Roger Goodell and Bill Daly are trying to kill their P.R. people. Theres no other way to put it.Goodell is calling the job his replacement officials have done through two weeks admirable, which speaks loudly and clearly to the following things: One, that he is trying to make the case that monkeys on bicycles could be NFL officials. Thats hes stopped even trying to lie convincingly. Three, that his bosses are fine with the concept of charging people more money for poorer services. Four, that this is really why he makes so much money because he must defend the patently indefensible so his bosses dont have to.Daly, the second-in-command to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, has the same problem, only he got caught saying that the 2005 CBA his bosses now want changed was actually a good deal that needs only a massive pay cut to players to work better. This, in its way, speaks loudly to the following things: One, that he is trying to make the case that in a growth industry the people who make the money should be the ones who dont actually do the work people pay to see. Two, that hes lying in such a way that makes Goodell look like George Washington. Three, that his bosses are fine with the concept of never being open for business just to teach the players a lesson. Four, See NFL Item Four, with this addendum: He is defending the indefensible so his boss and his boss bosses dont have to.What Goodell and Daly are saying are plainly idiocies, they know they are idiocies, they dont care that everyone else knows them, and they are going to repeat them because they rely on fan and media fatigue to make their case for them by no longer listening.Its an insidious and cynical form of argument, the automatic repetition of a debating point so that the debate becomes too tiresome to listen to. It makes the arguer look like a dunce, or worse, a tool, but thats really why they make the big money. So that their superiors dont have to.Goodell could say, The officials arent what we hoped for, but you keep watching, so we have no reason to care. When you stop, thats when we will. It would be politician-level condescending, but it would at least be true, and it would have the added benefit of being an argument he does believe.But Goodell is of the new school of debate right or wrong, truth and falsehood are just two sides of the same coin. The point is to defend a position already given you, whether it can be defended or not, because the real point isnt to be right, its to be might.Dalys problem is worse, because he knows having been in the owners meetings that the 2005 system hasnt worked for two-thirds of the membership. Not just the incompetent and underfunded, for whom no system would make them truly profitable, but for the leagues middle class of owners either. This is a league in which the top third makes much more money than the bottom two-thirds lose, and that is not in any way a sustainable system. Therefore the 2005 deal wasnt good except for the top third.But the top third is the commissioners office power base, so the leagues offer to the bottom two-thirds is to have the players pay for their losses, or enhance what money they do make. It is a temporary fix, as the 2005 deal was, because it isnt meant to fix the game but to buy time for the league office until the next CBA.Buy time, because the leagues power brokers cant afford to pay six teams to fold, and dont want to move four teams to places where their own interests might be impinged. That leaves only revenue sharing and squeezing the players, and the second is only a temporary fix until the top ten owners start circumventing the new CBA as they have done all the past ones.Daly knows all this, he knows he cant say it and keep his job, so he goes with option C The 2005 deal was great, except that the players got too much of it. It is a laughable fiction but he says it because that is his job. How Goodell hasnt farmed out his defense of the officials to an underling is, given the NHL example, rather amazing.But the effect is still the same. Something indefensible and even lard-headed is defended with full throat and relentless repetition because its more important to make strident noise than sensible policy. And because nobody who follows sports seems to mind condescension any more in fact, they rather expect it the bar is exceedingly low.Except to the P.R. people, who just hold their heads to keep the migraines from leaking out their eyes. Hey, they have to get paid, too.
Condescending Goodell, Daly care about might, not right
September 19, 2012, 7:31 pm