Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Brandon Marshall Suspended 3 Games

Roger Goodell has really mixed it up since he became the commissioner of the league two seasons ago. Actually, ruler is probably an apter title; Goodell knows how to assert his power. Did we ever even hear the words "Paul Tagliabue" and "discipline" together once in the 15 seasons before Goodell's reign? Anyway, Broncos wideout Brandon Marshall is just one out of quite a few players suspended by Goodell/the league. The most publicized case, Pacman "Call me Adam" Jones, comes to mind, along with Bears DT Tank Johnson, Bengals WR Chris Henry, and fellow Bengal LB Odell Thurman. Of course, Mike Vick deserves a mention on this list, but then again, even Tagliabue might have done something about him, given that the feds themselves locked him up for a couple of years. Speaking of Mike Vick, I spotted someone adorning his jersey last week at a Taco Bell (it was actually the first Vick jersey I've seen since he was connected with dogfighting). It got me to thinking: what happened to that little chihuahua that used to appear in all of Taco Bell's ads, with that "Yo quiero Taco Bell" slogan? I wonder if Vick was somehow involved.

But back to the point. Since he was drafted by the Broncos, Marshall has never even been convicted on any serious charges. He does have his DUI trial set for September 16th, and he has gotten tickets for traffic violations, but I believe that Goodell should have waited to see the results of the trial before calling for any suspensions. With all the previous perpetrators, Goodell had least waited until after their trials to levy disciplinary measures. In addition, all of them, with the exception of Thurman, who pleaded no contest, had been found guilty in court. These unprecedented actions by Goodell send a message to the players: bad behavior is not tolerated, even if it safely gets through the court system. Gone are the days of avoiding punishment despite being implicated in a double murder (see Ray Lewis). Now, all the misbehaving players of the league have to watch out for themselves (see the members of the Cincinatti Bengals). Hopefully, we will see a season with fewer suspensions and better player conduct.