Tag Archives: football

Roger Goodell as Emmanuel Goldstein

I found myself watching the NFL draft this week and I have to admit, I took a lot of joy watching Commissioner Roger Goodell take a beating.  For the entire first round of the draft, fired up football fans in Philadelphia raucously booed Goodell.  Pick after pick, out walked the beleaguered commissioner to announce each team’s first round selection and the fans responded with pure venom.   You’d think even Philly fans, famous for their outright cruelty, would get bored with the ‘let’s boo the commissioner” act.  But no, the rain of boos continued for hours and I waited patiently (hopefully?) for someone wearing a Wilbert Montgomery shirt to gun a cabbage right at Roger’s head.

Let’s face it – Roger Goodell is the least likeable person associated with any sport anywhere in the world.  Not only is Goodell blessed with a perma-smug look on his face that screams to anyone near him “punch me!” but he has mismanaged almost every league controversy during his tenure.  Whether it was Ray Rice drilling his wife with an uppercut, egregious over-punishment of the New Orleans Saints (some of which was overturned), or the bizarre, unfounded Kafkaesque “trial” of Tom Brady over the fact that footballs lose air pressure on cold rainy nights – Goodell has poured gasoline on every league brush fire.

Typically, that kind of record will get a man fired. However, Roger looks plenty safe.  He’s collecting $35 million a year.  The owners are showering the man with money, while the fans are burying him with hate.  Beyond the amusing spectacle of watching the awkward, smarmy Goodell getting heaped with derision, I found myself wondering aloud:  Why?!

Why do the NFL owners, the most unified group of totalitarian oligarchs since the Soviet Politburo, trot out Roger to be pilloried by riled up, sauced-up, NFL fans every draft?  Conventional wisdom would have us believe that the owners are desperate to protect the brand of the NFL from any criticism from fans or the media.  If you’re an NFL owner couldn’t you find someone who, for a cool $35 million per year, could be a little more competent and a little less odious than Roger Goodell?  So again, I was left wondering, why?!

Then it came to me.  The NFL draft reminded me of something I’d read about years ago.

“The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic.”

–          1984 by George Orwell

For the same reason Orwell’s Inner Party trotted out Emmanuel Goldstein for the “two-minute hate,” the NFL sends out roger Goodell for the “first-round hate.”  When your real goal is to manipulate the proles and redirect their emotions; when you have no respect for the average fan; that’s when you create spectacles like the NFL draft broadcast.

The owners are acutely aware that the opposite of love is not hate, but rather indifference.  Believe me, the owners deeply fear indifference.

So, you give the fans an outlet for their seething hatred – you offer them up the most hated man in sports, once a year, to be scorned.  In order to prevent a revolution, or even worse the loss of Red-Zone subscriptions and TV ratings, it is best to just let Roger take a beating.  Let the unwashed masses yell and scream – there will be no damage to the league and nothing will change.  Fanatics can huff and puff at Goodell’s multi-million dollar brick house, but rest assured the pigs are seated comfortably inside.

The owners need not worry when fans are yelling death threats at the commissioner.  Just so long as it never gets to the point where the fans do something really dangerous – like turning off the television or cutting back on fan merch purchases.

That’s the game being played here folks.  It’s a two-minute hate with Roger Goodell playing the role of Emmanuel Goldstein.  We are all being manipulated – and I am right there with the rest of you, enjoying my hatred of Roger Goodell.  As Winston Smith confessed in 1984 – once the hate-fest starts, it is impossible to avoid joining in.

Does any of this bother Roger Goodell?  Not at all.  He could care less what the fans think, because he works for the owners.  And those same owners give Roger 35 million reasons to endure public hate and discontent.

For Roger, It’s all double-plus-good.

Copyright © 2017 cjcheetham

Did the Patriots Use Sasquatch to Deflate Footballs?

Bad TV that insults me freely; still I know what I’m dyin’ to see

-Iggy Pop


Announcer: This…..is Sports Center.

Skip Grayness: Good evening everyone, welcome to Sports Center. There were lots of athletic events tonight but let’s get straight to breaking news. Our own Chip Morgueworkersson has breaking news on the latest Patriots scandal! Chip, what have you got and just how sensational is it?

Chip: [Speaking in grave tones] Well, Skip it doesn’t look good for Bill Belichick. I’m told by highly placed sources that the Patriots actually used a Bigfoot – a Sasquatch – to deflate balls before the AFC Championship game.

Skip: Whoa, Chip… this is big.

Chip: Yes it is Skip. I have looked into this extensively and the ceilings in the men’s room at Gillette Stadium are 10 feet tall. My sources tell me that that is clearly a high enough ceiling to handle a Sasquatch which I’m told on average runs between 7 and 9 feet tall. There was a report in the 1940s of a Sasquatch that was over 10 feet tall, but my sources stress it would be extremely unlikely that such an animal would still be alive. Even if he was alive, he’d be almost 80 years old and it would be extremely unlikely for him to live in Foxboro at that age.

Skip: Wow, you’ve done your homework. That’s why you’re the best in the biz, Chip! How exactly did Sasquatch deflate the footballs, thereby giving known cheaters Bill Belichick and the rest of the Patriots a huge advantage en route to their narrow 45 -7 victory over the plucky Indianapolis Colts?

Chip: Skip, I am told that they pre-positioned the Sasquatch in the men’s room. When the ball attendant brought the bag of game balls into the men’s room, the Sasquatch went to work. I don’t think I have to tell you, the Squatch, as the experts call him, has massive hands and is enormously strong. It could easily squeeze the air out of 11 balls.

Skip: Why only 11 balls, why not 12?

Chip: Well Skip, and I’m speculating here – you know I don’t like to do that, I like to deal with facts; but purely speculating I think it is safe to say that most Bigfoots have trouble counting any higher than 7.

Skip: So this Sasquatch exceeded expectations with 11?

Chip: Belichick wouldn’t have it any other way, would he? I mean he can coach. He obviously has a Sasquatch that knows how to do his job.

Skip: Great work as always Chip. This is truly BREAKING NEWS! Now, let’s turn to our panel of unbiased experts. Joining me are Michael Bonbon of the Chicago Press, and some guy wearing a New York Giants shirt named Coco. Coco, let me start with you. What are the implications of the Patriots using a Sasquatch to doctor balls and steal victories?

Coco: Well Skip, my first thought is how long have they been using giant mythical primates to win football games? And this goes beyond deflating balls. The NFL will have to investigate if the Sasquatch was using its giant leathery hands – I’m told they are like sandpaper! Were they using those big meat-hooks to scuff footballs? And don’t get me started on game prep – because a 9 foot tall primate on the practice field is a huge advantage for a QB like Tom Brady when he walks through how to cheat, I mean beat, a defense.

Skip: Fascinating. Bonbon, what do you have?

Bonbon: Look, the Patriots are always going to push the line. Is there anything in the NFL rule book that states explicitly “You cannot use a Sasquatch”? No. The NFL has got to get the integrity of the game back under control. The Patriots should not be allowed to hide a Sasquatch at Gillette Stadium to affect the outcome of games.

Skip: Bonbon, and I want to stress right now the league is still investigating, but when they reach the obvious conclusion that Belichick used a Bigfoot – what does Roger Goodell do?

Bonbon: Make Belichick confess! Right now, TODAY, the NFL has the authority based on what we know from Chip’s report to put Belichick on a bread and water diet! So what haven’t they done so already? And I don’t want it to be french bread and bottled water. Give him white bread, WITH high fructose corn syrup, and room temperature tap water.

Skip: And after he confesses?

Bonbon: Well look, we don’t need to go overboard. Just bury him up to his neck in the Arizona desert, cover his head with honey and let the ants have him.

Skip: Seems reasonable considering how much damage the league is taking as a result of rampant Sasquatch usage by the Patriots. What about Brady?

Bonbon: Let him play in the Super Bowl. But wrap his thighs together with some heavy duct tape. Force him to shimmy around the pocket or hop like a rabbit to avoid the pass rush.

Coco: Skip, I’d like to jump in here. Did you notice Belichick’s answer on media day to the question about the Sasquatch?

Skip: Wait… he was asked about Sasquatch?

Coco: Yes, when the cute little 4 year old girl asked Belichick, “what is your favorite stuffed animal?” Belichick said he liked a monkey that you can put your hands inside to control – like a puppet. First thing I thought was this. He is positioning himself to say he was referring to the Sasquatch he has been using, FOR DECADES, to win football games. A primate puppet? Come on! It’s obvious.

Skip: Old Belichick is always trying to stay one step ahead isn’t he?

Bonbon: He should be publicly executed.

Skip: Before we wrap up – anything else from you Coco?

Coco: Will you be showing anymore highlights of the Giants this week?  I’m used to you showing highlights of the Giants beating the Patriots in the Super Bowl at least 19 times a week since 2008. I’ve noticed that this week, you have only showed it 12 times. It really makes it more fun for me to caress my Michael Strahan bobble-head doll when you play those highlights.

Skip: Coco, great lead in! It’s coming up right after the break!


Copyright © 2015 cjcheetham