If you are a reputation blogger, the NFL is a gift that just keeps on giving. I tried to root for them, I really did. I listened to Roger Goodell’s news conference and gave him the benefit of the doubt….apology (check), outline action & timeline (check), do something good for the issue of violence (check, check). Sure, Goodell fumbled badly when he had to go off script. And his delivery was hardly inspiring. But I hopefully (naively?) called it a first step toward reputation recovery.
I was wrong.
Perhaps the reason Goodell couldn’t manage well when he went off script is because the script wasn’t even his. It waswritten for him by a political operative (Because politicians are the gold standard in earning trust?).
And how about the performance of Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti’s lame apology for the Ray Rice bungle? His delivery was moderately better than Goodell’s, but does he think admitting “it didn’t occur to him” to press for the video was a good reason? How about his idea of giving Ray Rice a six figure job with the team in “player development” – because we need more players who behave like him?
The best advice for the NFL at this stage is to just stop talking. And start doing. Make the promised changes. Stop being so incredibly obvious that profit is the only thing that matters. Because once the fan numbers (and dollars) start to show evidence of flight from the NFL, recovery will be difficult. Then again, it might be just what professional soccer has been waiting for.