Giving Roger Goodell and the NFL a piece of his mind
Picked-up pieces while reading the small print of the NFL’s exempt/commissioner’s permission list, a.k.a. “Double Secret Probation.’’
■ Anybody seen Roger Goodell? Anybody?
■ Those are not booster seats or phone books, folks. Along with the shoulder pads, helmets, and cleats, Bob and Jonathan Kraft’s high chairs are officially part of the Patriots’ traveling entourage.
■ Lou Merloni counted and says the Vikings brass said “get it right” 25 times in Wednesday’s make-up-call press conference.
■ Kudos to Eli Manning for standing up and saying something about the scandal-ridden NFL: “We can’t accept that as players, we can’t accept that from our teammates and around the league. Hopefully . . . the NFL can learn from this, and we can go on and start getting back to football . . . We don’t like when the NFL gets a black eye on anything.’’ That’s a lot better than the Jordanesque/Tigeresque “there’s nothing I can do to make a difference” we got from Tom Brady when he was asked about it on WEEI.
■ ESPN The Magazine’s Sept. 15 “The Renegades” issue went to press before a lot of stuff happened and looks ridiculous on the newsstand. A photo of Ndamukong Suh adorns “The Renegades” cover, and on Page 60, there’s a nice feature on the Oakland A’s titled, “A grand experiment.’’ The once-high-flying A’s are in danger of missing the playoffs.
■ Did you know that Goodell’s father, a Republican, succeeded Robert F. Kennedy in the US Senate after Kennedy was assassinated in June of 1968? Charles Goodell was appointed by New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller.
While in the Senate, Goodell made waves by opposing President Richard Nixon’s Vietnam war strategy. Here in 2014, Goodell appears Nixonian as he rides out the storm of scandals in the NFL. Unlike Nixon, however, Goodell knew enough to destroy the tapes when the Patriots were caught videotaping other teams’ sideline signals in 2007.
■ It was cowardly of the NCAA to announce that Penn State’s bowl ban has been lifted in the middle of Ray Rice Week. It was classic “let’s do this while no one is looking,’’ but rest assured, we will have time to slam the shameless NCAA at a later date.
■ Speaking of shameless, Kentucky coach John Calipari has basically come out and admitted that his “college” team is nothing more than a soft landing spot for AAU warriors and their bag men en route to the National Basketball Association. According to Yahoo, Cal will host an invitation-only two-day scouting combine at Kentucky Oct. 11-12. It doubles as a one-time look for NBA scouts and a nifty recruiting tool for Cal.
■ I love how the quest to shorten major league baseball games has become “The Werner Plan.’’ As though the Red Sox chairman was the first guy to notice that games are too long? Ironically, the Red Sox are probably the worst offenders of the 3½-hour game. They emphasize long, grinding at-bats. They play interminable games against the Yankees. And NESN crams extra commercials into those small spaces between innings. The Red Sox have not been a friend to the shorter big league ballgame.
■ Best wishes to longtime Red Sox groundskeeper and lifetime Notre Dame fan Joe Mooney. When Mooney took care of the lawn at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C., he worked daily with Senators manager Ted Williams and Redskins coach Vince Lombardi.
■ Pete Carroll went to high school with the late Robin Williams. Carroll also is up for the USC Hall of Fame, even though he left the school in disgrace.
■ Mike Napoli has taken no heat for driving in 55 runs in 500 plate appearances in the heart of the Red Sox batting order.
■ Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill Jr. is the son of Lynn native and former big league pitcher Ken Hill.
■ Let’s assume we all agree that Honus Wagner (.328 lifetime average, .858 OPS) is the greatest big league shortstop of all-time. Is Derek Jeter second? Cal Ripken Jr.? A-Rod? In case you missed it, the New York Times calculated that Jeter will have swung the bat 341,960 times (including workouts and batting practice) when his big league career ends at Fenway Park a week from Sunday.
■ Bill Belichick’s genius is reinforced when we watch Matt Cassel against the Patriots. The Patriots went 11-5 with Cassel as their quarterback in 2008.
■ In spring training of 2013, Larry Lucchino said, “We are concerned about generating revenue, make no mistake about that. We’re not embarrassed or apologetic about that. But the revenue goes into the ball club. It goes into the payroll. It goes into the amateur signing bonuses. It goes into the machinery of the club. It doesn’t go out into private bank accounts.
“We’re not the largest market in baseball. As far as a television market, we’re like 22d in all of baseball as far as TV homes. But we overproduce and generate revenue beyond that television market size and we use that money to go into the franchise.’’
According to this week’s Nielsen numbers, Boston is the seventh-largest sports television market in the country.
■ The affable Adrian Gonzalez says anyone who doesn’t vote for Clayton Kershaw as National League MVP is an “idiot.’’
■ Is it just me or are John Farrell and Ben Cherington going out of their way to lower expectations for $72.5 million Rusney Castillo? I heard Cherington talking about Castillo on WEEI Thursday and he sounded like Dan Duquette talking about Dwayne Hosey.
■ How did Avery Bradley get that contract?
■ Men’s Division 1 basketball coaches are uniting to save lives with the American Cancer Society’s Tip-Off Madness reception and dinner Oct. 2 at Space 57 at the Revere Hotel in Boston from 6-10 p.m. For tickets, call Meagan Spencer at 508-270-4885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
■ A week from Sunday is the last chance this year we’ll hear Joe Castiglione go to commercial with the ridiculously clunky, 17-syllable, “WEEI Shaws/Star Market Red Sox radio network.’’