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If you did not do so yesterday, please take a moment and say congratulations to the NFL and all of the players and coaches who make up this league full of solid citizens. Why do you ask? Yesterday, October 1st, marked the first time since 2009 that an entire month passed without one NFL player finding himself in hand-cuffs.

By Ernie DeFalco

1authorernie1 - Goodell Softened NFL Brand, But Not The PlayersTake a bow National Football League players – you have outdone yourselves.

When the clock struck midnight on Sep. 30 and the calendar flipped to October, something special happened.  For the first time since 2009 an entire month passed without an arrest of one active NFL player.  This was an accomplishment six years in the making.

Be proud. You earned it!


How rare is this you ask?

Roger Goodell began his reign as the NFL Commissioner in 2006.  Last month’s achievement marked only the second time in his tenure that an arrest free month passed. There have been more Supermoons and more shark attacks during that time, then arrest free months. Think about that.

Why is this significant? Because since his run as Commissioner began, Goodell has been extremely vocal about his dissatisfaction of the earned perception of the NFL athlete.  He has routinely gotten himself involved when a player found himself in legal trouble, and was always quick to levy a penalty upon any player involved in off the field misconduct.

Well Mr. Goodell, before you pat yourself the back and bask in this achievement, maybe it is time to accept one thing: your rule with an iron fist attitude is obviously not working.

Think about it. This is only the second time a month passed with no arrests during Goodell’s term. Twice…in almost a decade.  All the suspensions, hearings, and fines are not working.  NFL player misconduct is so rampant the San Diego Tribune keeps a database on it.

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His methods have had zero impact on cleaning up the image of the league.  As a matter of fact, some would argue he has made it worse.  From the he handled the criminal accusations on Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson to the way he handled “Deflate-gate.”  Even the players have grown tired of his act. Whether it is Brandon Marshall citing race or James Harrison publicly blasting the him, things are just not going well for the Commissioner.

One thing Goodell has done is soften the on-field product. Quarterbacks cannot get hit anymore, the defensive secondary must treat opposing wide receivers with kid gloves, and some teams tweaked their logos to be less aggressive. Yay for him!

Yet when it comes to the softening the players off the field, he has failed and failed miserably.  And it is really a surprise?  His character has certainly proven questionable.  So how can he lead men when he himself has proven to be of questionable scruples?  He should stop trying.


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Administrator of New York Hockey Discussion Group, IT Professor by day, and lifelong Rangers, Mets and Jets fan by night. If he had to pick one, the Rangers would top the list. Second on the list would be the always loveable NY Mets.

If he could spend all summer sitting by a pool, girly drink in hand, music playing and the Mets on TV, he would be a very happy man.