Cam Cole: Commissioner's propaganda hard to take seriously

 

 
 
 
 
It has been, commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged at his annual state of the league news conference Friday, “a tough year” for the NFL, and “a tough year on me personally.“
 

It has been, commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged at his annual state of the league news conference Friday, “a tough year” for the NFL, and “a tough year on me personally.“

Photograph by: Jeff Gross, Getty Images

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PHOENIX — It has been, commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged at his annual state of the league news conference Friday, “a tough year” for the NFL, and “a tough year on me personally.

“It has been a year of humility and learning. We’ve all done a lot of soul-searching, starting with yours truly.”

But despite the commish’s mea culpa, he also threw out a string of numbers and assertions trying to put a happy face on the league and its initiatives aimed at improving its record on issues like player safety and domestic violence — and at the end of a 45-minute session with the media, it was frankly hard to take much of the propaganda very seriously.

A blog on the Deadspin website entitled “44 Lies Roger Goodell Told In His Press Conference Today” was possibly over the top, but Goodell’s claims that “concussions were down 25 per cent,” and “the NFL is made up of good and caring people,” and “we are excited about the success of Thursday Night Football,” and “we have an enormous responsibility to lead every day by example” were guaranteed to elicit derision.

Asked if he could envision any set of circumstances that would lead to his resignation or firing, Goodell said, “No, I can’t.”

The man who makes a reported $44 million per year in salary also said, on the topic of a possible pay cut, “That’s up to the owners.”

On the subject of DeflateGate, he described Ted Wells, who is in charge of the investigation as a man of impeccable integrity.

He said his personal and professional relationship with Patriots owner Robert Kraft would not influence the investigation’s findings or possible punishment.

On the other hot-button topic of the week, the refusal of Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch to co-operate in interviews, Goodell said: “I’ve been very clear that when you’re in the NFL, you have an obligation to the fans. It’s part of your job. There are things we all have to do in our jobs that we may not want to do. I understand it may not be at the top of his list, but everyone else is co-operating.”

BABY WATCH: Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the team would support whatever decision cornerback Richard Sherman makes — to play the game or to be there for the birth — if his girlfriend goes into labour on Super Bowl Sunday.

“Well, that’s up to Richard. Whenever our players have a personal family issue that comes up, it’s always about the family first and they have to decide what’s best for them, and I support that. We’ll see how that goes. Wish him luck,” the coach smiled.

NO JOKE: Carroll had most of the one-liners at the coaches’ news conference, but Belichick managed to get a mild chuckle when asked what aspect of the Patriots’ game he’d like to establish early. “What I’d like to establish is the lead,” he said.

CRASH TEST SURVIVOR: Seattle offensive co-ordinator Tom Cable on Marshawn Lynch missing only one game in three seasons:

“I just read a stat this morning that he has the highest total of yards after contact in three years of football. Those are car crashes every time (with) guys like him hitting him. When you do that over and over and only miss one game it’s pretty phenomenal.”

PACK THE FLIP-FLOPS: Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin on the Patriots’ great corner, Darrelle Revis, who has trademarked the phrase “Revis Island” for his spot on the field, because so few wideouts test his side. “You know what? I am going to bring my sunblock, my shades and my hat and I am going to go to Revis Island and see what I can do ...”

PAT FORMULA: New England offensive co-ordinator Josh McDaniels, says the Pats had better be prepared for an all-day battle with the Seahawk defence. “This is a tremendous unit. They have great players in the secondary, they have great players at linebacker and they have a great front. Whatever you’re going to do, you’re going to have to do a good job of it, and I don’t think you can do the same thing all game. Their coaching staff does a great job of adjusting and trying to take away things that you do well early in the game. We’re going to have to try to continue to poke and prod, take positive plays when we can, hopefully stay out of long yardage situations and take care of the football, because ultimately I’m sure that is going to be a huge factor in who wins and loses the game.”

TURNOVER GAME: “There is a statistic out there that our two teams since 2012 are plus-51 in turnover ratio, and the next team is like 23 or something like that,” said Carroll. “That is offence, defence, special teams, it’s the focus on the fundamentals of taking care of the ball. So we have a tremendous similarity in that regard.”

VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE: Seahawks GM John Schneider admitted he had just about given up the ghost when his team was struggling late in the second half of the NFC Championship Game against Green Bay. “I’m not quite as positive as Pete is all the time. I was thinking to myself how I was going to address each player after the game, what I was going to say to the coaching staff. I was going to be like, ‘Hey, we had a great season. We’ll get them next year. Let’s have a great off-season.’ All those things are running through my mind, and then at the five-minute mark, things just started snowballing. Anxiety, depression, you can throw it all in there. It was nuts.”

ccole@vancouversun.comTwitter.com/rcamcole

 
 
 
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It has been, commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged at his annual state of the league news conference Friday, “a tough year” for the NFL, and “a tough year on me personally.“
 

It has been, commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged at his annual state of the league news conference Friday, “a tough year” for the NFL, and “a tough year on me personally.“

Photograph by: Jeff Gross, Getty Images

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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