I used to think that Bud Selig would never be challenged for the title of 2nd Worst Commissioner in the History of Sports. (John Ziegler, the NHL President who took the league off of network television and basic cable and signed an exclusive TV deal with regional SportsChannel--thereby stunting the growth of the sport for a full decade--and who allowed the entire Players Pension Fund to be embezzled--and who mandated helmet use is far and away the Worst Commissioner Ever and will likely take the crown with him to the grave and beyond.) Steroid use, the game turning into Home Run Derby for a decade or so, his hands up in the air at the All Star Game in Milwaukee when the game ended in a tie because both teams ran out of pitchers, then having the All Star Game decide home field advantage in the World Series and cheapening the regular season by adding not one but two wild card teams to the Playoffs will be Bud's legacy.
But now, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is making a solid run for the title of 2nd Worst Ever. Covering up concussions, SpyGate, under-punishing Ray Rice, flip-flopping on Adrian Peterson, over-punishing Tom Brady and the Patriots for DeflateGate, and then getting trounced by the aforementioned players in high-profile court rulings paint Goodell as a bumbling fool with no control over his league. There has been serious discussion among talking heads in both the sports and news arenas that Goodell may be fired from his $44-MILLION dollar position.
And then comes an article in the Wall Street Journal today that every NFL team got a little bonus at the end of the last fiscal year: $226-MILLION. That is on top of the revenues teams generated from ticket sales, concessions, local TV and radio rights, pro shop sales and advertising. That was $40-MILLION more per team than the year before. And that was generated in a year that many would say was the worst "off-field" for the league due to the domestic violence, the concussion lawsuits and various other arrests of players. Multiply that $226-MILLION by 32-teams and you realize that the NFL made a profit of $7.2-BILLION last year.
Thanks to the DeflateGate debacle, tonight's season opener between the aggrieved defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots and the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers will likely set a new ratings record for a Thursday night network game. And all of those sponsor who let everyone know that they were dropping their affiliation with the NFL likely quietly came back in the off-season--or were quickly replaced by other companies more then willing to spend big bucks to get themselves in front of the NFL's huge audience.
So I guess we can say that Roger Goodell is incompetent--but he is apparently incompetent like a fox.