This is a topic that seems to be grabbing everyone’s attention more and more as the season draws near. Why hasn’t Roger Goodell handed down his punishment to Jim Irsay? It’s a valid question, I believe. If it were a player, this would have been handled swiftly and it wouldn’t be a topic of conversation. Look what happened with Mathis. News broke he tested positive, punishment came down, appeal was filed and denied. Boom, boom, and boom. LaVon Brazill tested positive for the 3rd time for marijuana. News broke, punishment came down, Colts released him. Just like ripping off a Band-Aid. So why hasn’t Goodell filed the papers on Irsay? There is a very simple answer to that….HE’S AN OWNER!!!
Now, let me preface this by saying that I don’t excuse what he did, nor do I agree with the delay in his punishment. However, it’s very simple. This isn’t a situation that the NFL has had to face very often. How many owners can you think of that have had bouts with law enforcement, ended up on the 10 o’clock news and all the particulars were laid out for the world to see? Yeah, didn’t think you could think of anyone. Owners don’t normally get into trouble with the law or things like that. Punishments for players are pretty standard. There are levels of severity that the NFL and NFLPA have come to an agreement on and that’s what is followed. With this situation, however, there isn’t much precedent set. There isn’t something to look back on.
I heard this argument on a local Indy sports radio show, The Dan Dakich Show, and the reasoning isn’t that far from the truth. I believe he said, and I paraphrase, “smart people own.” I heard that and was immediately floored by three simple words. Smart people own. He was so right that I had to rethink my stance on this. Owners can do basically whatever they want because they don’t draw the spotlight- and if there isn’t a spotlight, then how can you get into trouble? The spotlight is always on the players and coaches. That’s where Jim Irsay messed up. He draws the spotlight to him with his Twitter posts and his general reckless behavior. Irsay is a 15 year old boy in an NFL team owner’s body. The faster we all accept that we have a good owner that makes terrible decisions in his personal life, the quicker we can all get over this.
I expect a decision to be handed down before Kickoff Weekend. Goodell cannot let this go without addressing it. He may be waiting for all the legal stuff to be out of the way before he drops the hammer. However my advice to Goodell, as if he would care, is that a fine isn’t going to do a damn thing. If he really wants to send a message he needs to come with some sort of suspension from the team and some of the profits from the team go back to the city or some organization that could use a little funding. Suspend him and don’t allow him to make money from his investment for the time he is suspended. That’s more money than Goodell would ever fine him and it would send the message league-wide that even the owners will be held to the standards that their players are held.