Yet another letter to Roger Goodell

Yes, I know it will not change things. Yes, I know I have a highly inflated view of my own importance. Yes, I know there is small change Goodell will even see, let alone read my letter. I am still mailing it in the morning and posting it anywhere I can find a link. Here we go:

Roger Goodell,


I refuse to use your title because that would imply a modicum of respect.  I do not respect you.  Your mismanagement is evident in so many aspects of the National Football League.  You have shown yourself to be a very poor leader.  I do not understand this.  The principles of management are simple.  They are not significantly different in a war zone or on a Boy Scout backpacking trip.  Leading in business is very similar to leading a children’s sports team.  I have done all of these effectively and can tell you the basic tenets do not change.


To begin, you have to define clear standards, then enforce those standards.  Your attempts to do either are laughable.  Your players do not clearly understand the rules of the game you manage.  Your attempts to clarify the rules only created more confusion.  You did not prepare your referees to enforce the changes you demanded, so their application of your rules is, therefore, arbitrary, subjective and prejudicial.


If you want loyalty from your people, you must be loyal to them.  The people who work for you must know that they are a priority.  Rules have to be rules, regardless of your last name or position.  When you show preferential treatment to your special favorites, you promote dissension and disrespect among the rest.


If you expect honorable behavior, you must act honorably.  This is the area where you really disgust me.  Dan Rooney supported you, both publicly and vocally.  Even when you fined him for criticizing your officials, he publicly supported you.  When Ben Roethlisberger was accused and Art Rooney II said the team would abide by your decision, you took it as carte blanche to impose any punishment you saw fit.  Because the team did not protest your ham-handed application of justice, you saw an opportunity to launch a discipline campaign, using one of their players as an example.  You took advantage of the Rooney family honor because you know they would not publicly contradict your poor decisions.


All I ask is an even enforcement of the rules.  You would not act against Al Davis when Coach Cable was accused and charged with assault.  You dealt a minor slap to Robert Kraft when Coach Belichick threatened the integrity of the game.  You ignored the allegations against an icon when Brett Favre was accused of sexual harassment and transmitting pornography.  You fine aggressive players for legal hits and ignore those acts you defined as “egregious” simply because the offender is on a protected team.  This was clear in the Pittsburgh – Buffalo game, 28 November 2010, when you validated a bad call against Harrison with a fine but did nothing to the players who piled on and injured Roethlisberger when he was already down.  So much for your intent to promote player safety.


I only support fining a player like James Harrison if every other player is subjected to the same rules, the same scrutiny and the same enforcement.  You may not feel you owe him a refund but you certainly owe him and the Rooney family an apology.


As I said, the tenets of management are simple.  All you need to apply them is a brain and a spine.  I am waiting for you to exhibit either.


                                                                                 With no respect whatsoever,


                                                                                                                Tony Devlin

                                                                                                                Lifelong Steeler fan



I already sent in my dollar to pay James Harrison’s bogus fines.  The enclosed dollar is from a fan who does not even like the Steelers.  He is a Chiefs fan who feels you are unjustly targeting a great player.



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