At a time when more folks are realizing the stark differences between the NFL under Paul Tagliabue and the NFL under Roger Goodell, a guy who retired several years before the transition has openly wondered whether he could make it in today’s game.
Former Vikings receiver Cris Carter, now an ESPN analyst, told the new class of rookies as part of his passionate, riveting remarks to them that he doubts he could survive under Goodell.
“I don’t think Michael Irvin and I could have played in the league we have now,” Carter said. “‘Cause Roger Goodell, man. Rog ain’t got no rules, man. . . . Rog — ain’t no rules, man. If you screw up, like it ain’t etched in stone like you might get two, three games, four games. Rog gonna sit you down, though. And we’re seeing guys get suspended for the first time in stuff that like we never seen before.
“So if you think the league is the same as it was then and here and no, it’s not, man. They ain’t messin’ around, bro.”
Carter’s career nearly was derailed before it could get going, due to issues with substance abuse. The same problems dogged Irvin for a chunk of his own career.
And so the question becomes whether any potential Hall of Famers in the crowd will be able to stay out of trouble long enough to show the rest of us the talents that God has given to them.