GQ presents a dark profile of Roger Goodell
Gentleman’s Quarterly, which is more a men’s fashion magazine than a sports journal, is attracting much national attention with Gabriel Sherman’s dark profile of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and his “Ruthless Football Machine” in its February issue. A few excerpts: “Goodell and his owner bosses are tone-deaf to the issues that plague the NFL. . . . By 2005 Goodell was agitating for (commissioner Paul) Tagliabue to step down. . . . The new commissioner demanded loyalty from staffers and even questioned their value. He thought everyone was overpaid. . . . Over and over, Goodell revealed himself to be an out of touch CEO. . . an impulsive and rudderless commissioner prone to lurch from one issue to the next, overreaching in some cases (Bountygate), underreacting in others (Spygate).” Also appearing out of touch is Houston Texans owner Bob McNair, who is quoted claiming that in the 5,000 cases of concussions by NFL players cited in a class-action lawsuit, “we don’t think most of these concussions even occurred in the NFL.”
Ex-Pat Johnson says Belichick motivates with ‘fear’
Ted Johnson, retired linebacker who played for both Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick, said both of these Super Bowl-winning coaches excel at evaluating players and putting them in positions to succeed. But they’re very different in their motivational techniques. In his daily appearance on Houston’s AM-610, Johnson, who played on all three of Belichick’s Super Bowl championship teams in New England, said he motivates “through fear. Everybody’s on eggshells. Only Tom Brady can have a horrible game and not be afraid of losing his job.” Seattle’s Carroll, on the other hand, “is all about positive reinforcement. He’s a New Age coach. Belichick is more Parcell-ish,” he said, referring to Bill Parcells, known for his gruff approach with players.
Jeremy Lane takes a shot at Gronk
Jeremy Lane, nickel corner back of the Seattle Seahawks, considers Rob Gronkowski, the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year, as overrated. “I actually don’t think he’s that good,” Lane said. “He’s OK. He does have a big body. But from what I’ve seen on tape, he doesn’t like you putting your hands on him.” When asked if it bothered him that the 6-foot, 190-pound Lane was suggesting he would physically dominate him, the 6-6, 265-pound Gronk shrugged and said, “It may.”
NFL toughens up on Lynch for his crotch grabs
The NFL office has warned the Seattle Seahawks that if running back Marshawn Lynch grabs his crotch or makes any other obscene gesture during the Super Bowl, his team will be penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. Lynch was fined $20,000 for dramatically grabbing his crotch after scoring a touchdown in the NFC championship game against Green Bay.
Kings waive center Mike Richards for ‘batting .200’
The Los Angeles Kings waived 29-year-old center Mike Richards, who scored just 5 goals, with 15 points, in 47 games. General manager Dean Lombardi was disappointed in the production by a player earning more than $5.5 million a year: “Let’s face it, right now he’s batting .200.”
New commish ponders DH for NL, banning defensive shifts
Within days of succeeding Bud Selig as baseball commissioner, Rob Manfred spoke to the Players Association about a number of changes he’s considering. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Manfred’s top priority is stepping up the pace of games. A pitch clock could be on the way, if it is deemed successful in Class AAA and AA ball this year. Manfred is also considering a push for a designated hitter in the National League and banning the sort of radical defensive shifts that deter pull hitters. Also under consideration is the lowering of the mound, which would promote offense (which Manfred likes) but would add to the length of games.