Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Roger Goodell Used Playoff Expansion as Smoke Screen After Bounty Rulings


There is shady, and then there is NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who is not making many appearances on pwople’s nice list this year. After dragging on the bountygate scandal a lot longer than it had to be by throwing his weight around just a bit too much, owners in the NFL are confirming suspicions that Goodell brought the talk of playoff expansion this week to move discussions away from how he was wrong when it came to the most recent rulings.

Worse yet for Goodell haters, the ploy worked as planned and the subject quickly changed from the bounty rulings to playoff expansion.

But to be honest, the discussion likely moved to playoff expansion not because Goodell was forcing it there, but because it was something new and had nothing to o with bountygate. Goodell thought brining up expansion would move the talks away from bountygate, but at this point everyone is so sick of bountygate that he could have brought up Miley Cyrus’ shoe size and we all would have jumped on it.

And to also be fair, as ProFootballTalk.com points out and ESPN’s Chris Mortensen points out:

Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay previously sent out a memo that mentions playoff expansion as a possible topic for the annual offseason consideration of rule changes.  Still, that’s a far cry from the subject being “teed up” on Wednesday.

Again, the topic of different flavors of Mexican soda and which one is the best could have been brought up and we all would have pounced on it. The bottom line is while Goodell was wrong, he dragged the whole process out long enough that no one really cared. Some players cared, some fans cared, but at the end of the day if you don’t live in New Orleans and you weren’t directly involved in the whole thing, interest was lost a long time ago.

Goodell’s ploy was just unnecessary and laughable, proof that while he can be a stern commissioner, he’s just as likely to become the actual Stern sometimes as well.

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Tags: NFL Roger Goodell