CHECKMATE

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell the most powerful man in the NFL has been knocked down a peg or two.

This all began when the New England Patriots were accused of using underinflated footballs to gain a competitive advantage in the Patriots’ AFC championship victory over the Indianapolis Colts on January 18.

Today, Judge Richard Berman erased New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s 4 game suspension. Judge Berman stated –

“The Award is premised upon several significant legal deficiencies, including (A) inadequate notice to Brady of both his potential discipline (four game suspension) and his alleged misconduct; (B) denial of the opportunity for Brady to examine one of two lead investigators, namely NFL Executive Vice President and General Counsel Jeff Pash; and (C) denial of equal access to investigative files, including witness interview notes.”

Bottom line – nice try Roger but you can’t just make up a punishment and run with it; at least not THIS time.

So has Roger Goodell finally met his match? It looks that way as he and Tom Brady over the last few weeks have gone “toe to toe” each wanting to prove the other wrong.

So what happened?

Well the NFL should have settled. The Judge at one time urged the NFL, Brady and the NFL Players Association to reach a settlement. But with all the time and money that the NFL had poured into the Ted Wells report – Roger was sticking to his guns. But sometimes instead of being right – just do the right thing.

Tom Brady – despite how you feel about him (and I’m not a Brady nor a Patriots fan) I have to give him credit for sticking to his convictions. Let the chess match ensue.

Watching Roger Goodell who can come off as smug and arrogant at times and Tom Brady go head to head has been more interesting than the last few Floyd Mayweather fights.

So now what?

Well Goodell and the NFL has appealed.

Goodell stated –

“We are grateful to Judge Berman for hearing this matter, but respectfully disagree with today’s decision,” Goodell said in a statement. “We will appeal today’s ruling in order to uphold the collectively bargained responsibility to protect the integrity of the game. The commissioner’s responsibility to secure the competitive fairness of our game is a paramount principle, and the league and our 32 clubs will continue to pursue a path to that end.”

Interesting that Roger Goodell would use the word “integrity” I’m sure there are some players and teams out there who questioned his integrity during those times he was handing out punishments like it was candy.

If Roger Goodell is about protecting the shield he needs to let this go.

You still have the power RG1 – but you can’t win them all.