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So His Check Cleared?


It seems pretty obvious at this point that the NFL isn’t getting its $44 million a year worth on Roger Goodell.  (Incidentally, the idea that “he’s made the owners lots of money” seems bizarre to me. Compared to what? How hard is it for an extremely popular, lavishly taxpayer funded league perfectly set up for TV in an era in which live events have become particularly valuable to make a lot of money?  He didn’t create that context.  Which of these factors would vanish if Goodell was replaced by another random executive?) But LGM is happy to present a contrasting view:

Is there any way to … well … defend Roger Goodell?

Well, yes.

When everyone is piling on, it’s time to take a breath and say: We need more facts, less reliance on media reports based on anonymous sources and over-heated pundits who are too ready to rush to judgment.

Not a rush to judgment! The best part:

The third rule is to authorize an independent investigation to answer all the questions and verify the facts. And that is exactly what happened. Of course the emphasis is on the word “independent.”

Two owners, John Mara of the New York Giants and Art Rooney II of the Pittsburgh Steelers, both of whom are attorneys, appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller III to conduct the investigation of how Goodell and the NFL headquarters handled the Rice matter.

Nothing says “independent” like an investigation headed by two particularly old-school establishment owners, conducted by a partner in a law firm that does lucrative business with the NFL. Who could possibly argue this nonsense with a straight face?

By Lanny J. Davis

I know we live in age in which parody is dead, but this seems a little on-the-nose. Maybe George Allen can get involved too.

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  • joe from Lowell

    Who could possibly argue this nonsense with a straight face?

    By Lanny J. Davis


    • ThrottleJockey

      I seem to recall that Louis Freeh did a pretty good investigating Penn, do we think Mueller will do any worse? I don’t know anything about Mara, but the Rooney’s probably see themselves as a force unto themselves, greater than Goodell.

      • Hogan

        Freeh wasn’t a partner in a law firm that did lots of business with the NCAA.

        (That’s Penn State, btw.)

      • Brien Jackson

        Yeah, to be fair, Mara and Rooney are probably two of the three or four most anti-Goodell owners in the league. You could just as easily surmise that they’d look for any reason to force him out and replace him with someone else.

        • Manny Kant

          Well, we know that the last time those two families worked together, they produced beoved actress Rooney Mara. So I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

        • Scott Lemieux

          Yeah, to be fair, Mara and Rooney are probably two of the three or four most anti-Goodell owners in the league.

          Based on what?

          • gmack

            Some minor evidence: As I recall, Rooney was the only one to vote against the recent CBA, partly on the grounds that it gave Goodell too much arbitrary power to levy fines.

            Not much evidence, I’ll admit, but I suppose if you squint, you can see a bit of dislike of Goodell in it.

    • Manju

      Also Lol:

      So His Check Cleared?

  • CrunchyFrog

    The fact that Lanny Davis is – with his long and sordid track record – still given space in national, widely-viewed news media to air his opinions tells you all you need to know about who owns and operates US new media.

    And yet, despite this obvious fact most of us still believe most of what we are told by same news media.

    • eh

      Cue someone piping up with, “I met him once at a party and he was a nice guy.”

  • If he thinks that’s independent I don’t want to know how Lanolin describes Goodell’s decision to interview Janay Rice in a room full of men, including the one who assaulted her.

    • rea

      That is not good technique, although of course, the NFL ain’t the cops. But is there the slightest reason to suppose that interviewing her separately would have led to a different result? She hasn’t changed her story. And the story told by both Rices at the time appears to be true and accurate–the only thing the video shows that we didn’t know before is how hard he hit her, which is an example of a picture being worth a lot of words.

      • ThrottleJockey

        The problem is, rea, you never know until you try. Had she been interviewed by skilled counselors/investigators in a private and comfortable spot she might have said lots of things. DV victims sometimes lie out of fear or to protect their spouse or children, but they also tell the truth. Unfortunately because of the method Goodell chose we can’t have any confidence in what was said. It *sounds* as if she exaggerated her hitting and spitting on him. Perhaps that was to appease Ray. Frankly he shouldn’t have interviewed her at all. With $44M each year he can afford an expert.

        • rea

          Had she been interviewed by skilled counselors/investigators in a private and comfortable spot she might have said lots of things.

          Don’t you think the prosecutor did that? And if you have seen the video, she unquestionably hit him. The video made absolutely clear the disproportionate nature of his response. But I don’t know how that gets conveyed in words if you haven’t seen the video.

      • When your argument is “Hoocoodanode!?,” your argument needs help.

  • DrDick

    Buggering parody’s mutilated, rotting corpse is Lanny Davis’s speciality.

  • c u n d gulag

    I’m sure if he were allowed to, Richard Nixon would have loved to appoint John Mitchell as his “independent” investigator.

  • Joshua

    So while Commissioner Goodell made some serious mistakes and dug himself and the NFL into a deep hole, he did a pretty good job of crisis management, especially conveying once and for all how seriously the NFL views domestic violence.

    “So while Commissioner Goodell, who is paying me to write this, made some serious mistakes and dug himself and the NFL into a deep hole, did the same thing he did in other crises of his own making, like the Saints’ bounties, replacement refs, head injuries, and Patriots spying. He is conveying, once and for all, that he hopes the general public moves on leaving die-hards to fume over the latest screw-up.”

  • Denverite
    • royko

      Now, now, that only says that Lanny was on the payroll of an NFL team, not that he was paid directly by the Commissioner himself. Let’s wait for the results of Lanny Davis’s thorough review of Lanny Davis’s personal ethics to be released before we rush to judgment!

      • I think it is unfair to subject Lanny Davis to the stress of a personally-performed review of his personal ethic, especially since he’d need to uproot his head from his ass and hire a search team complete with bloodhounds and people in ATVs, on foot, horseback and in helicopters to have a prayer of finding it.

        So unless you’d like to contribute to the Pay Lanny Davis to Find His Personal Ethic, let’s not argue and bicker about oo shilled oo.

        • AlanInSF

          Damn, Denverite, beat me to it. I can only add that in hiring Lanny Davis to be his PR point man for the racist-nickname-preservation campaign, Dan Snyder showed his usual flair for excellent personnel decisions.

  • witlesschum

    If Goodell paid Lanny Davis for this, he is no longer fit to be NFL commissioner. Evil is fine for that job, but stupid and unable to tell good flackery from bad seems like it should be totally fatal.

  • keta

    I, for one, am absolutely amazed that certain aspects of America haven’t yet circle-jerked themselves to death.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      i assume they would fail the tests for performance-enhancing drugs

  • R. Johnston

    How did I miss that the Washington Niggers Kykes Chinks Wops Redskins had hired George ‘Macaca’ Allen to help with PR on the team name?

  • burnspbesq

    Now would seem to be an especially propitious time for organized professional handegg to wither away.

    Neither MLS nor MLL have any of these problems. Just sayin.’

    • efgoldman

      Burnsie, just because you root for a school without a football team….

    • Col Bat Guano

      Neither MLS nor MLL have any of these problems. Just sayin.’

      Well, if they made any money they might.

  • Joe_JP

    Interesting discussion on him:


    [I misspelled “discussion” and one of the options was “concussion” … I think the spell-check is playing with me.]

  • brad

    So we can now accurately group Goodell with African dictators. What doesn’t Lanny Davis bring to the table?

  • mud man

    Really it should be the Commissioner’s office ensuring fair and decent play among the leagued or federated teams but it turns out to be the headquarters of a cartel.

    It occurs to me that it’s kind of a new thing for sports to be a profit center. In the ancient Roman version of ultra-violent public spectacle, the “Owner” was a very rich person who wanted to curry favor with the crowd by paying for producing a show and giving the tickets away. The resulting popularity (if it was a good show) was leveraged into political benefit. Even today “Owners” get a lot of free publicity or prestige which in simple fairness they ought to be paying big bucks for, and they should be buying from the fans, not from each other.

    Just bring Capitalism back into it. Fixes everything.

  • taylormattd

    Stolen shamelessly from @swarthyvillain on twitter:

    @LannyDavis you would defend pol pot for a pair of argyle socks you revolting fucking goblin

  • Scott, under Goodell, the NFL Network now reaches something like 70% of households in America.

    So they’ve made a bundle under him, yes.

    • Brien Jackson

      Again, this is a pretty small accomplishment given how many sports leagues have easily managed to estalish their own cable networks.

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