The guarantees in life -- death, taxes, and NFL players getting into trouble in the offseason.
You know, as much content as I get from NFL players running into trouble with the law, this offseason I actually had to pause a little bit and think about the big picture with this stuff. Don't get me wrong, I didn't pause long enough to stop writing satirically about it, or even entertain that thought.
This much is clear, as the crime in the NFL is number 2 on the King of Content 2014 countdown. However, here are the two things that made me ponder the crime conundrum:
1. Honestly, the NFL ratio of criminal jackasses compared to the overall number of players is pretty minuscule. We're talking about essentially a couple dozen idiots versus several hundred really good guy, guys that work in the community and guys who take their jobs seriously, who see playing in the NFL as a privilege. I had to ponder whether or not calling attention to all the fools was painting everybody in a bad light.
2. Honestly, the crime this offseason was pretty heavy from a "societal ills" standpoint. Typically, offseason crime has involved the occasional bar fight or DUI (which are their own ills to be sure). This offseason we had a slew of domestic violence, most notably with Ray Rice and his fiancee. On top of that, we got Adrian Peterson's child abuse case, which was so complex that it sucked the fun out of covering sports for a living.
On top of all that, Roger Goodell was so busy fucking up the discipline on these big ticket cases that the frustration only fed itself, and consumed me from within (mostly because it's infuriating to watch someone so incompetent at their job make $44 million per year).
And in the end, that might end up being the biggest story in all of this -- the fact that Roger Goodell so badly botched the discipline in the Ray Rice case (where Goodell has been essentially caught lying about what Rice told him in their meeting) and the Peterson case (where Goodell's henchmen allegedly promised Peterson no suspension, only to have Goodell suspend him for the season).
Goodell is essentially making up the punishments as he goes. Like instead of taking in all the facts and making a well reasoned assessment, he's just spinning a big Punishment Wheel, like the Showcase Showdown on The Price Is Right.
In a league where most everything financial runs on autopilot, Goodell is screwing up the one thing he promised to clean up -- he doesn't know how to properly punish criminals. In fact, even worse, he's made them sympathetic figures.