Every year we hear gripes from NBA and NFL players and owners about the untrustworthy, overreaching and downright baffling calls these commissioners make in the name of their respective sports. Let’s see who’s the worst around.
NBA Commissioner Stern
In fairness to Goodell we’ll disregard 1984-2005 for Stern. He was busy suspending
everyone and possibly fixing drafts, but it’s hard to compete with a two-decade head start. So, in 2006 Stern backed a new “microfiber” basketball for use in all games. After evidence the ball was more erratic, Stern still pushed for the use of the ball until he had to admit he made a poor choice and the league switched back.
At the same time, Stern forced his way into the battle over the relocation of the Seattle
Supersonics. And although the Thunder made it to the Finals this year, there is nothing but contempt in the great northwest for moving the team from the country’s 14th largest market to the 45th.
Dallas also felt the sting of Stern’s choices. This past December he vetoed the 3-team trade that would have sent Pau Gasol to the Rockets, Chris Paul to the Lakers and Lamar Odom to the Hornets. He said the veto was due to “basketball reasons.” Meanwhile we had to live with Odom struggling to get by and a Kardashian invasion.
Not cool Stern…not cool.
During this year’s collective bargaining talks, Stern shocked the union by saying that he “knew where the bodies are buried (in the NBA), because he had buried them himself.” These reckless comments only fueled the players’ distrust and led to the lockout.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
Before Goodell took over in 2006 there were few fines in the league. But he’s managed to fine more players and coaches in the past six seasons than any other commissioner, ever. And currently he is the only person who makes decisions about fines. Goodell created a culture where he is the judge, jury and executioner. Everyone remembers watching players spike the ball in the end zone, trash talk and leap into the stands. But now, Goodell has turned the NFL into the No Fun League. The game is emotional and turbulent, but he has worked hard to erase the flair.
Players have even begun to express skepticism over his talks of player safety while asking for more regular season games. His refusal to listen illustrates how his ego and bravado has clouded his decision-making abilities.
This is evident in his labor negotiations. The Cowboys and Redskins were punished for contracts before the uncapped 2010 season. There was no set cap that season, and it’s confounding that there was still a penalty in place two years later for spending more.
Folks, this one is a dogfight. Neither of these commissioners has risen to the occasion. Has either done anything substantial in their tenure to improve the fan’s experience? Tell us your thoughts @BlitzWeekly