So what did NFL commissioner Roger Goodell think New Orleans Saints football players would do when their leaders put in a bounty program for quarterbacks' heads?
Did he expect them to stand up in the middle of the fire and brimstone the night before a huge game and say, "Uh, Coach? I'm not entirely sure that's ethical. Maybe we need to check with Roger?"
Did he expect the Saints players to raise their hands and say, "You know what, Coach? I'm out. But good luck with that!"
Did Goodell expect players to risk insurrection, to risk the esprit d' corps, to risk their jobs by conscientiously objecting?
Appealing a suspension from a commissioner angry enough to kick a coach out of the league for a year might not seem like the smartest decision, but in Sean Payton's case, it was the right decision.
Goodell has been roasted throughout this process by players and wisely has not engaged those insults, letting them fall off his back and staying true to course. Now he must work the room at these meetings to build consensus. His mission is to transfer the "shared sacrifice" message from discussions with the Plaeyrs to his Owners: to sacrifice their own self-interest for the greater good.
Madden not fan of new OT rule: "I never heard a coach or player complain about the rules of sudden death OT. That was a media-driven thing."
"Obviously it was one of the greatest games that we have had in the history of the NFL and certainly in Super Bowl history," Goodell said. "But not only was it the play on the field, but the story of the Saints and the role that they have had in their community in restoring hope and the connection they have in their community they have been through such a difficult period. And the role that the NFL, and in particular the Saints, played in that is something we can all be very proud of."
Goodell: You know, I think... listen, from my perspective, you guys are reflecting what the fans are talking about. And maybe, from a media standpoint, they're providing their views to influence the fan perspective. But I think that's coming together at some point. I think that's changing. You guys are probably changing that because you're coming from the other direction. You're reflecting the fans perspective and giving the fans a voice. That's what I love. Now, we get the media perspective but we also want the fans' perspective. That's why I spend so much time talking to fans. We just had a fan forum this morning where I get to hear what's on their mind, what's important, what they think we need to address and answer their questions. That's a good thing for us.
"Dennis has worked closely with Tom Benson for many years on club and league matters," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week. "He is a talented guy, and it's good to know that his experience and expertise will continue to play a vital role in the franchise."
"The competition is so great for this, " Goodell said Wednesday as the NFL wrapped up three days of meetings. "They are all great communities, but one of the things that's really changing the dynamics tremendously is the stadium. You are competing against state-of-the-art facilities that have either recently been built or recently renovated. One of the things that was probably attractive about the New Orleans bid was that they were going to be going through their second renovation in the last two or three years."
"It's possible that we could vote in May, but we want to have core discussions on this," Goodell said Wednesday. "Anytime you have change, there is some reluctance. But it's clear we don't need four preseason games anymore."