Roger the dodger: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has had a tough week. The NFL ownership was confounded at every turn in the courtroom, ordered not once but twice, to open training facilities and get back to business. All of the league's coy, 'Aw shucks, we just don't know how comply with this decision' foot-dragging was met unsympathetically by Judge Susan Richard Nelson. Of course the NFL is appealing the ruling, but their actions and their words this week leave little doubt as to who to blame if there's no football in 2011.
And last night, on the big stage, football fans let Goodell know how they felt. He went ahead and orchestrated a gala event, that was bound to be fraught with awkward moments, such as him introducing and hugging draftees who were part of the class-action suit against him. The very idea of making such a public spectacle out of a draft where new players and owners became adversaries immediately after the ballcap-and-handshake picture is ludicrous and indicative of ownerships potentially fatal hubris.
Fans booed Goodell and chanted,"We want football" and they weren't mollified when the commissioner offered a weak, "I hear you" in response. The boos continued quietly, every time Roger addressed the microphone. Goodelltried to garner sympathy by referring to tornado victims in Alabama, and by brining out members of the armed forces for various announcements.
Call me cynical, but I was reminded of founding father Samuel Jackson's famous line, "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel." We ALL love America, Mr. Goodell. If you want to show how much you do, bring back football.
Rookie salary Cam:One thing I think most fans agree with, is that rookie salaries are way out of whack. We all have our favorite example of a rookie bust who collected millions (Ryan Leaf). It would have been smart for the league to address the issue before being forced to resume operations. That they didn't is good news for quarterback Cam Newton, the Carolina Panthers number one draft pick. He stands to become a very rich young man, very soon.
And that's going to be a very interesting story to follow. There's a lot of 'experts' who don't think Newton is worth the money.They question his ability and his work ethic. Some have gone so far as to say, he'll take the money, and coast. It seems like a harsh assessment, but who knows? It seems to me to be a very illogical practice, to guarantee millions of dollars to a young man. For some, it may be the beginning of a great career, but for many it must seem like the conclusion of having to struggle to compete.
Welcome to Chicago:Without ever having played a down for the Bears, first round draft pick Gabe Carimi can depend on feeling a lot of love from Chicago fans, at least for now. Carimi an offensive tackle from the University of Wisconsin,wasn't expected to still be on the board at number 29. In fact the Bears started to trade their fourth round pick to the Baltimore Ravens to move up three spots to grab him early.
However, Jerry Angelo made some sort of procedural blunder, and the trade never went through. Although both teams ended up with the player they wanted, the Ravens are crying foul and saying they should still get Chicago's fourth round pick. The league is said to be 'looking into the situation'.
Jerry Angelo has taken tremendous amounts of heat for past draft missteps. If he loses the fourth round pick on an error, even if he had already planned to trade it away, the screaming for his head will double in intensity.
The second and third round of the draft take place tonight, beginning at 5:00 Central. Stay with SB Nation Chicago for news and updates.