Go ahead, Roger Goodell. Be bold.
As the biggest event on the NFL calendar looms, it figures that the embattled commissioner has another crisis on his hands. Like clockwork.
Every year, it seems that Goodell steps onto the Super Bowl stage trying to put out one fire after another – Deflategate, Lockout Countdown, Domestic Violence, Anthem Protests, to name a few issues from recent years. Now there’s an officiating crisis stemming from the debacle at the Superdome in the NFC title game and so far, with his silence, it looks like Goodell has stepped on a slippery banana peel.
Take it from Ben Watson, the thoughtful New Orleans Saints tight end who happens to be one of the most respected player voices in the league.
"Your continued silence on this matter is unbecoming of the position you hold, detrimental to the integrity of the game and disrespectful and dismissive to football fans everywhere,” Watson wrote about Goodell in a statement he posted Friday on Twitter.
"From the locker room to Park Ave., accountability is what makes our league great. Lead by example. We are waiting.”
Watson knows what we all know: The Saints got hosed when referee Bill Vinovich and crew didn’t throw a flag on the most obvious defensive pass-interference case you’ll ever see – Rams nickel back Nickell Robey-Coleman crashing head-first into Tommylee Lewis before Drew Brees’ third-down pass arrived. Robey-Coleman, subsequently fined $26,739 for the infraction, was willing to accept the consequences of a penalty that never came late in the fourth quarter than to give up a possible touchdown.