BAYHAM: The Silence Of The Commish

Hopefully by the time you read this column, it will have been made obsolete and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will have finally broken his silence and addressed the brontosaurus in the press room.

But just in case the most hated man in sports is still hiding out in his Commissioner Panic Room, I’d like offer up a few thoughts.

First, Goodell should resign.

He won’t as he is totally devoid of any shame and will cling to his lucrative gig as absolute monarch of the most powerful sports conglomerate in the English speaking world.

But when you’re in charge of something, whether it be a snowball stand or a multi billion dollar outfit such as the National Football League, one must face the music even if it’s playing at over 110 decibels, about the same noise level the Black and Gold fans generated, and amazingly sustained, for three hours last Sunday afternoon.

The NFL Commissioner is supposed to “defend the shield’, yet thus far Goodell has only cowered behind it while his referees have defecated on it and the game.

Goodell’s Twitter account (@nflcommish) has not promulgated anything since he expressed his condolences over the death of former President George Bush. Total radio silence.

And you’d think the dumpster fire of officiating from the NFC Championship game would require immediate aggressive public engagement from the league office.

Instead of going away, the matter has festered.

This isn’t a Saints issue; it’s a football issue. You don’t have to be part of the Who Dat Nation to be infuriated by what happened as it is offensive to every true fan of the game.

Goodell might be under the impression that the controversy will somehow extinguish itself.

Spoiler alert: it won’t.

When Goodell finally emerges from his bunker he will not only have to explain the NFL’s role in mitigating what happened in the Superdome but his silence for days after the two conference championship games.

I don’t know which will be more challenging for the most influential executive in American sports, as both are inexplicable.

I wonder if Vegas has a betting spread  on who will emerge first from his hole to see his shadow, Commissioner Goodell or Punxsutawney Phil.

Let the record reflect that I have far more confidence in the judgment of the latter than the former.


As we enter Day 6 of Goodell’s “Hope It Goes Away” PR gambit, there are two people who have not been silent, one a Saint, another a sinner.

Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman has been running his mouth full speed about his dirty play on Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis, taking great pride in having willfully committed a blatant cheat that determined the outcome of the NFC Championship contest.

You’d think such boasting about a helmet-to-helmet hit would’ve attracted the attention of a commissioner who prattles so about player safety while continuing to schedule Thursday night football games.

By all means “Pocket Change,” keep it up as the defensive back’s brazen smack-talkery makes that much more of a mockery of Goodell and the league.

And then there is now retired New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson, who is far more than just a great player – he’s a true role model.

Watson is the kind of man a mother would hope her son would grow up to be, a father would wish his daughter would marry, and a leader this country would be blessed to have as president.

Watson threw down the gauntlet, calling out Goodell on social media for his inaction and silence, conduct unbecoming of the position he holds that is disrespectful to the fans.

Through his trademark eloquence, Watson executed an irrefutable rhetorical takedown of Goodell.

It is the embodiment of speaking truth to power.

I’ll close this column with the same three words Watson used to end his statement: we are waiting.



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