Editor’s Note:This article is a collaborative effort between Dubsism’s own J-Dub and Ryan Meehan from East End Philadelphia, which is featured in our BlogRoll and it is well worth the read.
Here’s the concept. Roger Goodell is such a blithering idiot that he very well could be the guy who fucks up the National Football League forever. Stop to think about what we are saying here. This guy could take a sports league which has been the unquestioned ruler of American sports for at least thirty years and have it saying “Yes, sir boss” to shit like NASCAR thirty years from now. Don’t think for a minute that can’t happen…think about where boxing ranked in the panoply of American sports before it fell under the spell of a guy who has a hair-style reminiscent of an electrocuted Q-Tip.
1) Captain of the Titanic
The problem is that sea ice is not clear, and Goodell is falsely assuming that it is safe to proceed with the NFL Titanic’s current path. Although some say it was a myth that the band played as the ship went down, this was in fact true as Goodell insisted that they keep playing Beyonce’s “All The Single Ladies” as the lights went out and even the last die-hard believers had to face the reality of death in a liquid miasma far colder than a Pat O’Brien Hurricane could ever imagine. Let’s face it, when the lights went out, everybody still left on the
Superdome Titanic knew death was coming. Captain Goodell found a way to dick over some crew members and end up with a seat in a lifeboat, likely by somehow thanking them for their work and then kindly urging them to get the fuck out of his way under penalty of earlier and more painful death. And as the waves consumed them, you know that scrotum-face left them orders them to play something by Josh Groban.
2) Head of the Secret Service, Dallas, November 1963
Really, this is the first case that proves Goodell’s interest in “player safety” is so much bullshit. Goodell is a guy who cares so much more about marketing than anything else that in 1963 he lets his biggest commodity roll through the streets of a hostile city in an open-topped limo, and makes sure that limo is traveling at a snail’s pace past some of the best head-shot territory.
This is why nobody believes Goodell gives a shit about head shots in the NFL. He, and those before him, have allowed them because they make the Top 10 Plays on Sportscenter, and the sorts of glorifications they provide. If we’ve learned anything about Kommissar Goodell over these last few years is that he is all about whatever it takes to sell the NFL at any possible level. The entire idea of “player safety” is taking a bullet the minute The Kommissar thinks he and the owners can get an 18-game schedule.
In other words, Goodell has “player safety” on a trip through Dallas not only knowing full well he plans to expose “player safety” to fire from every angle, he’s also sold tickets all along the “kill zone” (VIP seating on the Grassy Knoll and skyboxes available in the Texas School Book Depository building).
Here’s the best part. The Kommissar didn’t tell anybody about all the action he had going here, and when his plot was uncovered, he just offered platitudes like “anybody in his place would have done what he did” and “that he did what was in the best interests of the parade.” Of course, we all know those statements from the Kommissar’s mouth translate to “You all can kiss my ginger ass. I no longer need to justify my actions to you peasants.”
3) The Guy Who Changed The Formula for Coke
Everybody’s favorite fact about Coca-Cola is that it actually used to contain cocaine. Then cocaine became illegal, and they needed some other magic ingredient which would not only be delicious, but would also provide railroad workers with the needed amount of pep to hand-chisel tunnels through mountains while ignoring the fact their hearts just exploded. While adding enough sugar to instantly raisin-shrivel your kidneys and give you teeth even meth-heads and zombies would laugh at, it still lacked that “controlled substance” kick. While we invented machines to drill holes in mountains, gone were the days that Coke contained the same ingredient that would later make community college girls drop out and start working the pole at the Titty Barn. That meant the Coca-Cola people had to shift gears and settle for simply making billions selling carbonated sugar on a global scale for over a century. It seemed as thought they would never need to change the formula.
Then the Kommissar found his way to the controls of the Coca-Cola monolith. Much like he would do thirty years later with the NFL, Goodell’s reasoning for changing the formula was that since the 80’s was the “decade of excess” and since he and Max Headroom had virtually the same haircut anyway, this would be the perfect time to make the move to clumsily change a product that had absolutely no fucking reason to be changed.
All kinds of shit went wrong with Coke after this point. First and foremost, sales numbers plummeted lower than Wilford Brimley’s ball-sac in a sauna. He quickly changed the formula for Coke back to the original, but called it “Coke Classic” while keeping the new shitty coke on the shelves. That pissed people off so much that not only did they quit buying Coke altogether, they started boycotting restaurants that handled Coke products. It took years for Coke to gain back the market share it lost over this fiasco, which ironically was a move intended to gain back the market they were losing to Pepsi anyway.
So, we have mistake number one – changing a product that didn’t need to be changed in order to claim market share being lost to smaller competitors.
Now, for mistake number two. Remember Surge? We understand if you don’t. It had a shorter market life than Gary Coleman’s post “Diff’rent Strokes” show-business career. Surge was intended to be a competitor to Mountain Dew, which in and of itself was a stupid idea. What made it worse was that Surge was little more than a variation of the Norwegian soft drink Urge. You have to really understand what that means. To compete with the awesomeness of Mountain Dew, the Kommissar decided to emulate the flavors of a soft drink from a country where the national delicacy is whitefish soaked in lye. They might as well have been trying to sell bottled gonorrhea, and they responsible for two of the biggest Cola failures in American history that weren’t named Crystal Pepsi.
So, we have mistake number two – trying to market something really awful as awesome.
Now for the “essay test” portion of this blog: In 100 words or less, how are the two Coke mistakes exactly like what Goodell is doing with the NFL now?
4) The Commissioner of the USFL
Those of you under 40 may not even remember the United States Football League, which is not to be confused with the new USFL somebody is trying to form. Intended as a spring version of football methadone for NFL addicts, the USFL played three full seasons in 1983, 1984, and 1985. It actually saddens J-Dub (who is well over 40, unlike that young punk Meehan) that the days of tuning in ESPN (when the “World Wide Leader” carried sports like yacht racing and Australian Rules Football) for a tilt between the New Jersey Generals and the Tampa Bay Bandits are long gone.
It didn’t have to be that way.
In terms of the quality of the football it put on the field, the USFL was actually pretty decent. It had great teams. It had them in great cities. It had a ton of great players. What it didn’t have was a ton of money; after all, it was a fledgling league attempting to compete with a Goliath of professional sports.
This meant that for the USFL, it had to get creative in terms of how to lure star players to join the league. In lieu of straight cash on the table, many team So in order to compensate for their players not making as much as their NFL counterparts, several of the USFL franchises offered some of their players ownership stakes in the teams, such as the ridiculous “$43 million and piece of the team deal” the Los Angeles Express gave to Steve Young, who may still very well getting paid from that deal.
5) Iraqi Minister of Information
This may very well be the purest example of Goodell in action. There is a direct comparison between this delusional Saddam Hussein mouthpiece standing in the smoldering rubble of downtown Baghdad spewing shit about how the American troops “are drowning in their own blood” and the crap-fest Goodell put us through about “defending the Shield” while he and the owners were trying to death-gag throat-fuck both the player’s and official’s unions. He did the same thing when he cloaked his vendetta against the New Orleans Saints in a bullshit burqa of “player safety.”
It may not take the Marines to end the Kommissar Goodell regime, but it will end at some point, and we hope we are there to see the statue getting dragged through the streets when it does.