What’s important here is not what penalty might have been appropriate for the Saints, who were clearly guilty of something. What’s important is, How do you know the Saints are guilty of something? How do you know the NFL is telling the truth? Perhaps the Saints are just the "canned goods" in Operation Aiello. The NFL says they have proof; but so did Germany. And like Germany, they refused to show it. Dressing up a dead prisoner in a Polish uniform is roughly the same thing as making a typed transcription of trumped-up notes that nobody gets to see. Very roughly. Without any of the mortal sin part, but still…it’s wrong.
More than that: it’s inadequate. No matter what penalty Roger Goodell imposed on the Saints, his first responsibility was to the truth. And the big question facing NFL fans isn’t, are the penalties fair? It’s not even, is the NFL telling the truth? It’s, who’s next?
Another good question is, how do we stop this son of a bitch? And the answer to that, all you other NFL fans, is: you stop being intellectually lazy, drop the partisanship, take an objective look not only at the evidence in this case but also at the standard operating procedure throughout Goodell’s tenure, and you kick in. You say, "I hate the f***ing Saints like death [you poor benighted clodpate], but if we don’t stop Goodell he’s going to destroy football." And then you storm the beaches in Normandy.