So while I was driving to Baltimore and then taking a train to New York City and then walking from Penn Station to Grand Central Station and then somehow developing in that modest distance despite wearing shoes I’ve had for months a blister that promptly tore off and created the Curt Schilling effect on my sock (it’s not as dramatic when wearing jeans . . . and when the sock is dark blue) and then taking a train to Milford, Connecticut for Friday’s guest-hosting duties on The Dan Patrick Show, Commissioner Roger Goodell inadvertently created some confusion regarding the specific duration of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension, which the league office has since clarified.
The problem? Even though it has been clear from the outset that Roethlisberger has been suspended six games and that the suspension can be cut to four games, those of us in the media who should know that the minimum length of the suspension will be four games should have recognized that Goodell was making a dramatic departure from his pronounced decision before publishing the notion that Roethlisberger will be suspended fewer than four games.
In the aftermath of the misunderstanding caused by someone asking a question he should have known the answer to and then not ensuring that, somehow, the suspension could be fewer than four games, a least one PIttsburgh reporter is directing his frustration at the league office, and at Goodell.
Here’s what Jim Wexell of SteelCityInsider.com had to say, via Twitter: “Goodell’s worthless lawyer schlub pals now saying
he was unclear with answers because of poor questions. Um, not this
time. Crystal clear.”
Wexell also chided the idea that Roethlisberger must “satisfy requirements” before having his suspension cut by 33 percent. “Satisfy
requirements?” Wexell wrote. “Just say you’re making the dog do tricks for you, Roger.”
Wexell also referred to Goodell as a “phony” for not answering some of the questions about Roethlisberger.
Look, we’re quick to criticize the league office or the NFLPA or any team, coach, or player if we think it’s justified. In this case, the only failure came from the reporters — and none of them should be complaining about the situation. Instead, at least one of them should be apologizing for creating the mess by not knowing the terms of the suspension, and by not recognizing immediately that, at worst, Goodell misunderstood the question or misspoke.
Meanwhile, we’re expecting Goodell to join The Dan Patrick Show for a few minutes on Friday, once we can work a few minutes into his schedule. I could ask him about the specifics regarding Roethlisberger’s suspension, and perhaps I will. But anyone who has been paying attention knows that the suspension is six games, and that it can be cut to four.