It is not difficult for me to picture Roger Goodell covered in slime.
He is not a football fan. He is a corporate executive pretending to be a football fan.
Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Jonathan Dwyer, Ray Rice, Ray McDonald, Quincy Enunwa. These are six NFL players accused of child abuse, simple assault, misdemeanor assault, and felony domestic violence.
It is not a coincidence that these accusations have surfaced in a short span of time.
It is the tip of the iceberg.
Are violent men attracted to football or does football make men violent?
Drugs most likely play a part in this picture. Drug testing exists in the NFL but there are always ways to get around drug testing. And there are always new drugs and combinations of drugs available to experiment with that have not made "the list" yet.
These guys need drugs to kill pain, to get them up, to bring them down, to manufacture artificial energy.
Professional football is a vicious and violent sport, and the body and the mind take an unmerciful beating. Way outside the range of what a normal person would consider manageable.
These guys spend endless hours practicing, building up a rage, so they can let it all out in and hour and a half on Sunday.
And Monday. And Thursday.
Used to be simpler.
Anyway, can a human flip the switch from game time rage to normal life? Or is violence like breathing?
Trust me, I am not defending these criminals. If they hit a woman or abuse a child, their hands should be severed. Then they can go back to the gridiron and attempt to make a living.
I'm just wondering what kind of monsters this game creates.
Don't forget - there are countless admirable men who play and played football who deserve our respect. Who function well in society and add a little something positive to this life.
These are the football players we should be focusing on.
Back to Goodell.
It would not surprise me to learn that the Rog knew everything about the Ray Rice "incident" from the start. That he weighed the negative financial impact of being truthful against the concept of justice and decided a two game suspension was enough.
He is a man who cares nothing about the sport except as a vehicle to make money for the owners. And as a source for his $44 million income consisting of salary and bonuses.
He does not care about the health of the players, he does not care about compensating players fairly, he does not care about the fear in them - fear of short careers, fear of career ending injuries, fear of ending up in diapers at the age of forty.
To Roger Goodell the players are inventory. Raw material. Easily replaceable. Not human.
There are few true super stars in the league. The majority of players probably hope to hang on long enough to finance the rest of their lives, praying that crippling and debilitating injury will not rob them of that chance.
I want to hate the NFL just like I hate most major corporations.
But I can't. I have loved this game for fifty years. It is one of the few things that sparks my passion and awakes me from the coma of my life.
Goodell knows this. He is aware of the psycho passion of football fans. He is aware of the intensity of the sport, given the short season and the fan torture of only being able to watch their team play once a week.
He is aware that playing in the NFL is the only chance most players will ever have to lead a comfortable life. He knows there are thousands of players out there just dying for a chance to play at this level.
Goodell is quite happy to exploit all of this. Football is not going away and he knows it.
Supply and demand, baby. Just like today's job market. Employers are screwing employees because there are not enough jobs out there and everybody is desperate and suffering.
Goodell is screwing players, fans and justice because he can. Because demand outstrips supply.
I cannot hate football.
I can hate Goodell.