Consistency can be a murky avenue, particularly when something requires examination and support outside of a particular prism.
So, if Patriot fans do indeed aim to remain steady in their ire for NFL head boob Roger Goodell, shouldn’t they be in favor of Jerry Jones’ recent crusade?
After all, this is precisely what you wanted from Bob Kraft, at least before the Patriots owner crumpled to one knee and turned his feigned agitation for Goodell into a silly surrender upon high.
One million dollars and a top draft pick later, born from the fight he refused to engage, Kraft can only watch as the egomaniacal owner of the Dallas Cowboys heads a growing coup asking the questions that finally deserve asking when it comes to NFL commissioner Goodell.
These mainly include such simple queries as: This guy? Can’t we do better?
This was an inquest that all but landed in Kraft’s lap three years ago with the stupidity of Deflategate, a battle that brought tough guy words from the owner on the eve of Super Bowl XLIX, a declaration of frustration that might as well have come in the form of a blue egg and 140 characters for all the speech’s total lack of culpability.
Instead, it’s Jones who is at the forefront of NFL owners who recently discussed the possibility of halting commissioner Goodell’s pending contract extension during a conference call last Thursday. According to a report from ESPN, there is a growing number of team owners who are suddenly (hey, welcome to the party, pals) becoming frustrated with Goodell’s performance as commissioner, “including the player protests staged during the national anthem, issues regarding the relocation of teams to Los Angeles and the league’s handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case.”
“You don’t get to have this many messes over the years like Roger has had and survive it,” one owner said during the call, according to the report.
You tell ‘em, rich man football owner.
Still, forgive the interrogation, but where the hell have you been?
Jones’s sudden involvement in the anti-Goodell club is obviously spun from the commissioner’s decision to suspended Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott six games stemming from a string of domestic violence incidents that occurred last year.
So, where exactly was Jones during our own PSI-induced nightmare?
“He’s got obviously a very tough job,” Jones said of the then-respectable Goodell two years ago when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was still suspended (the first time) for the first four games of the season for reasons we refuse to reiterate. “Now I see some people doing that, that’s that old violin that’s not feeling too sorry for him because that’s why you pay the big bucks is to deal with the big problems. But he’s doing an outstanding job. I can tell you firsthand that in his spot you have to with people that you are counting on to help build and to help excel as far as the National Football League, I’m talking about the owners, you have to know that you’re going to make some decisions that are very unpopular with that particular group. This is the case.”
Now that the shoe fits in Texas, of course, Jones has misplaced his Goodell pom-poms. Are we really all supposed to be on the same team now?
It isn’t only Jones’s failure to back ol’ pal Kraft in the Deflategate incident that might give Patriot fans pause in throwing their rootin’ tootin’ support Jones’ way, especially for a team that knowingly employed Greg Hardy, another player embroiled in the domestic abuse plague that the NFL these days treats only slightly harsher than succumbing to the environmental elements of a New England winter’s night. Jones was also the one who re-opened the wound of the whole kneeling for the anthem controversy, airing his threats to any hippies on his team who might think of showing a reflection of their freedom of expression while the whole thing was dying.
Nope. Jerry Jones doesn’t exactly fit the bill for the hero the public is seeking.
Yet, here he is, Patriot fans. Pursuing Goodell with a ferocity that made Kraft cower.
“You know that I would not in any way get into the content,” Jones said of the call on Sunday. “I really deplore that anything about the content of any of our meetings – how do you accomplish things, how do you get things done if everything that you talk about is going to be out here and discussed and you have to be so guarded that you can’t get work done.
“Having said that, I wouldn’t get into the nuances, I wouldn’t get into the content, I wouldn’t get into who. Let me just say this: It is absolutely business as usual for owners, league staff, for them to be in communication. As a matter of fact, the very [owners’] meeting in New York [two weeks ago] invited [us], as to compensation for the commissioner, invited input from all of the owners. So, this was a part of leaving there and continuing to do your homework.”
None of it really matters. Multiple sources told CBS’ Jason La Canfora that a Goodell extension is basically a done deal, despite Jones’ bid to “hijack” the process. But such a situation wouldn’t be without precedence. It was 1993, after all, that Major League Baseball owners asked commissioner Fay Vincent to step down so they could replace him with a car salesman from Milwaukee, who would guide the game into a season-killing strike, the steroid era, and TV broadcasting deals that force us to consider five-and-a-half hour classic World Series games that end at 1:30 in the morning among the best baseball has ever seen, even if you most certainly didn’t.
But Goodell isn’t going anywhere.
When kneeling for the National Anthem really causes the owners to lose real, paper, pocket money, that’s when Goodell’s title will come into question. Player safety and domestic abuse? Please. Such items do not move the needle.
Maybe that was Kraft’s understanding. Maybe he saw a war he couldn’t win against a guy he had previously defended to nauseating degrees (leading with his CBS plea for Goodell in the wake of the Ray Rice situation). Maybe he fell on his sword for the good of the league, leaving the battle to be fought solely by Tom Brady, the quarterback to whom he owes 98 percent of his team’s success — and revenue — over the past 15 years.
But Jerry Jones, of all people, is at least fighting the fight, which is more than Kraft managed after talking a big game upon landing in Arizona two Januarys ago.
How ‘bout that Cowboy?