit, we went at the Commish with both barrels. We fired all the muskets at once. This was no time for decorum.Need I remind anybody about Shank's passive-aggressive behavior?
“Tom Brady Sr. was highly critical and personally insulting toward you last week,’’ I reminded the commissioner. “You’ve not been in Foxborough for two years since the Deflategate investigation. Your explanation strains all credibility — that you needed to be in Atlanta two weeks in a row.This is simply astounding - Shank used Deflategate to beat the ever loving shit out of the Patriots and Tom Brady for two years, and this line of questioning was conspicuously absent from the many, many colums he devoted to the subject. I'll call it breathtaking hypocrisy; pure fucking theater.
“It appears you were avoiding Foxborough. The Patriots are here in this game . . . it feels like there is still a war between the Patriots and their fans and you. How would you characterize the situation, and is it not awkward?”
“I would say that it is not awkward at all for me,’’ started Goodell (nose growing). “We have a job to do. We do our job when there is a violation. We apply the process and discipline and we came to a conclusion that was supported by the courts.
“So from our standpoint, we understand that fans who are loyal and passionate for a team object and don’t like the outcome. I totally understand that. And I was in Boston two seasons ago for two consecutive playoff games, the same way I was in Atlanta this year. That happens.How many of you are buying that?
“So from our standpoint, this is just about making sure we take care of business and do it in a way that is right and upholding the integrity of all of our teams and our rules for all 32 teams.”
“So you’re not avoiding Foxborough?’’ I yelled. “You would come back there, if they win, for the flag raising?”
“If I’m invited back to Foxborough, I’ll come,’’ he answered.
Intrepid Bert Breer of MMQB tried to clarify that comment a few minutes later and asked, “To the best of your knowledge, over the last month have you been welcome in Foxborough . . . by the team?”Being sick of the topic seems like the right response when your position is untenable or the matter just comes up too many times for your liking. Maybe it's a variant of the old saw - 'Have you stopped beating your wife?'
“I have no doubt that if I wanted to come up to a Patriots game and I asked Mr. Kraft, he would welcome me back,’’ said Goodell. “That’s up to him, though.’’
Breer followed up by asking Goodell how his relationship with the team has changed over the last two years.
“Listen, we had a disagreement about what occurred,’’ said Goodell, sounding a little sick of the topic. “We have been very transparent about what we think the violation was. We went through a lengthy process.
“We disagree about that, but I continue to respect and admire Robert, Jonathan, the entire organization. They are an extraordinary organization and they are extraordinary people in my view, so I have a very deep and close relationship to them.I'll go with 'No, I did not talk with Tom Brady...'
“I’m not afraid of disagreement. I don’t think disagreement leads to distrust or hatred. It’s a disagreement . . . That’s what it is. It’s not personal hatred, which I know people like to make it, but for us it’s about making sure we do what’s right for the league, long-term.’’
When Kelly Sullivan of WPRI in Providence asked Goodell if he’d talked to Brady this year, the commissioner said he does not disclose conversations he may or may not have had with players.
Now, with more explosions!
Tom Curran of CSNNE fired this salvo: “From the players in the league, to fan bases in San Diego, St. Louis, New England, there seems to be an erosion of public trust in you and your office. Do you acknowledge that, and is there any way that you would go about repairing that if you would even seek to do so?’’You might call it a big bowl of awkward, to borrow a phrase from the Shankster.
This produced a tower of Goodellspeak.
“The thing you have to always do, every day, is earn that trust, earn that credibility by how you act and how you do things,” he said. “Be transparent and make sure people understand the decisions you make.’’
There were many more words, but no true meaning.
The commissioner is not transparent. Fans do not understand the decisions he’s made.
And despite what Roger Dodger says, this is really awkward.