Thursday, September 18, 2014

INTERVIEW: Roger Goodell speaks!

Thanks to our dedicated readers, the PCS was lucky enough to score an interview with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Below is a transcript of that interview.

SC: We’d like to thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.
RG: How did you find me?

SC: Um, that’s a funny story actually! Apparently, people don’t know that you write down all your important information on the bottom of your patent leather shoes. Phone numbers, passwords, anniversaries, family birthdays, Swiss bank accounts. Lucky for us, most of our readers are professional shoe shiners, so when you mysteriously failed to attend the opening game at San Francisco’s billion dollar new stadium this past Sunday night, it was only a matter of time before they reached out to us with the numbers to your burner cells. From there it was pretty easy.
RG: That makes a lot of sense. You think technology would have come up with a better way to store such precious information! Oh well, you have me now. What can I do you for?

SC: Well, first off, we wanted to ask you how life has been for you given this last week in the NFL? Things have gotten pretty rough.
RG: That’s a good question. I think when this story first broke, nobody thought about me, or how it would affect my family.

SC: How so?
RG: Well, what a lot of people don’t understand is that I only became commissioner of the NFL because my father was a prominent Senator back in the day. Like most children, I spent my teenage years swearing that I’d rebel against his oppressive views on worker and civil rights.  It started as a crazy idea cooked up with some of my boarding school mates: the idea of working for an organization that cared little for the health and well-being of the people who accounted for its revenue and popularity, who marketed a product that, at the time, women only understood as the thing that kept their husbands off of them right after church. And it turned out to be quite attainable if your father was a big time senator and your only skills were shotgunning a beer and downing a bottle of Tobasco sauce.

SC: Interesting. Can you explain how you were hired initially for the NFL, and then talk a bit about your career within the organization?
RG: Sure. Step one was easy. A young man need only be driven home from all-night marathons of binge-drinking and anonymous sex so many times before his wealthy father acquiesces and calls in a favor with the NFL hiring commission. I remember the two questions my supervisor asked me during my interview. “Are you a communist?” and “Hypothetically speaking, if you read a report that confirmed the link between dementia and football, would you share this report with anyone other than your office shredder?” Man, it’s like it was yesterday!

SC: And your answers?
RG: “No.” And, “What report on brain damage?”

SC: Wow, that’s really clever!
RG: You’re telling me! I’ve always been clever like that. I’m also good at telling jokes.

SC: Really? Would you mind telling us one of your jokes?
RG: You bet. “What do you call a retired offensive lineman who’s contemplating suicide as a result of brain trauma?”

SC: Um, what?
RG: “Ready to play!” Ha, man I wish people could see how funny I am. All the people who work for me say I’m the funniest guy they know.

SC: I bet. So how did you make it to Commissioner of one of the most profitable leagues in the world?
RG: Well, the first thing you learn is that the Commissioner is always right. He’s always the smartest and funniest guy in the room. If he wasn’t he wouldn’t be commissioner. It’s like this for any CEO really. CEOs are always the coolest, most popular, and most well-liked of all the business-type people. Otherwise they’d be terrible CEOs! That’s like Business 304. That’s a class right? I think it’s a class. Who cares, I was never a “taking a class kind of guy.” Anyway, I saw a lot of guys lose their jobs or face an early retirement, because they would raise questions about the direction of the League, or use terms like “decent,” “humane,” or “borderline criminal neglect” when making a point as to why the League should or shouldn’t do something.  Those guys just didn’t last long. People in charge like to hear that they are doing a good job, and they like to see that behavior echoed in their underlings—wait, is that the proper word to describe people who work for you? I think it is.

SC: We’ll go with it.
RG: See, that’s great! You’d fit in perfectly at the NFL! The second thing is the owners. I think one of the big things that’s been blown out of proportion about this whole things is the idea that I’m some all-powerful tyrant who makes the sun set in the East every night.

SC: The west.
RG: Excuse me?

SC: Never mind, continue.
RG: Great! So, what they don’t understand is that I’m just like everybody else. I only make  44-million dollars a year. People think that’s a lot of money. But the owners, they make, like, a bajoomble dollars a year. I mean, I go into meetings where everyone’s talking about their airstream, or their yachts, and I have a yacht, but it’s not an owner-like yacht. I’m only allowed to keep my job if the bajoomble-aires keep making money. Look, the way I’ve always said it, is that I’m no different than the guy managing a fast-food joint.  I have bosses who need to make sure the fries are still getting made, even if there’s an occasional grease fire or an employee is shot on his way into work that day. People are still coming to the cash register and wanting their fries. That doesn’t stop. So there really isn’t a lot of difference between me and your average fast food worker. I’m just a cog in a larger system.

SC: What would you say has changed most about the job since you took it?
RG: Wow, that one’s easy. It used to be you knew your audience and who you were talking to and you could give that person the answer they wanted. Nowadays people look at your answers and compare them to your other answers and then make a big deal about when one answer is the exact opposite of the other.

SC: Or completely untruthful.
RG: Don’t even get me started on the truth! Man, people have such a bug up their butts about the truth! Since when has a commissioner ever been expected to be transparent or truthful? Like, never. My dad was a politician. People just always assumed he was lying. I don’t see why it’s still a big deal in America nowadays that a powerful figure is lying to them. You would have thought we’d finally transcended this as a society, but then again here we are. I have to say it's gotten better though. Back then you used to lose your job for lying. Now they call you an artist. In a few weeks people will move on to something else, and I'll be back to wearing power suits and cracking hilarious jokes.

SC: So how do you respond to criticisms of your handling of the Ray Rice or Greg Hardy situations?
RG: Honestly, I never much understood our culture of victimhood in this country. But I get it now. I really do. I mean, being held accountable for what I knew and when I knew it has really given me real insight into what all these “women” and “Native Americans” are talking about. I have a mother. I was born in America. We’re all the same. I mean, I didn’t hit Ray Rice’s wife. And we can only even say that phrase because of this new video we received last April. There was a lot of wiggle room there when we initially looked into it. Ray Rice may have said “I punched my wife and she hit her head on the elevator and that’s how she was knocked unconscious.” And he may have said, “My lawyer has the tape and you can look at it if you don’t believe me,” but did he say it with his eyes? Hard to say. I’d say no. In that case, I’m as much a victim of this incident as Ray’s wife was. I mean, I’m the commissioner of the NFL and that doesn’t seem to be good enough for people. Somehow I did something wrong because I half-heartedly pursued a line of inquiry into an event that occurred off the field. Since when did that a requirement of my job? I mean, if anyone should consider libelous litigation, it’s me.

SC: Are you concerned about the response women have had towards the League in general after this incident?
RG: Look, everyone knows that women love football. Nothing is more sexy to a man that the sight of his woman wearing the jersey of the player he wishes he was in real life. Men love women who love the players/men they wish they could be. I put a lot of this on the media. I’ve never met a woman who’s ever said, “Roger, you need to do something about domestic violence.” Women can take responsibility for things in that area. They have a way of shutting that whole thing down.

SC: Wait, women have the ability to “shut down” domestic violence?
RG: I mean, they can take the appropriate steps. If we learned anything about this whole mess it’s that they should do more than report it to the police, leave it to clear security footage and eye witness reports. I mean, at some point they have to accept responsibility for how they want to be treated. This isn’t just my thoughts. Many of our owners and players echo the same things. They say, “Roger, if my sidepiece wants to step up and cause drama, she knows she’ll no longer be my sidepiece. You know what I’m sayin?” And I do know. I do know what they are saying.

SC: But what about the wives and girlfriends? Or when children are involved?
RG: Isn’t sidepiece a hip term for wife or girlfriend?

SC: ….
RG: …

SC: So moving on. Let’s hit a couple of rapid fire topics.
RG: Sounds good. I’m much better at only talking in brief spurts of throwaway observations. Complex answers are not my strong suit.

SC: Noted! Okay, Native Americans and the name Redskins?
RG: Honestly, in another hundred years, who’s gonna complain. Am I right?

SC: NFL players union?
RG: Never heard of them.

SC: Barack Obama?
RG: Dead and at the bottom of some ocean. Great movie! I support our troops. God bless, America.

SC: Breast Cancer Awareness.
RG: Merchandising.

SC: Feminsim?
RG: Something that should remain between a man and a woman.

SC: Sportswriter?
RG: Fan.

SC: Media
RG: Whiney.

SC: Money?
RG: God. At least according to what's in my wallet.

SC: Okay, commissioner, we’d like to thank you for giving some time to our little website.
RG: Sure, sure. But before I go, I just want to say that this whole circus has been traumatic for me and my family. People have said a lot of mean things about me. They’ve thrown a lot of my own words into my face. But I can take it. It’s why I didn’t go to San Francisco this week. Mitt Romney taught me that the only way you can ever get past these kinds of things, is to simply tune them out and keep moving forward. It’s why I’ve made the conscious effort to limit my exposure only to friendly members of the press and the sizeable domestic staff of my palatial beach home. Because this isn’t a story about me. It’s not a story at all, really. Which I think is the biggest tragedy here. People shouldn’t be asking, “What should the NFL be doing to combat domestic abuse.” People should be saying, “Domestic abuse? Who cares, we got a shot at the Super Bowl!” That’s really my role as commissioner, to be sure that’s the conversation we’re having. Hopefully this interview is the first step in spreading that message.

SC: Right, well, we’re sure it’ll spread something all right.

Score Technician: Sean McConnell

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