Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison should consider nicknames like “Truth”, “Nostradamus”, or “The Thinker”.
It has been the outspoken Harrison who has constantly railed against the NFL machine that Roger Goodell is the figurehead overseer of. He has said Goodell a “crook and a puppet”, and also said that “I hate him and will never respect him.”
Pure gospel to any real football fan and any man who has played the game. Goodell gets praise for drawing a hard line on misbehavior, but he often crosses the line because his ego feels it subjugates the media and players. His minions whose only duty is to blindly follow any of his decisions to the letter.
Now Goodell has overstepped his job description again at the expense of Terrelle Pryor. Pryor, who wants to be a quarterback, is going to be involved in the 2011 NFL Supplemental Draft.
To say Goodell has destroyed Pryor’s draft stock and potential earnings throughout his career could be construed as accurate by some observers. Pryor is being forced by Goodell to serve a five-game suspension for infractions incurred at college, not the NFL.
While Pryor broke NCAA rules that would have forced him to miss five games for the Ohio State Buckeyes this season, if he had stayed in college, Goodell decided that his league still held jurisdiction over this matter. As if NCAA football was nothing more than a minor league system owned by the NFL.
Pryor already was heading to the NFL with a lot of baggage, no matter how his agent Drew Rosenhaus tried to ignore it. Pryor is a big athlete, but it is highly doubtful he will ever play quarterback in the NFL with his questionable fundamentals and abilities.
His best position most likely lies elsewhere on the field. Wide receiver, tight end, and even linebacker has been the opinion of several experts who have followed him since he began play at Ohio State.
Knowing this, teams may take a chance on him as early as the fourth round of the draft. Not this first, as his agent keeps telling anyone who will listen. The reasons are not based on purported character flaws, but the lack of ability to play the quarterback position at the next level.
Even with all the rules the NFL has put into place since 1978 to make a quarterbacks job easier, Pryor’s footwork, release point, arm strength, decision-making abilities, and overall field vision are just some mechanics that will take too many years to refine enough to see if he has what it takes.
Goodell acted like the hunter in this decision, but he could soon become the hunted if Pryor plays this right. Goodell’s ego has unwittingly put the NFL in a dangerous position.
This is saying something for an entity so strong, they had their television blackout rule pass through the U.S. Senate, Congress, and White House in mere hours. Besides maybe a declaration of war, rarely has this occurred in the history of the United States.
One day you may hear Pryor say he was defamed by Goodell’s ruling, which also affected his earning potential and overall confidence in himself. The kind of rhetoric you often hear in lawsuits throughout the planet. If he ever is deemed to have a case, Pryor could sue for many more millions of dollars than any player in the history of the NFL has ever made.
It could also teach Goodell and the NFL to stay within their boundaries. While a powerful league, they are supposed to represent professional football while colleges represent amateurs in all sports they play.
Goodell has now firmly placed himself in the cellar of the worst commissioner in NFL history, probably even surpassing Joe Carr. Carr was the second ever president of the NFL from 1921 to 1939, replacing Hall of Famer and Olympic hero Jim Thorpe, and had his own issues between amateurs and professionals.
While Carr was known for acting swiftly on teams using college players then, mainly because the college game was perceived as superior to the National Football League in that era, he is forever linked to one bad decision.
The Pottsville Maroons joined the NFL in 1925 and proceeded to win the NFL title. They then took on Notre Dame University in an exhibition game, because the Fighting Irish featured the “Four Horsemen”. The purpose of the game was to bring credibility to the NFL.
After the Maroons told Carr of their intentions to play the game, discrepancies soon arose. Pottsville claimed they had Carr’s blessing, while Carr said he gave the team three separate warnings not to play the game.
Pottsville won the game, which helped boost the popularity of the league. Carr, however, took away the Maroons NFL title and gave it to the Chicago Cardinals, a franchise that still proudly holds onto that trophy today. The Maroons folded in 1929.
Now Goodell’s decision has replaced Carr’s error in the scale of epic buffoonery of poor choices in NFL history. It comes as no shock to anyone who has followed the career of the son of a former United States Senator whose contacts with the league gave his kid a job in 1982.
While the NFL career of Terrelle Pryor might not amount to much on the gridiron, he could have a long lasting impact on the league itself. An impact brought on by the bloated ego of Roger Goodell.