Blog Entry

Don't mess with Roger

Posted on: August 13, 2009 10:31 am
Edited on: August 14, 2009 9:58 am
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent out another strong message Thursday that he won't tolerate bad off-the-field behavior when he suspended Cleveland Browns receiver Donte Stallworth for the entire season without pay.

Stallworth was suspended for violating both the league's substance-abuse policy and the personal-conduct policy after pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter resulting from his killing a man while driving under the inlfuence on March 14.

Stallworth met with the commissioner twice, once this week, and had hoped to get off with a lesser suspension. But Goodell is quickly becoming like the judge nobody wants to see in court.

He throws the book at these guys.

Come to think of it, his penalty is worse than what Stallworth got in real court, which was 30 days in jail, for which he served less than a week.

In a release sent out by the league, Goodell was quoted as saying,"As you recognized both at and following the hearing, guilt or innocence as a matter of criminal law is not the same as a violation of NFL policies.  Here, longstanding league policies make clear that discipline is warranted “if a player is convicted of or admits to a violation of the law…relating to the use of alcohol.”  The degree of discipline may take into account “aggravating circumstances, including but not limited to felonious conduct or felonious injury or death of third parties…”  All of those factors are present here.  There is no question that your actions had tragic consequences to an innocent man and his family, and that you have violated both the Substances of Abuse and Personal Conduct Policies.  In that respect, you are clearly guilty of conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the NFL.”
Goodell really had no choice but to go strong with discipline, even though Stallworth has truly been remorseful.

When St. Louis Rams defensive end Leonard Little killed a woman in a drunk-driving accident in 1998, he was suspended by then-commissioner Paul Tagliabue for eight games.

It's clear that Goodell is much tougher than his predecessor when it comes to handing out suspensions, which is message all NFL players need to understand.
Category: NFL
Tags: Stallworth

Since: May 2, 2008
Posted on: August 13, 2009 2:17 pm

Don't mess with Roger

Not saying he was a saint but to deprive someone of the chance to make a living is unreal.  Especially when your NFL career lasts an average of 3.5 years.

Why the double standard?  Would the rest of us lose our jobs for drunk driving?  Maybe if you were a public servant but most likely the answer is no. 
The only person who deprived Odell Thurman of an NFL career is Odell Thurman, giveitabreak.  I don't know where you work or what you do at work but being convicted of DWI/DUI will get you canned from a multitude of jobs, public servant or not.


Since: Feb 10, 2009
Posted on: August 13, 2009 2:05 pm

Don't mess with Roger

"Don't mess with Roger", yeah he taught conVick a real lesson didn't he Pete-get a clue guy. I'm not sure who's worse on here Prisco or doucheface Mike Freeman. And bigugg even though you might not know it but we appreciate what you do over there, you guys got more balls than any football player except if you ask Prisco. He'd tell you his boy Roger has the biggest potatoes

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: August 13, 2009 1:45 pm

Don't mess with Roger

Would we lose our jobs?  Well... YES, some of "us" would lose our jobs.  Would a police officer lose his job?  You bet your butt he would.  Would EVERYONE?  No.  Would the PR director of a high profile company lose his job?  Sure could make a case that his negative publicity is bad for the company.  And the company in this case is the NFL.  The NFL has determined that these high profile incidents are bad for their business and they fire the guy.  Don't make the idiotic mistake that he can no longer "make a living from football."  There are other leagues, there are minor leagues, there is coaching.  I DETEST it when these millionaires are whining about taking care of their families.  They're whining about the BIG paydays. 

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: August 13, 2009 1:26 pm

Don't mess with Roger

Would the rest of us lose our jobs for drunk driving?

Probably not, but you missed a pretty important part of the equation. If we struck and killed a pedestrian while under the influence would we lose our job? Probably because us mortals would get sent to jail for longer than a few days. Would you be able to go right back to your company after serving your time? Probably not, same thing is happening here. I'm sure Donte can find a job somewhere, just not in the NFL.

Since: Dec 29, 2008
Posted on: August 13, 2009 1:26 pm

Don't mess with Roger

The one thing that I really don't understand when I read of someone so incredibly wealthy getting arrested for drinking and driving is... have you ever heard of a taxi?!!! You call them, they come get you and take you wherever you wish, you pay them, go get your car the next day. Or how about being smart enough to call a taxi to take you in the first place when you know that you are going to be celebrating something like, oh, a huge new contract with the Browns? Unf-ing believeable. I and most of my friends do not make millions yet we have the sense to call a cab when we know that we are planning on celebrating. I live in Mpls.-St. Paul, many bars actually post a number for a service that will come and pick you up and drive your car and you home! (Two drivers, one to take you and your car and one to follow in their vehicle) I have also seen bars that clearly post that they will pay for the cab if you have had too much to drink. There is just no excuse for acting so irresponsibly. If none of these options suit these numbskulls, how about paying for a hotel room for a night.
Just to be a devil's advocate, I would like to point out that this case is not as cut and dried as some posters seem to believe, which is why I think that the judge gave him a light sentence. (The deceased did act foolishly, maybe it is true that the accident would have still taken place even if Donte was sober. No speeding, no leaving the scene, cooperation with the police, and voluntarily offering restitution to the family all contributed to the judge's decision)

Since: Dec 30, 2007
Posted on: August 13, 2009 1:25 pm

Don't mess with Roger

As other leagues still struggle with the same issues year in and year out. The NFL is cutting it's ties with the priveledged not being properly punished for their crimes. Is it harsh some time, sure, but playing football is not a right in the constitution or even a personel right one gets under the law. It is a job, and as jobs go, if you get caught getting a DUI some companies will fire you.

Anyone could see the future of the NFL if things were left alone. Players getting away with everything and non die hard fans losing interest and finding something new to watch.

Dividing the power. screw that, the NFL is not a government it is a business and a business can have a board (owners) but is being run by someone. If you take away the commisioner's power you run into power struggles and multiple people having agendas.

Since: Apr 30, 2008
Posted on: August 13, 2009 1:22 pm

Don't mess with Roger

Good job Commissioner!  Remorse does NOT exonerate someone.  Stallworth killed another innocent man as a result of his abuse of alcohol.  Goodell is sending a message that personal responsibility is a priority.  Bravo!

Since: Apr 30, 2008
Posted on: August 13, 2009 1:20 pm

Don't mess with Roger


Since: Oct 24, 2008
Posted on: August 13, 2009 1:07 pm

Don't mess with Roger

Don't mess with Roger GODell

Truth be known, his REAL name is Roger GODell in reference to his GOD complex.  I think killing someone warrants a pretty harsh punishment but isn't that what the courts are for?  To keep someone from earning a living for 12 months (or longer if GODell doesn't believe Stallworth found religion during his 12 month banishment) goes too far.

Odell Thurman led the Bengals in tackles in his rookie season and could have been one of the best LBs in the game.  He was suspended for a year for not getting back in town in time for a drug test and later for drunk driving.  He was suspended for a second year after a fight in a bar (no charges filed).  He never made it back to the NFL.  Not saying he was a saint but to deprive someone of the chance to make a living is unreal.  Especially when your NFL career lasts an average of 3.5 years.

Why the double standard?  Would the rest of us lose our jobs for drunk driving?  Maybe if you were a public servant but most likely the answer is no.  Making crazy amounts of money and the wrath of jealous fans who would supposedly be so much more appreciative of their opportunity if they could play football for a living do not warrant the double standard.

Give it a break:

You made my case for me in several ways.

1.  You ask how he can keep someone from making a living?  He doesn't.  They are very well compensated these days.  It isnt the way it was years ago when a player had to work in the offseason to make ends meet.  Even the league minimum pays many many times what anyone else with a highschool diploma that left college would get paid.  ZERO sympathy

2.  Odell was not deprived of the CHANCE to make a living.  Quite the contrary.  His CHANCE was when he got a free ride to college (did he finish?).  His CHANCE was when he was drafted and WAS paid.  His CHANCE was when he played well and COULD have stayed clean and gotten another huge payday when his rookie contract was up.  He got another CHANCE to play and could not stay out of trouble.  Even now if he tried he would be given another CHANCE to play.  Seems he has had plenty of CHANCES.

3.  Double standard?  What double standard?  If a bus driver gets a DUI and cant drive do they keep thier job?  If a teacher pops on a urinalysis do they keep thier jobs?  If you get a DUI and miss work for a couple of days while you are trying to scrape up bail do you keep your job?  If you get a felony possession charge you cant even work at a freaking McDonalds.  If you are convicted of a felony you cant own property, I wonder how that would affect a farmer, or a small business owner.  It seems to me that there is no double standard, simply people in all walks of life that fail to meet a standard set before them, and people all to willing to absolve them of blame. 

Would I be more appreciative of the CHANCE to make that kind of money?  HELL YES I WOULD.  Am I jealous?  Maybe, but I am also thankful for what I do have.  I dont do drugs because I dont want to lose what I have.  I dont drink and drive because I appreciate what I have.  I'm not a blemish to society because I want to be a part of it.

Since: Oct 24, 2008
Posted on: August 13, 2009 12:40 pm

Don't mess with Roger

Honestly, I have no problem whatsoever with the control he has.  And I am sure the players in the league that obey the law dont either.  Does it suck when they lose a team mate?  I am sure it does, but thier teams and team mates should do a better job of policing thier own.

Donte Stallworth was drinking with Braylon Edwards.  Why didnt Edwards prevent his buddy from driving afterwards?  Because they are irresponsible.  I would punch my friends in the mouth before I let him drive off drunk.  They know it, and would do the same for me.  We take care of each other, we are responsible. 

If teams and teammates took a more active role in players lives there would be fewer problems.  Even in simple matters it makes a difference.  Everyone wants to say "they are grown men", but the fact of the matter is that not all of them are.  Some come from backgrounds that give them a very warped sense of reality.  Where they didnt have to have jobs because they had talent, where the only relationship they have ever had was with a coach, pads and pain.  Some have absolutly no concept of how to deal with adversity because they have never known it.  They have always been better at what they concieved as mattering. 

All that said, they need to have something to fear.  Our joke of a legal system is not going to really do anything to them as evidenced by Stallworth's "jail time".  They dont care about fines as evidenced by that clown Ochocinco.  But time, yes they fear losing time.  One less year to try to make the stats it requires to get to Canton where they can have thier swollen ego's stroked for the lifetime of a bronze bust.  A few fewer games to showcase thier skills looking for that next payday with the next team that cares more about YAC than character. 

Time is Roger's weapon, and he should weild it as he see's fit.  When it all comes down to it I quote the title of this thread.  "Don't mess with Roger". 

And he won't mess with you.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or