It’s been a rough year for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, one that he’ll be more than happy to bury with postseason hype. But while the debacle of the 2012 season is almost behind us, the bitter taste it’s leaving in our mouths isn’t going anywhere. Roger Goodell is the first guy that would like to change that, and he’s asking Ray Lewis to help him.
Goodell is about to be in full-on damage control mode, if he’s not already there. The connection between the league, the owners and the players is almost as bad as it was during the 2011 lockout, and the tension isn’t getting any easier to deal with. From the bounty gate scandal, to the replacement refs saga we all had to endure all the way to the much hated fines for what look to be legal hits, Goodell has some serious ass-kissing he needs to get done quickly.
He’s not a guy who will ever roll over and let the players scratch his belly, but Goodell probably realizes that some bridges need to be repaired. That’s likely why he’s asked soon-to-be retired NFL tough man Ray Lewis to be his personal advisor.
Now, from a purely comedic stand point, Goodell gets points for putting the mental image in out heads of Ray Lewis dunking people heads in the toilet in order to forcibly get them to love Goodell. There probably won’t be any forced affection from Goodell’s end, but that card is in the deck.
What will likely happen is the inverse of that scenario, where a stubborn Roger Goodell is held upside down by his ankles Suge Knight style until he gives in and admits he may have been a little heavy handed with is Jabba the Hutt style rule over the NFL.
That may have already happened, as Goodell got all gushy on us when kissing up to Ray Lewis in front of the media.
“He’s a tremendous voice of reason,” Goodell said. “He’s someone that has a unique pulse of the players and that’s helpful to me. That perspective is important to hear, and he would always share that with me whether he called or I called him. … He means a great deal to this commissioner, and I could tell you that I will always seek out his input. He will stay involved, I’m certain of it, in football and that perspective that he has is something I’ll reach out for on a regular basis.”
If Roger Goodell is bound to make a good move, making Ray Lewis — one of the most respected people in the NFL– his partner in repairing the damage he’s done to the relationship between the NFL and NFLPA is that very move. There is a lot of therapy that needs to be done before Goodell and the players union can be in the same room as one another, but by brining on Lewis, Goodell is at least demonstrating that he’s willing to try.
After his bullheaded 2012 season, that’s way more than we could have ever asked for.