Because good answers to good questions have become rare, we’re left in a whirlpool of wonder.
For example, I wonder if Roger Goodell thinks he’s a good person. Not a famous person, not a rich one — he has those covered — but a good one.
I wonder what he thinks when he turns on a TV to see and hear dozens of sleazy ads that carry the NFL’s logo and certification in the pursuit of beating NFL fans out of their money with get-rich-quick, first-one’s-free sucker-betting, all of which began on his watch.
Is Goodell pleased and proud to see and hear such hustles? Is he ashamed that his NFL negotiated its cuts of bad-odds gambling that replaces rooting for one’s team with rooting for one’s money.
Does he enjoy seeing Drew Brees sell his good-citizen image to a gambling house?
Can Goodell any longer feel shame after he lent his name, title and claim to the bogus sell of PSLs as “good investments” while years of wait-listed Jets and Giants fans were kissed off, and thousands of longtime ticket-holders, generations deep, could no longer afford them or saw them for the expensive double-fee fools’ gold they were and remain?
When Goodell sees and hears these make-it-rain, come-and-get-it gambling ads, does he think of his 2009 letter to Delaware Gov. Jack Markell:
“I have read recent reports that your office is reviewing the possible establishment of a sports lottery in Delaware. The NFL’s position on such lotteries that involve our games is that they are an additional threat to the integrity of our league and contrary to the public good.
“We strongly urge you to reject any proposal to permit a sports lottery in Delaware.”
The NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB, now all heavily partnered in gambling, also made joint appeals to prevent state-sanctioned legalized gambling.
In 2012, Goodell said: “If gambling is permitted freely on sporting events, normal incidents of the game such as bad snaps, dropped passes, turnovers, penalties, and play calling inevitably will fuel speculation, distrust and accusations of point-shaving or game-fixing.”
So what has changed? Nothing, except our sports want their cut of the same action they abhorred as in the worst interests of their sports.
And a 180-degree hypocrite such as Goodell — are parlay bets “good investments,” too Roger? — knows he can play hide-and-seek with the truth because the sports media no longer demands accountability from those it is ostensibly charged to cover.
And as Goodell has shamelessly allowed the Super Bowl halftime show to become a crotch-grabbing, pole-dancing revue loaded with N-wording rappers — will he read aloud the arrest record of latest invitee Snoop Dogg? — for a second straight season he has also allowed the NFL to broad-brush its fans with recurring messages that they’re unrepentant racists.
Then there’s Goodell’s domestic violence policy for players despite Super Bowl invites to rappers who record, sell and publicly perform lyrics that sexually degrade women in the most vulgar terms. Still won’t read their lyrics aloud, Roger? Why not?
But given that Goodell knows — or must know — that his job, in exchange for roughly $40 million per, now includes suckering NFL fans out of their money through the same gambling he repudiated, the question remains:
Does he consider himself a sellout or a good man?
Yankees not only ones to have bad night Tuesday
Tuesday, after Giancarlo Stanton’s second shot off the wall in Fenway, ESPN’s Matt Vasgersian delivered the news: “That ball is a home run in 11 of the 30 MLB parks.”
Reader/pal Vinnie Vesce: “So I guess that means it would not have been a home run in 19 of the 30 MLB parks. Fascinating.”
This MLB season topped last year’s and the year before’s as the worst-played and managed in a continuing, mindlessly self-destructive series, a consistency of dissolution seen in the first inning of the first postseason game.
Stanton hit one deep to left, then, as if endorsing Rob Manfred’s marketing plan to appeal to kids through acts of risky, counterproductive conceit, he stood near home and watched his “home run” become a single rather than a double (and perhaps causing more). But such inexcusably bad play has become standard — while ignored or excused.
On ESPN, which destroys every sport it touches, Vasgersian explained that Stanton “is satisfied with a single!” He and Alex Rodriguez then rationalized that the cold weather may have cost him a home run. After all, said Rodriguez, “It’s a game of inches.”
But the ball hit midway up the wall. Had it missed by an inch how did that excuse Stanton from running to first base in the first inning of a one-game playoff?
But TV now demands that we suspend belief of what we see — what TV shows us — to believe what we’re told. Thus, Stanton’s inexcusable failure to do the least he could do was indulged as if he didn’t know better.
Radio proved a poor option. John Sterling, enacting his 32-year self-promotional, one size-fits-all and rarely accurate home run call, hollered that Stanton had just blasted a “Stantonian home run!” out of Fenway. We’d excuse him as a matter of age — he’s 83 — but he has been similarly fabricating home runs since Steve “Bye-Bye” Balboni in 1989.
As Sterling began to ask aloud why Stanton was on first base, his faithful apologist, Suzyn Waldman, tried to rescue him by reporting that the ball hit off the top of the wall, which, for those forced to take their words for it, was not true.
We’ll leave the rest to reader Scott Wolinetz: In 1978, Bucky Dent was nearing second base when his three-run homer cleared the wall in that one-game playoff in Fenway. Monday, “Stanton was barely out of the batter’s box when his ball hit the wall.”
Traditionalists. What do they know about baseball?
You can’t expect more out of Meyer
After Urban Meyer became Ohio St.’s ex-coach for hiring an assistant coach he knew to beat his wife, what was the name of that course he taught at OSU? Oh, yeah, “Leadership and Character.”
It wasn’t so much that family-man Eli Manning’s double-fingered gesture on ESPN was crude and unfunny, it was more remarkable as so instinctively childish. Was that a Manning being a Manning?
Perhaps because it followed Monday’s Yanks-Red Sox sensory and statistical assault by ESPN, Brian Anderson and Ron Darling, working the next night’s Cards-Dodgers on TBS, provided relief with calm, concise observations, allowing us to — imagine! — watch the game. Too bad a 3-1, 4-hour, 15-minute postseason game was lost to sleep.
So this cheesy, churlish, cheap, childish spat between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau has hatched a made-for-TV match. Stupid is what it takes!
Monday’s Yanks-Red Sox made for the first night-day prop bet: Under Tuesday night/Over Wednesday morning.