I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that this happened, but it's maddening, nonetheless. Shortly after the NFL referee lockout came to an end last night, Mike Florio posted this pile of crap on ProFootballTalk.com, in which he argues that Roger Goodell actually deserves our praise for how he handled the lockout. Glad to see you back shilling again, Mike! That sure didn't take long.
So, how does Florio go about arguing in Goodell's favor without coming off like a total dummy? Let's see:
Some have suggested that Commissioner Roger Goodell's handling of the officials lockout should result in the termination of his employment. The more accurate position is that he should get a raise.
Though Goodell is the ultimate steward of the sport, in some circumstances he is simply a minion. In this specific case, Goodell is doing what the NFL's owners want him to do.
That's the fact that remains to be lost on fans who spew venom toward the league office but none to the folks who hold the title to the team that holds the keys to the fans' hearts. But it's the owners of the various franchises who are trying to break the union, and Goodell is taking the heat on their behalf.
Oh, never mind, he does come off like a total dummy. Look, Florio isn't technically wrong: the NFL owners and their greed-boners were responsible for initiating the lockout, and Roger Goodell's job (in its most basic terms) is to act as a representative for the interests of the owners.
Having said that, give us a fucking break, Florio. To say that Goodell is simply a minion that is beholden to the whims of the owners is to be aggressively ignorant of everything that Goodell has done in the past. Remember when he swung his big, ginger shithammer in the wake of the Saints bounty scandal without ever having to explain himself? Or when he punished two of the owners that he is supposedly subservient to for not following a made-up rule? Oh, and let's not forget the time he decided that he could punish NFL employees for violating non-NFL rules at times when they weren't even NFL employees yet.
Roger Goodell is a dictator who has never been shy about throwing his weight and influence around in order to shape the NFL how he sees fit. And yet, what did he do during the referee lockout, while his league's integrity slowly burned in front of our eyes? Nothing. He crawled into a hole and stayed absolutely silent, never once giving the impression that he cared at all about restoring order to the league. And now Florio wants us to believe that he couldn't have done anything else, that the man who has shown himself to be a ruthless shark in every other instance had suddenly lost his teeth.
Raise? No thanks. Fire that asshole.