Roger Goodell gives some unkind words to his mentor Paul Tagliabue

Oct 7, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell prior to the game between the Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans at the Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell probably felt confident that his friend and mentor former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue would uphold his findings in the New Orleans Saints bounty case when Tagliabue stepped in as an arbitrator.

In the end Tagliabue threw a bone to both sides when he did find that there was conduct detrimental but placed more of the blame on the coaches and vacated the player suspensions.

In an interview with the New York Times, Goodell expressed these thoughts,

“I was disappointed he could find conduct detrimental and there is no discipline, that he could excuse that type of accountability as a coach’s responsibility.  I don’t share that perspective. This isn’t a new policy. The bounty rule has been in place for decades. It’s a core part of our rules.”

The suspended players were relieved that Tagliabue was coming in to hear the case even though linebacker Jonathan Vilma tried a last ditch effort to get Tagliabue removed because he still felt that there might be that much impartiality considering Goodell and Taglibue’s close friendship.

Tagliabue though was always a fair but stern hand of justice when it came to things when he was in charge.  Those will remember that he famously suspended cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones for a full year for a series of offenses including conduct detrimental, albeit a different circumstance.

In a Monday Morning Quarterback by SI.com’s Peter King, Goodell gave a rather cutting remark that shows players and fans can expect more of the same as long as he is Alpha and Omega in the NFL by saying,

“If you want to be a cheerleader, go be a cheerleader.  If you want to be a commissioner, go make the decisions.”

Topics: New Orleans Saints, Paul Tagliabue, Roger Goodell

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  • louisianakid1954

    NFL commissioner Roger Goodell need to go set down and think on what his punishment going to be when its all said and done. He was wrong but he want everyone else to lie with him, New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson now need to put pressure on the NFL. To show them he is not pleased with everything that happened to his team in the 2012 season.

  • Shanon Bull

    This whole issue was about trash talk. This has gone on and is going on in every locker room from Jr. high school up. Goodell apparently has no evidence or he would have produced at least some of it. Tagliabue stepped in and gave him an out so he could save face. That is not enough for him and evidently not what he wanted. He did what he set out to do, destroy the 2012 Saints. His message is loud and clear for all teams, if he doesn’t like you, he will destroy you. At this point, he should quietly THANK Paul Tagliabue, settle down and hope everyone forgets, although that is not likely to happen. I agree that personal harm should not be deliberately inflicted on another player. Don’t permanently ruin their life just for the game, but this is football, and some injuries are to be expected. I also agree to pay someone to purposely inflict life changing injury (bounty) is not right or in the spirit of the game. If this happened, with thousands of pages of evidence to prove it, show the evidence, not the recordings of a couple of people (who, by the way were fired by the Saints organization, possible anger issues). If the evidence doesn’t exist, shut up! The 2012 Saints organization is to be complemented for their effort and accomplishments under this adversity and without a head coach. Joe Vitt has done a good job . . . after he was allowed to come back. The Saints went through training and the first weeks of the season on their own. To add to Goodell’s quote, If you want to be commissioner, go make the decisions that will be for the betterment of football and fair for all. Don’t let Suh get away with what he is known to do and then accept trash talk as evidence. (In my opinion, Suh should be banned from football for the injuries he tries to inflict. (Not a bounty program, just Suh’s nature) Looking forward to a great year next year, I only hope it is not some other team’s turn on the hot seat that will destroy their year!