Goodell on head injuries: ‘There’s risk in sitting on couch’ (Huh?)

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks to the media during a news conference Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell dropped the ball again during his news conference Friday on the subject of head injuries. (AP photo)

SAN FRANCISCO — Roger Goodell has officially gone bye-bye.

The NFL commissioner fielded questions on the usual subjects in his annual Super Bowl week news conference Friday: player discipline, team relocation, marijuana legalization, quality of play and, of course, head injuries.

Goodell’s answers were typically rambling and non-specific, and he seemed to retain the usual amount of denial on the long-term effects of concussions — even after questions about shortening careers, parents keeping their kids from playing football and the fact seven high school football players died from football injuries in 2015.

But here’s the mother of all of Goodell’s denial quotes: “There’s risk in life. There’s risk in sitting on the couch.”

Where is this man’s couch? In the middle of a lion’s cage? Adjacent to Mt. Vesuvius? Under several falling pianos?

Is Roger Goodell’s couch in the fast lane of I-285, cutting over four lanes of traffic to try to make it onto 400 north?

It’s bad enough that the NFL this week announced an expansion of its Thursday night television package for the next two seasons with CBS, NBC and the NFL Network, a deal expected to bring $450 million. Many believe Thursday night games affect both quality of play and increase the likelihood of injuries (and concussions).

Goodell denies that. Of course he denies it. Did I mention the $450 million?

Does Goodell remind you a little of the Dan Akroyd character on Saturday Night Live, “Irwin Mainway,” who defends his dangerous toys, including, “Bag O’Glass”?

I also like this photo sent from reader @B_Schulz_ on Twitter:

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And there’s this:

Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who was present for Goodell’s comments, said he’s concerned about player safety but he chose to put football in the same category as other sports: “You have to be concerned about player safety for young women who play soccer, young boys who play soccer, men who play football – all young men and women who play sports where you have that kind of contact. As a parent I’m concerned about it. But in the world of the National Football League, I believe the commissioner and his staff are working very hard to create the most safe environment that we can.”

As for Goodell’s couch analogy, Blank said, “Well, there is risk in sitting on a couch. Probably more people have died from sitting on a couch and getting heart disease and getting obese and eating nothing but Cheetos.”

Well, yeah. But should he maybe have at least said there’s risk in having a sedentary lifestyle and eating nothing but Cheetos?

Blank: “Yeah, that would’ve been another way of saying it.”

Recent ramblings from the Digital Jukebox

Reader Comments 0

11 comments
DrPhill
DrPhill

As long as high school and college players are willing to sacrifice their bodies for the illusion of huge pay checks, Godell and Blank can continue to feign concern while the dollars roll in. To paraphrase Mayer Lansky, the NFL is bigger than US Steel.

DrPhill
DrPhill

E_phil3@bellsouth.net

JSSN
JSSN

I said it three seasons ago when one commenter said: "The NFL is bullet-proof." Ask Pro Boxing how that works. They're are going to kill their golden calf as sure as time never moves backward. The end of Roger Goodell can't come soon enough, he can go join his fellow sport killers Fay Vincent, Bud Selig, and Sepp Blatter!

Carterev
Carterev

Listening to the NFL honchos makes one think CTE might be an airborn contagion. 

sim_namore
sim_namore

Well, there is no other sport quite like American football--not one in which players run full speed at one another, head down, and hope for the best--not even Austrailian rules football is that silly.  Perhaps the padding is the problem--it leads to a false sense of security. When these injuries lead to lawsuits in universities, colleges, and high schools, insurance rates will climb--and rightfully so.  No institution of learning should be sponsoring a sport that leads to the stupefaction of its students. 

jchris57
jchris57

This is what happens when you have a bunch of billionaire who are consumed by squeezing every last cent out of cities, states, networks, and ticket buyers. Nobody will care because I am a couple of years older than the target audience but I'm done. I watched about 5 minutes of the conference championships and will most likely watch even less of the game tomorrow. I will catch the commercials on youtube. I used to watch boxing too.

HeyThere
HeyThere

Well, Blank comes across a lot better than Goodell does. The commish is not doing much for the perception of his league.

ZAZ
ZAZ

Blank and Goodell........just clinging onto their $s from fat fans who waste precious life on their product. 9-11 minutes of actual on-field action over a 3+ hour period. That means your favorite idol player actually does something less than 5 minutes per game. It's a joke sport with a handful of athletes and the rest are fat guys getting in each others' way. 

GT71
GT71

SChultz, you are an idiot.

briardam
briardam

@JSSN @GT71 Just like you...the men that play professional sports know exactly what they signed up for and the consequences that their actions entail.  They are not forced to participate.  They do so to get paid and paid handsomely, at that.  Don't be a damned idiot.