Thou villain! Thou knave! Thou scurvy companion!
When Shakespeare takes aim at a character of ill-repute with words as strong as these, personal offense and relationship are the motivation for such ire. The same cannot be said of me and the Commish.
It may surprise you to learn we, in fact, do not know one another at all. Yet, just as any anti-hero or foil- he seems to always be where I’m loathe to see him and absent when most necessitated.
This perpetual tardiness is perhaps most exemplified by his lackluster (though at least no longer antagonistic) responses to demands for support for racial justice coming from players themselves. And don’t forget exacting a penalty on a player guilty of dog-fighting that exceeds almost any consequence of domestic violence. But I suppose, why lead when you can be rich and unbothered? Like a maiden hidden away to spare her the indignities of conflict, his timidity does not become his station.
Still somehow, when he shows his face and acts as the spokesman of the league… Then too am I unhappy. A 2020 Draft performance that can only be described as “If I have to” left me convinced either that he has previously shown himself impervious to feedback, or his team is full of saboteurs.
Why would no one tell him: “Lift your eyebrows! Don’t sit at the back of the chair- it makes you look like a potato! Down-endings make you sound bored! Varying your pace and inflection will help to convince the people that you’re human!”
I could not have helped him that night, nor can I quell my distain today. Is it dramatic to think of him as the dueling head of a waring household? Yes. Yes, it definitely is. But it’s also much more fun, and much more poetic. And so I present:
Sonnet for Roger Goodell
In camera’s frame thine figure dost appear,
Beset with charmless face and pompous shrug.
With boiled blood, I find control austere,
Or else might I attempt to slap thine mug.
Unfazed by that which peeves and maddens most,
How happ’ly sit thee idle on thine tush?
While haught’ly counting fines that thou hast gross’d,
The prize thou stewards surely turns to mush.
Deaf ears may deign to hear the rabble’s cry,
It finds the feckless figure vexed not-
Complacent granting years to still march by,
‘Till public scorn dost scorch thine skin too hot.
My paltry words shan’t yell, “Felonious!”
Instead an ode to name thee Odious.
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