Cover-up, Or Not, NFL Fans Will Keep Coming To Games
The NFL Is Too Big To Fail
I was listening to NFL channel on XM satellite radio the other day when a caller to the show ranted to hosts Bob Murray and former NFL quarterback Rich Gannon about being upset over how poorly the NFL has handled the Ray Rice domestic violence case.
As you almost certainly know by now Rice, the former Baltimore Ravens running back, was originally suspended two games by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for his attack of his then fiancée, Janay Palmer, whom he has since married.
It was learned at the very beginning that the attack left Palmer unconscious. That is why so many were critical of Goodell for suspending Rice for only two games. However, when TMZ recently released the actual video of Rice's brutal attack, Goodell suspended Rice indefinitely, and the Ravens' cut him immediately.
The NFL maintains it did not see the actual attack until TMZ released the report. However, there are now news reports circulating that the league office did receive a copy of the tape months ago.
Now the NFL is facing accusations that it is involved in a cover-up, which really makes no sense. How, in this age of information and dissemination, did they ever think they could cover something like this up?
Suspending Rice indefinitely from the beginning is the punishment the NFL should have taken in the first place. If it had done so, none of the allegations and bad PR it is facing now would be an issue.
After all, common sense tells us that you don't need video to confirm if a professional athlete threw a punch hard enough to knock out a woman out, that it was an ugly, violent, and vicious, blow.
Now, back to the caller. He said he was a season ticket holder to the New York Giants, and an avid fan of the NFL. However, after this incident he said he has no longer has an interest in the NFL following these recent events.
But I am certain he is in the minority.
The NFL has its fans addicted to the sport. it is virtually fail proof. At Thursday's game between the Ravens and their hated rival, Pittsburgh, there were several Ravens fans wearing their Ray Rice No. 27 jerseys. ESPN interviewed some of the Rice supporters and they all gave their various reasons for standing by him.
The NFL is the most powerful entertainment entity in the world. Hell, It has its own television network, and marketing and advertising resources second to none. Its product is exciting, captivating, and violent, with a tradition that dates back decades. Men, women and children of all races, creeds, and colors, flock to this game.
Now, there may be some heads to roll in New York, which is where the NFL offices are located. And if that happens Goodell's should be the first to go. His mishandling of this entire matter has led the league down this road of embarrassment. This matter occurred on his watch, and whether he saw the video or not, he knew something very bad happened and should've suspended Rice indefinitely from the beginning.
But the National Football League is a machine. And it is going to take a lot more than allegations of a domestic abuse cover-up to bring the NFL down.
I assure you, this matter will not hurt ratings, advertising dollars or attendance. And if the Giants were somehow to get on the roll I bet the caller to the NFL show on XM will be the first one back on the Giants' bandwagon.