According to an article in the newest issue of ESPN The Magazine, Roger Goodell is nothing more than an overpaid, useless figurehead who does little more than whatever he’s told by the pushiest owners in the league.
I’m editorializing a bit, but that’s one of the main takeaways from Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr.’s report on how Stan Kroenke strong-armed the NFL into letting him move the St. Louis Rams to Los Angeles. The article describes, through dozens of anonymous sources ranging from owners to staffers, the contentious, years-long process of deciding who would get to move back to the L.A. market out of the Rams, Chargers and Raiders.
It’s a great read and worth your time, but all I can think about is how useless Goodell appears to be throughout the entire process, which ended in feelings of betrayal and disappointment for many. It sounds more like a high school debate club than billion-dollar entertainment business.
Just a few examples of Goodell standing by while deals are made without him (emphasis ours):
NOBODY KNEW IT AT THE TIME, BUT THE LEAGUE OFFICE HAD ALREADY LOST CONTROL OF THE LOS ANGELES RELOCATION PROCESS. COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL’S MISHANDLING OF THE RAY RICE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DISCIPLINE IN THE SUMMER AND AUTUMN OF 2014 DISTRACTED HIM FROM EXECUTING THE LEAGUE’S LONGTIME GOAL OF RETURNING TO LA AND SEVERELY WEAKENED HIS STANDING IN OWNERSHIP CIRCLES. MEETINGS ABOUT LA THAT WERE SCHEDULED FOR SEPTEMBER WERE PUSHED TO NOVEMBER. THE DISTRACTIONS ALSO CREATED A POWER VACUUM THAT GRUBMAN [AN NFL EXECUTIVE] — AND OTHER OWNERS — EAGERLY FILLED.