Brass Knuckles time for Goodell, Vilma and New Orleans Saints bounty bunch?
Written by  // Wednesday, 12 September 2012 00:17 //

goodellSo the Lord High Commissioner has agreed to meet with the four suspended players and hear their reasons why they should not be excommunicated from the realm for parts or all of the current season. In fairness, that opportunity was open to Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove since the suspensions were announced. But the elements of what makes them superb athletes - high emotion, a touch of arrogance and conviction in their own position - compelled them to walk out of such an opportunity. With Commissioner Roger Goodell's position softened by a three-judge appeals panel, he has opened the door once again and the players are going to walk through it, probably early next week.



     So what happens next? If I were sitting on Goodell's Park Avenue throne, here is exactly what I would tell the players: This has gone on long enough. Mistakes have been made, on all sides and by all parties, including the commissioner's office. Over the past six months, the point has been made that bounties that could lead to the injuring of other players and threaten their livelihood will not be tolerated. We need to work together to promote player safety, including an increase in the League's investment in research as to the long-term aspects of concussions and brain-related illnesses as they relate to the nature of professional football.

     Therefore, I am hereby terminating any and all suspensions of players related to the so-called Bountygate scandal, on the condition that any and all suits against the league, whether active or contemplated, also will be terminated. The suspensions of non-players will stand since the individuals who created the pay for performance system clearly knew that such a system violated the NFL Constitution and Bylaws.

     Justice has been served. Let us now put this behind us and concentrate on working together to keep the National Football League as the most popular, most respected professional sports enterprise in the nation.

     That is what I would say if I were the NFL Commissioner. What Goodell actually will say after he meets with the players will go a long way toward defining his legacy.

  by Jim W. Miller

His new book, "Where the Water Kept Rising," is now available in local bookstores and at his website: www.JWMillerSports.com


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