Good News/BadNews

I have some good NFL news today and some bad NFL news.  The good news is that the so-called Manning-cast was back on Monday Night Football last night and it was just a lot of fun.  Two of the guests were Tom Brady and Drew Brees; you can learn a lot about the mental and the mechanical aspects of football and quarterbacking from those four gentlemen, and you can enjoy watching them just goof around with one another.  I do not know what ESPN is paying those guys for this season – – but it isn’t enough.

Now for the bad news…  We’ve known about the alleged “toxic work culture” that evidently existed in the Washington Front Office for about a decade and the “investigation” into multiple allegations of sexual harassment that resulted in no written report to the league.  Then some of the emails that were collected as a result of that “investigation” were leaked and the “unacceptable content” in those emails caused the coach of the Las Vegas Raiders to be fired.  [Yes, I know; he resigned.]  Calls went out for the NFL to release the rest of those emails – the ones that were not leaked and the NFL has ignored all those calls claiming that they had assured everyone in the investigation of confidentiality.

[Aside:  The NFL mavens have also assured us that the rest of the emails have nothing to do with the allegations of sexual harassment.  If that is correct, then why would the pledge of confidentiality have any bearing on the bulk of those emails?  Enquiring minds want to know…]

So, how could that sordid mess get any worse?  Here’s how.  Late last week, two members of the US House of Representatives sent a 5-page letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell asking him to produce by November 4th the following:

“…all documents and communications obtained in connection with its investigation into the WFT, its management, its owners and any other matter relating to or resulting from the WFT investigation.”

One of the Representatives, Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) is the Chairwoman of the  House Committee on Oversight and Reform.  I am sure that committee has spent hours and hours over the course of its existence overseeing and reforming professional football so of course they will bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the clarification of this matter.  Perhaps, the reason for the lack of focus on overseeing/reforming professional football in the past has been that little thing we call the US Constitution.  Congress is established in Article 1 of the Constitution and Article 1 Section 8 sets out the kinds of legislative actions the Congress may take.  Maybe if you read that text VERY expansively, you might find a way to insert Congressional actions under the heading of laws:

“To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States and with the Indian tribes.”

I would like for the totality of that NFL investigation to come to light; however, I cannot bring myself to believe that Congressional grandstanding – – and that is what this is – – is going to make it happen.  If and when it does happen, it will come from within the NFL and not from the Congress.  Here is why I believe that to be the case:

  • Also, late last week, Jon Gruden issued a veiled comment to the effect that – eventually – the truth will come out.
  • Since the leak that has already happened included words to and from Gruden and his email account, I cannot read that to mean that “the truth” is that Gruden did not write those communiques and someone else did.
  • Ergo, what Gruden considers to be “the truth” must extend to content and evidence related to “other matters.”
  • Why will any revelations come from within the NFL?  For the same reason – – not yet clear what it was – – that these first emails leaked.  Remember, it is the NFL that is in possession of those emails not Joe Flabeetz and His Merry Men.  Someone in the NFL for reasons only known to him/her decided to leak the Gruden emails; that person or others with access to the bulk of the evidence collected now have the opportunity for fame and fortune as “whistleblowers”.

November 4th will come and go; the NFL is not going to deliver the evidence described by Rep. Maloney to her or anyone else on Capital Hill before that date.  And that leads to the bad news that this sordid mess will continue to be a news item until the next leak to the next set of reporters.

Once that November 4th “deadline” has passed, I would hope that everyone in the Congress would move on to deal with some problems facing the US that are squarely in the purview of the Congress’ legislative powers such as:

  • Immigration Reform
  • Tax Reform
  • Emergency Preparedness Improvements
  • Rising Crime Rates – – you get the idea.

Finally, since much of today’s rant dealt with things related to the US Congress, let me close with two famous observation about the Congress from the past:

“It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctively native American criminal class except Congress.”  [Mark Twain]

And …

“Congress consists of one-third, more or less, scoundrels; two-thirds, more or less, idiots; and three-thirds, more or less, poltroons.”  [H. L. Mencken]

            But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………