After Roger Goodell took to a podium Wednesday to say that NFL officials do an extraordinary job – this despite numerous high-profile officiating blunders this season – Brandon Tierney and Tiki Barber had a debate. Specifically, Tierney asked Barber to grade Goodell’s overall performance as commissioner.
“I’d probably give him a B+,” Barber said, shocking Tierney. “The problem is (our perception of him is) skewed by what’s in the media and how he’s handled certain things, including player discipline. Think of the incidences that have caused the biggest pain (for) the National Football League. How many are there? I’m going to say there’s probably 20 of them – and it’s mostly 20 individuals and then you throw in the team issues like (relocations and stadiums). So out of 100,000 points that we can judge him on, probably 40 or 50 went the wrong way.”
But does each point carry the same weight?
“I think the ones that he missed changes the balance of the grade – for me,” Tierney said. “I can’t give the guy a B+, man. I’m not going to give him a D. I think that’s ridiculous. I think if we opened up the phones and I asked everybody the same question, they would give him Fs, D-minuses – they would destroy him. And I don’t think that’s fair, either.”
As Barber pointed out, there are 1,600+ players in the NFL, and only a handful have been publicly problematic.
“I’m not going to punish Goodell or hold him accountable for bad people,” Tierney said. “My judgment comes in how he responds and deals with them. That’s why his grade, for me, has got to be lower than a B+. Dragging out the Deflategate alone puts him in the C-area. It’s got to.”
“I feel like he was a puppet for that,” Barber said. “I feel like here’s the thing: Deflategate makes no sense, but why? Because he has 32 owners that he answers to. He’s placating (the owners). Why? ‘Hey, Roger, we just paid you $40 million. This is what you’re doing. You’re taking the hit, and you’re seeing this through. Period. We may give you more (money) next year for your pain and suffering.’ So judging from the inside, that’s how you have to evaluate him.”