League office has received no complaints about Blandino’s visit to Cowboys

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The folks at TMZ touched off an unlikely firestorm via a recent video of the lengthy procession of people from an oversized clown car bearing the logo of the Dallas Cowboys.  The group emerging from the multi-million-dollar bus included team COO Stephen Jones, smedium-shirted Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, and NFL V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino.

Blandino’s presence, undetected by TMZ since he otherwise enjoys a low profile, has sparked a flurry of anonymous gripes and whines to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports regarding the apparent belief that Blandino spending time with Stephen Jones in a social setting will result in the Cowboys somehow getting better calls and in turn winning more games and ultimately not failing to qualify for the postseason.  Meanwhile, none of those anonymous complainers has made their feelings known, anonymously or otherwise, to the league office.

Per a league source, not a single complaint has been made by any NFL team regarding Blandino’s interaction with Stephen Jones.

And for good reason.  Unless Blandino possesses the healing powers of Mr. Miyagi and used them on Tony Romo’s back, Blandino’s visit as a practical matter will have no connection to the Cowboys’ on-field fortunes.  And if other teams truly are worried about the possibility that Blandino has taken residence in the Cowboys’ back pocket, those other team either need better things to worry about, or they’re worrying about the wrong things.

Blandino’s job entails visiting teams and interacting with coaches and executives.  These visits, as shocking as it may seem to those who clearly don’t understand the importance of developing relationships away from work in order to enhance working relationships, often include spending time in a social setting.  That’s the way it is for the V.P. of officiating, and that’s the way it’s been when others have held the job.

The V.P. of officiating actually spends extra time with members of the league’s Competition Committee.  And Stephen Jones is a member of the league’s Competition Committee.

Beyond interacting in person with coaches and executives, Blandino routinely fields phone calls from most of them.  Some call a lot.  Are the ones who call a lot getting an unfair advantage?  If Blandino is performing his job properly, the answer is an unequivocal no.

Blandino apparently was visiting Cowboys camp, and he apparently was invited to go to dinner with Jones.  They apparently took the bus.  They apparently decided to go get a drink.  He apparently exited the bus and walked into an establishment.  With no other images of Blandino, Manziel-style or otherwise, there’s no reason to believe that Blandino did anything wrong or that the Cowboys will get any type of favorable treatment in 2014 or beyond.

If anything, the pissing and moaning from anonymous team officials could be aimed at making a non-story into a big deal, in the hopes that Blandino will go so far to ensure that the Cowboys won’t get preferential treatment that their opponents will.

Ultimately, look for Blandino to keep doing the job as he has throughout his first year in the position, which includes interpreting and applying the rules fairly and objectively, and managing a wide variety of relationships with an even wider variety of personalities and characters.  Including those who own buses emblazoned with the team’s logo.

26 responses to “League office has received no complaints about Blandino’s visit to Cowboys

  1. Somewhere it was mentioned that Blandino had a BAC of .13 and that the establishment they visited was a strip club.

    Would that pass the smell test of Shield Protector Goodell?

  2. A lot of those points make sense. That said, this story still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  3. Good ole Jerry! Gotta love the man. Going all out and stuffing officials pockets all in hopes of a 9-7 year. Guess he’s trying to buy his way out of being the laughing stock of the NFL.

  4. “We must avoid even the appearance of a conflict,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello regarding Brian Stropolo.

  5. All the college aged ladies gathered from the Sunset Strip nightclub that got on the bus with these “gentlemen” are of more interest to me. I would love to know what went on once the shades of the bus window went down and they rolled away.

  6. Maybe I’m missing something here what is the point of developing relationships with all these executives and front office personnel for? You are the director of officiating. Your job is to make the rules and interpret them and help the referees. What’s next the NFL refs going out with the players the night before the game or in the off season.

    When the league goes out of its way to make a point that they have received no complaints. Something sounds pretty fishy.

    The more and more Goodell and these shady owners and shady business practices surface the more and more it’s confirming something very unethical is going on. I have thought the refs have been crooked for a while and the league is too fixing the results of outcomes based on the point spread and half and game point totals.

    And since often times refs are part of the results of games they should have to answer to the media just like everything else.

  7. I can’t wait until the first instance of a questionable call being made that favors the Cowboys. Hopefully it will be a game changer like the Megatron non-catch vs the Bears or that joke of a call on the Seahawks vs. the Packers so the howls that followed will be heard on Park Avenue in NYC.

    There is no way, no justification or excuse for Dean Blandino to be within 5 miles on that bus. Goodell should fire the guy on the spot for being a dumbass. You can be a dumbass and work for the Vikings (plenty evidence of that already) but you can’t be a dumbass and work for the league office.

  8. It may very well be a whole lot of nothing…

    However, regardless of how you spin it, the NFL VP of Officiating being seen getting off a party bus with the Jones’ (or any other team officials for that matter)… certainly creates a perception that the league probably doesn’t want out there.

  9. Why would anyone believe LaConfora..remember he said Andre Johnson to New England was a done deal.

  10. FFS, teams having coaches on the NFL competition committee is worse than this. Remember you guys making such a huge deal about Dallas’ big screen and all those kicks that were going to hit it? Much fuss over nothing all because it’s the Cowboys. I’m sure the guy spends time with all the NFL teams but no one notices unless it’s the Cowboys.

    Learn a new Riff people.

  11. If Microsoft can buy the calls and the title for their Seahawks, Jones is entitled to wining and dining the officials too.

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