NFL: The Goodell Era and Expansion, Deflategate


By: Aaron “Bear” Cohen

This past Sunday in London, England the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars continued the tradition of the NFL International Series. The NFL International Series are games being played overseas in London to try and expand the game of football to a global audience. The game between the Bills and the Jaguars was broadcasted on Yahoo for a global audience that attracted 15.2 million viewers. Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, is interested in putting an expansion team in London as a way to expand the game to a European market and raise global TV revenues. Another way Goodell is trying to raise TV revenues in America is by trying to find a team to relocate to Los Angeles the 2nd biggest media market in the United States. Last week the San Diego Chargers stated that they have filed relocation papers to move the team to Los Angeles. The Oakland Raiders and the St. Louis Rams are other teams that are in the running to move to LA. As well, the possibility of two teams moving to LA and sharing the same stadium has been discussed.

As a commissioner of the NFL, Goodell’s main objective is to appease to the interests of the 32 NFL owners and protect the integrity of the game. Goodell has done nothing for the latter. In April 2011, Jim McMahon and six other players filed a lawsuit against the NFL for neglecting their safety during their playing careers. Since April 2011, thousands of former NFL players have filed lawsuits against the NFL after suffering multiple concussions throughout their playing career. On Christmas day, the Will Smith starred-film, Concussion, comes out and this might have a huge impact looking back at Roger Goodell’s legacy.

This past summer the number one story in professional sports was the scandal of deflategate. The accusation of the New England Patriots ball boys deflating footballs to give Tom Brady a competitive advantage in the AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. On May 11th 2015 Roger Goodell gave Tom Brady a four game suspension for the 2015 season, which Brady would eventually appeal in federal court. This was a bold move by Goodell as his biggest supporter as commissioner is Patriots owner Robert Kraft. On September 3, 2015, Judge Richard M. Berman vacated Goodell’s four-game suspension of Brady, holding that “…the requisites of fairness and due process” were missing from the process leading to the imposition of the penalty. It made for an entertaining offseason, but tarnished the reputation and legacy of Roger Goodell.

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