Bears can’t wait to speak with Roger Goodell
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org August 1, 2012 2:32PM
Updated: August 1, 2012 11:26PM
BOURBONNAIS – It’s scheduled as an “informal meeting’’ with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell later this evening, as a group of “select players’’ from the Bears roster will get to have a chit-chat with the head man in charge in the team dining hall after practice.
Cornerback D.J. Moore didn’t make that “select’’ cut, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a few things to say to the head man in charge.
“Yeah, things are bad,’’ Bears cornerback D.J. Moore said, when asked about the growing divide between the league’s players and Goodell right now. “It’s like dictators, you know. You know in America, we really don’t believe in them.’’
And in a number of NFL camps, the growing opinion is the players are not believing in Goodell.
From his judge, jury, and executioner handling of player discipline, to the way he handled the New Orleans “Bountygate,’’ to the rule changes that are turning the defensive side of the ball into flag football, players want to see Goodell climb off his throne, and a third party group with no allegiance to ownership or the players be used in the punishments that have been handed out by Goodell since he took office in September of 2006.
“So he needs at least two, three or more to make a panel, create some democracy for the league,’’ Moore continued. “If not, pretty much if he doesn’t feel a certain way about a certain thing, he can suspend you for the whole year. Then there’s certain other stuff where you think guys should be suspended for the whole year, but he might not feel that way. So his personal feelings and opinions about things really affects the outlook of how the players are seeing him.’’
Cornerback Charles Tillman has spoken to Goodell in the past, deemed him not “a bad guy,’’ but like Moore, doesn’t understand how one man can wield so much power without checks and balances around him.
“I don’t think it should be his decision per say,’’ Tillman explained, when asked about Goodell having the final say on so many different subjects concerning the league. “I think it should go to someone who is not directly involved, impartial, like a judge. You can be the prosecutor, and then take it someone who is not with my party, not with your party, impartial.’’
The one topic Tillman was passionate about was the idea of the league going from 16 regular-season games to 18. A good portion of the owners are pushing it, but Goodell has been leading that charge, waving the flag, while insisting that this is what the fans want.
Forget the fact that an Associated Press poll conducted last February showed that fans were only lukewarm to the idea of 18 games, Goodell isn’t budging.
Neither was Tillman.
“Bull[bleep], no, hell no. hell no. [bleep] no, F-bomb no,’’ Tillman said on the 18-game subject.
Whether Goodell gets his way or not, the cold war between his office and the players doesn’t seem to be thawing anytime soon.
“From my understanding, you would think that the commissioner would be the guy that combines the two – the owners and the players,’’ Moore added. “But it seems like he’s the one that divides it. Like he’s an owner himself, like he has a franchise, so it’s kind of messed up. The way he goes about his business, it’s not looking out for the players at all pretty much.’’