Joe Thomas compares NFL to WWE, Goodell to Vince McMahon


Browns left tackle Joe Thomas had an interesting take on Tom Brady and DeflateGate on Sunday when Cleveland-area reporters asked the eight-time Pro Bowler about it.

Per Pat McManamon of ESPN, Thomas likened the NFL to professional wresting and compared NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to WWE chairman Vince McMahon, saying the NFL is an “entertainment business” and that “basically, Goodell is Vince McMahon.”

That may not go over well with Goodell, but Thomas said the NFL set up a “sting operation” on Brady and ultimately gave him “the death penalty” for what Thomas said equated “to driving 66 [MPH] in a 65 zone.”

But Thomas said Goodell is making headlines and that “his predecessor did not act unreasonably” in dealing with such matters. Thomas sees football air pressure as a non-story but said he understands that everything is a story in today’s game.

“I’m not sure if [Goodell] realizes what he’s doing is brilliant, but what he’s doing is brilliant because he’s made the NFL relevant 365 [days] by having these outrageous, ridiculous witch hunts,” Thomas said. “It’s made the game more popular than ever and it’s become so much more of an entertainment business and it’s making so much money.

“That’s why I’m sure there’s plenty of people saying this is embarrassing for the league. But it’s an entertainment business when it comes right down to it. When the game gets eyeballs in newspapers and on TV, that’s what in the end is the goal for everyone. And that’s what this controversy is giving them.”

More of what Thomas said is posted here in McManamon’s blog.

63 responses to “Joe Thomas compares NFL to WWE, Goodell to Vince McMahon

  1. This is exactly on point. 100% true. Joe Thomas has always been one of my favorite players since his time in Madison. Thank you for saying what many people in the NFL will not say.

  2. I hope Rog doesn’t go after Joe Thomas next! Maybe a few million dollars to investigate him for putting holes in opponents socks. Look out-it’s about the integrity of the game. #nflhasnointegrity

  3. I dont care how great of an individual player you are but if you play on the laughing stock of a team you should be quiet and try not to be seen

  4. LEgally there is no difference whatsoever. This was exposed in the lawsuit by Carl Meyer over the patriots video taping scandals. It was ruled that theNFL is entertainment. Being “entertainment,” the leagues are legally entitled to do what is needed to entertain their audience, such as the creation and promotion of certain “storylines.” Despite arguments to the contrary, this makes the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL on par with Roller Derby and Professional Wrestling.

  5. Man I love me some Joe Thomas. He’s one cool cat. And the mans a beast of a Tackle. Love how he always wanted to stay in CLE and try to get something going there.

    Offensive lineman are some of the smartest people in football, this just highlights that point

  6. jchipwood says:
    Aug 23, 2015 8:01 PM
    If his team played were cheated against twice a year for the last decade I have a feeling his opinion would change.

    If we play them twice a year, then that means they are in the AFC East. The Jets, Bills and Dolphins lose to everyone not just the Patriots. So are we cheating? Or do your teams just suck?

  7. Nod nod… Wink wink

    Most everyone knows that WWE is fixed…
    so Vinnie Mac has a different fan base.

    We are learning that 345 Park Ave is FIXED !!!

    Goodell has opened the door to the public and brought the Feds in…

    However you look at it… this is


    for the NFL .

  8. Legally speaking this is 100% true. The lawsuit against the patriots by Carl meyer exposed this. The NFL is legally entertainment and by virtue of this it is open to creation of storylines and anything necessary to keep the viewer entertained. In reality this can essentially be called fixing and theyre legally open to do it

  9. Exactly what I was thinking.

    As someone who hasn’t followed this controversy except for what’s been said in the headlines (I refuse to give it page clicks), I would say that the NFL clearly calculated this “scandal” to stay relevant during the slow period of the offseason.

    I’ve heard about it on EVERY source of media I follow. Internet, radio (sports and non-sports stations alike), TV news, sports news, around the office. Everybody is sick of it but everybody is still talking about it.

    Any publicity is good publicity.

  10. Ted Wells on line-1…Pash has the report all ready to give some ‘finishing’ touches 🙂

    Kessler has his next skewers ready…all set to cook NFL Kabobs…

    Sketch artist practicing up…

  11. It’s all cracking for Humpty Dumpty Goodell…and will be almost impossible to put it together again…FREE TOM BRADY!

  12. I feel a 4 game suspension coming. “Comments detrimental to the League.” Bring back 70s and 80s football, or better yet 50s and 60s. Any era where you could actually hit somebody.

  13. Fantasy Football (aka legal gambling, because the NFL says so) is what’s made the game more popular. If anything, Goodell has torpedoed the interest of many fans, including this one!

  14. I am not Cleveland Brown fan or even a Joe Thomas fan, but that is the the most accurate analogy of what the NFL has become. I believe the NFL and ESPN have teamed up together to make the NFL relevant every single day of the year. Then they had to develop their own network to shove it down everyone’s throat. The NFL has probably given Tom Brady money to use him as a drama figure to draw up ratings like Vince McMahon and the Rock, Steve Austin, and so many others before them did. It’s embarrassing to see what I grew up playing, watching and enjoying has become. I initially supported Goodell in that they needed someone to bring order into the game and hold players accountable, but I believe the NFL is enjoying the drama ratings it’s getting to stay in the forefront of all the sports. Now it’s growing irritating.

  15. Hes plays for the Browns but is arugably the best tackle in the game. I think its fine if he gives his opinions on things.

  16. trevor123698 says:
    Aug 23, 2015 9:13 PM

    Legally speaking this is 100% true. The lawsuit against the patriots by Carl meyer exposed this.

    The only thing that lawsuit exposed was that Carl Meyer was a butt-hurt Jets fan.

    That bozo wanted $185,000,000 because another team was doing something that his team was also doing.

    What a loser.

  17. What does Thomas know??? Does he think he is as smart as the people that comment here who know Goodell is a hero for punishing Brady despite all the lies he has made in this witch hunt? All you need to do is accuse the Patriot’s of something, even if untrue, it will get a #gate name. The Colt’s have come up with more unproven lies but who cares, it’s the Patriot’s so shoot first and ask questions later! Patriot haters should now start a hashtag# attack of Thomas to let him know he is wrong and the fans of 30 other teams are right to condemn the Patriot’s because they beat all of them and had to cheat in the minds of losers to justify their defeats. Just ask the leaders of making excuses for losing to the Patriot’s, the (Baltim oops skip out of town in the middle of the night) Indianapolis Colt’s!

    I exclude the Giant’s as being the 1 team that is not included in the 31 other teams against the Patriot’s because they did what 30 other teams couldn’t do and that is defeat the Patriot’s. The rest of you losers need to make excuses for losing to the Patriot’s! Just do what the Giant’s did and beat them on the field!
    Giant’s fans, you will love Vereen! Wish he was still with the Patriot’s!

  18. I’ve made the analogy between Goodell and the NFL being like McMahon and the WWE many times. The difference being that Goodell is accomplishing the same thing because he is a clueless idiot rather than a master marketer like McMahon.

  19. whitetrash69 says:
    Aug 23, 2015 9:40 PM

    Bash the NFL all you want but the Pats will still always be a cheating joke.
    I guess if you keep saying the same thing over and over and ignore the facts, you will be right in your own mind. Please explain why your hero Goodell has had to lie and change his story in this witch hunt so many times if you can? I look forward to the next reason to ignore the facts that you trolls will come up with!

  20. Joe Thomas is dead wrong. Vince McMahon would be a far better and more successful NFL commissioner than Goodell. The league prints buckets of money – we all agree that even with a monkey running things the league would make money. Were McMahon in charge we would not have to deal with the Brady mess and perhaps we would be talking about two time Super Bowl winning Saints.

    I bet he also would have gotten it right with Ray Rice the first time. Rice would not have become toxic and would be a Brown or Cowboy right now. Adrian Peterson would have also been punished properly and that would never have wound up in court.

    On the downside we would have to deal with the stupid fumble recovery thing to open the game from the XFL, but I’d be OK with that trade.

  21. Kensil will distract the officials while Goodell hits Brady with a steel chair on his next game winning drive. The refs wont see it and count it as a sack.

  22. “If his team got cheated against 2 times every year his opinion would change.”

    Hahaha wow hate is real. What’s gonna be your excuse this year? Huh. Oh I can’t wait.
    The Pats are better than your crying soft teams. No direct evidence clowns! Keep hating and crying.

  23. Good for him. It takes guts to say out loud what many fans here have said.

    He is absolutely right when he says this has been going on for a while but the NFL never cared because they wanted more TDs and more highlights and more ratings which leads to more money.

    Now seven years after the rule change they are enforcing it and punishing the Patriots so severely ???

    The NFL leadership is a joke and I’m glad they are being exposed as the petty, vindictive twerps they are.

  24. If Goodell has the cahunas to actually go to Foxboro opening night, he better consider wearing a flak jacket under that suit…….. he’s gonna feel it…….

  25. I wish he had said this before the draft. Then they could have played Vince’s entrance music when Goodell walked out to start the draft.

  26. As soon as fans extricate their craniums from their rectums and stop watching games on TV and stop going to games at stadiums, then you will see just how irrelevant the NFL is.

  27. Thanks you Mr. Thomas for stating the obvious.

    The NFL, with the able assistance of the MSM, has kept this absurd ‘Strange Case of the Deflated Balls’ drama going as part of their offseason fare, assuming that at some point Brady would just roll over and play guilty and we could just get the season going.

    Meanwhile another former player, Eric Kramer, recently tried to commit suicide.

    But the MSM just keeps this ridiculous thing going because they have lost face and they don’t know how to bow out without losing more.

    This is NOT about the ‘integrity of the game’ – this is about ego and lots of MONEY – ours.

  28. Joe Thomas hits on exactly the reason why I won’t buy Sunday Ticket this season even though I was planning on it. I refuse to spend money on things that are fixed as the NFL appears to be fixed. The problem that the league has with the Patriots is that they win too much. I’ll still watch the Patriots but as for the rest of the league, my eyeballs and my money are going elsewhere until this entity goes back to the unscripted fair competition in which all teams have an equal shot every year to win that built it. I don’t watch fixed rasslin and I’m not watching fixed football either.

  29. Joe is saying what everyone with any common sense is thinking. Goodell is the one who brought Brady to NY Court, and now the judge is absolutely hammering him. Good. Just like Joe said, it was a phony witch hunt to begin with.

    A federal case, all over an imperceptible puff of air. My god, how stupid.

  30. I’ve said it many times before. While I’m not a Pats fan (and DESPISE their fans) I am a fan of Tom Brady, and it’s a damn shame what the league in conjunction with ESPN is doing to his reputation. I wish more of the smarter guys in the league like Thomas would speak up for him.

  31. “That may not go over well with Goodell, but Thomas said the NFL set up a “sting operation” on Brady and ultimately gave him “the death penalty” for what Thomas said equated “to driving 66 [MPH] in a 65 zone.”

    Completely absurd. The league hadn’t even done anything yet before the Pats and Brady started their scorched earth type angry defense stance. A better analogy would be going 66 in a 65 zone and getting caught. When the DA tries to perform an investigation, you’re belligerent, refuse to cooperate, you representatives slam the courts, the cops, the other motorists, hold angry press conferences and demand apologies, even though the Radar has you down as speeding. What started as a small fine for breaking the law has now become a criminal case.

  32. Thomas is wrong to compare Goodell to McMahon and the NFL to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). McMahon has some integrity and the WWE treats its participants fairly.

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