Migrated from ESPN.com blog February 2, 2011
Originally published May 13, 2008
I’ll be the first to admit that I think Roger Goodell’s handling of the Patriot’s videotaping scandal showed extremely poor judgment. He spoke before he had all of the evidence, he gave punishment for what he said was one thing (taping defensive signals) and then later admitted that the punishment was for taping defensive AND offensive signals as far back as 2000, and last but not least, he destroyed the evidence (Big no-no there, Roger).
But today was the day it was all to finally come to a conclusion. At 7:30 a.m, Mr. Goodell would be meeting with the infamous Matt Walsh to discuss the tapes Walsh handed over to the NFL (after, of course brokering a deal to protect him from his previous employer, the NE Patriots).
For the past week, I’ve read every single argument possible for and against the Patriots. It was obvious from the start that no conclusion would ever satisfy both sides, and it was even more obvious that no one was backing down on their position. So I decided to wait. I said “I still feel like a lot of teams were cheated out of a fair chance, however if Goodell says that these tapes show nothing new and there will be no further sanctions, I will let this go and move on.”
And that is exactly what he did. Whether there really was nothing new, or what was on the destroyed tapes was never fully revealed, or any of the other theories out there, it no longer mattered. The Commissioner had spoken.
He left a lot of people feeling cheated, and a lot feeling vindicated. He simply left me feeling confused. I had so many questions I wanted him to answer. Tell me why you destroyed the tapes in the first place, tell me why you didn’t reveal all the information you had at one time, or just tell me why so little of what you did in handling this makes sense!
But my questions won’t be answered. Goodell is done, and the gate is locked up tight. There are only two choices: Break down the gate, or accept that the gate is locked and move on to something new. I’ve never been one for the destruction of property.