Unprofessional. Also, OUCH.

Front of Sports Illustrated’s site:

The context of that quote? Not good either:

“The one thing I take a little bit of issue with is when guys tell me they’re being screwed,” Goodell said. “[Most often] they’re not recognizing they have a role in it.” Regarding Roethlisberger, Goodell said when he was investigating what to do with the quarterback, he talked to “I bet two dozen [Steeler] players … Not one, not a single player, went to his defense. It wasn’t personal in a sense, but all kinds of stories like, ‘He won’t sign my jersey.’ ”

My issue isn’t whether or not this is true. I’m 99% sure it’s true. Even if thirty Steelers players go to media day tomorrow and claim it isn’t true, let’s be real — There’s no reason for Goodell to lie about this, but the team has lots of reasons to lie about it, especially leading up to the biggest game of the season when team cohesion is vital.

Benny is/was a well-documented jerk, and I’m not surprised his team was fed up with his shenanigans at the time the suspension was being handed down.

My issue is that the whole quote, the timing of it, the fact that he dared to say it on the record?  Reeks of douchebaggery and asshattery and flat out giant-assholeism.

To talk to the media about what went down behind closed doors before Benny’s suspension, to basically say on the record, “Hey, I hate him. Everyone hated him. His teammates hated him. Emphatically,” is a low-blow and is not going to foster honesty and openness the next time he meets with NFL players who might wonder if what they say will eventually be blabbed to the media by the loose lips of Roger Goodell.

Compare it to a CEO taking a moment at the next company retreat dinner in a crowded hotel ballroom to stand up at the microphone and say, “I tell ya, I had to reprimand Bob Ray Brown last month — wait, where’s Bob? Is Bob in the crowd? There he is. Stand up, Bob. There he is. Have a seat, Bob. As I was saying, I had to reprimand Bob for really really truly awful and dismal performance last month, and I tell ya, I talked to about a dozen of his employees and they were like, “Could this dude BE any suckier?’  I don’t have any reason for sharing that with you other than the fact that I crave attention and I feel that I’m all-powerful and everyone should bow down to me and fear me and really just come to understand that my word is law and I face no consequences for anything I do or say, ever, and anyway, Bob and his crew that hates him is over there at table 12 if you’d like to go say hello at the conclusion of the event. I won’t. I hate Bob. I have no connection to Bob. Ha. Ha. Ha-ha. Moving on, next up we’ll be having team-building exercises … ”

So unprofessional.

I hope Dan Rooney farts in Roger Goodell’s general direction for this one.


  1. Jill
    January 31, 2011 3:24 pm

    “Reeks of douchebaggery and asshattery and flat out giant-assholeism.”

    I couldn’t agree with you more. C’mon – we all know Benny’s well documented faults, but really? Is he the worst morally compromised player in the league? Probably, not – just the stupidest because he got caught.

    Wait until he has to hand Mr. Rooney the 7th Lombardi trophy – then who will have the last laugh :)

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  3. elysianfantasy
    January 31, 2011 3:33 pm

    Totally agree, Gin! And that pic of Dan farting in Goodell’s direction? Priceless! And it better not be one of those discreet little poots either. It better be one that renders Goodell unconscious from its smell. After all, he’s old and awesome. Dan can totally get away with it.

  4. BeauJacques
    January 31, 2011 3:38 pm

    Oh please!
    You pile on the “salem witch trial”-like treatment by

    who saw his chance to slap a a white QB and silence the rest
    of Nazi-occupied Europe-

    and now you don’t like Nazi rhetoric???

    You get one with the other!!

  5. calipanthergrl
    January 31, 2011 3:40 pm

    Re: the timing …

    Peter King says in his article that he’s been following Goodell around for the entire season and that the final article is finally being released next week; PK just included that quote (along with 4 others) as a tease in this week’s MMQB. So while Goodell didn’t necessarily utter that quote last week, it turns out to be uber-relevant given that the Steelers are playing in the SB and article is being released at the same time.

    Regardless, you’re dead on that players will be much less candid when speaking with Goodell in the future.

  6. BeauJacques
    January 31, 2011 3:41 pm

    That’s how Nazis roll.

  7. MobyDick
    January 31, 2011 3:59 pm

    Talk about timing ! I can’t condone Goodell’s public comment , but what about King? Couldn’t he have waited until after the Super Bowl ?

  8. Pamela
    January 31, 2011 4:01 pm

    I took issue with this as well and made my opinion clear in an email to Peter King.

    Goddell’s obvious disgust towards Ben is well-documented. But for him to laud a CONVICTED Dog Murderer and then condemn Ben in the same breath is nauseating. He is single-handedly ruining the NFL with his strong arm tactics and ego driven motives. For all intents and purposes, isn’t Ben his employee? Could Ben have a case against him for divulging PRIVATE conversations regarding personal and personnel matters? Who knows. But it just makes me hate this guy even more than I already do.

  9. AngryMongo
    January 31, 2011 4:07 pm


    Conspiracy theorists will say that the timing of this quote is to divide the Steelers ranks as they head into the Super Bowl.

    And let’s be clear…
    Donte Stallworth killed a man. Tank Johnson had a handgun charge.

    Ben was just a d-bag.

    No mention of Favre anywhere in that article, though.

  10. Sooska
    January 31, 2011 4:24 pm

    It is very unprofessional for Goodell to speak about the details. It is enough Ben got what he deserved. I am sure the NFL is having a conniption that Benny has an even chance to win a Super Bowl (what if he manages to be MVP?) To quote Judy Tenuta – it could happen. Rog should be professional and keep his mouth shut.

  11. Burgh is the Word
    January 31, 2011 4:30 pm

    Before I respond to this I have to get the image of Dan Rooney letting one rip through his Depends out of my head. It might take a bottle of Jack and a dull ice pick.

    I shall collect myself and return…

  12. Suburban Nor'Side Girl
    January 31, 2011 4:34 pm

    hmmmm. . . all those fines and now this. You don’t think Goodell is prejudiced against the Steelers, do you?

  13. Scott
    January 31, 2011 5:05 pm

    Couldn’t agree more on this. I don’t condone Ben’s behavior in any way, but it is completely inappropriate for the Commish to make these kinds of comments. Totally out of line.

  14. Sheila
    January 31, 2011 5:18 pm

    Peter King is a terrible writer. I think he’s putting different comments together to make a headline. The portion in his blog just doesn’t make sense – Roger didn’t feel a “connection” to Ben ? WTF does that mean -and then he starts to talk about different guys – how does that tie in to his “connection” to Ben?

    No players went to his defense on what? That he didn’t do what he was accused of? That he shouldn’t be suspended for 6 games ? That I find to be ridiculous – what player wants their QB out 6 games? And how is it not personal when the line is “he won’t sign my jerseys”. Makes no sense to me.

    Jon Saraceno (local guy) followed Goodell around as well and wrote a much better piece for USA Today – I’m sure they discussed Roethlisberger so strange Jon didn’t get this quote or whatever this crap is and Peter just happens to have it on the eve of the Super Bowl. I call shenanigans.

  15. Bram R
    January 31, 2011 5:58 pm

    So glad to see I’m not the only one out here concern-trolling! :-)

  16. cmd_45
    January 31, 2011 8:04 pm

    If the meeting was supposed to be private and Ben was not permitted to divulge the details, then I think the standard should be equivalent for the commissioner. But who do you go to for an equitable solution? Goodell is judge jury and executioner. Very unprofessional. Sincerely hope this comes into the forefront during upcoming negotiations.

  17. Trish
    January 31, 2011 8:28 pm

    It’s not like Goodell named names. I could have told you ages ago that Ben wasn’t well liked by his teammates. Remember the game against the Ravens (Cowher’s last year as coach) when Ben got sacked nine times? He got piledriven into the turf by Bart Scott, lay pretty much knocked out for about five minutes. RAVENS PLAYERS came to check on him. Not one Steeler. I was at the game in Baltimore, saw it with my own eyes. If Goodell had said “Hines Ward” or “Casey Hampton” or “Daniel Sepulveda” I’d say you had a case. Instead, he just said “Steelers.” And it speaks more about Ben’s teammates than about Ben.

  18. VAgirl
    January 31, 2011 8:33 pm

    Goodell very unprofessional, agreed. My opinion of Ben is the same, I don’t like the guy. I still will support the Steelers because of the whole not some of the slimey parts. This is just a media game.

  19. bluzdude
    January 31, 2011 8:40 pm

    I bet if Dan Rooney ever farted, it would smell like old money. (And I don’t mean Hines Ward.)

  20. Aileen
    January 31, 2011 8:48 pm

    Roger Goodell is a prick.

    Believe me, I was no fan of Ben’s off-field conduct. But, Goodell has no credibility because of his inconsistent treatment of players and how he levies punishment.

    He let Favre walk, stating that the NFL doesn’t get involved in the personal lives of players.


  21. Bitter
    January 31, 2011 10:07 pm

    Not surprised, after all the bs from fines to refs and the media the Steelers have had to deal with all season, that this would come out the week before the SuperBowl. Luckily they seem to do well in spite of the haters.

  22. Bitter
    January 31, 2011 10:08 pm

    PS: Wasn’t it Peter King that predicted the Steelers would win the SuperBowl at the beginning of the season?

  23. bucdaddy
    January 31, 2011 11:18 pm

    For all their bravado, I see a lot of Steeler* fans are mighty thin-skinned.

    Just sayin’.

    *–Yes, I said Steeler fans. I will no longer place the “s” at the end of “Steelers” in any usage.

    Here we go, Steeler, here we go!

  24. bucdaddy
    January 31, 2011 11:19 pm

    Also prone to conspiracy theories.

  25. BeauJacques
    February 1, 2011 12:06 am

    All the Germans LOVED Hitler when they thought he was doing good things for the country!!!

  26. sara
    February 1, 2011 12:41 am

    Seriously?? Get over it people. The steelers would not be in the super bowl without Ben. There would be no ‘great match-up’ on Sunday without Ben. Brett Favre’s antics got swept under the rug. Ben has done everything Goodell has asked. Move on!! I’m so sick of this story.

  27. BeauJacques
    February 1, 2011 3:23 am


    This isn’t about Ben!

    It’s about that piece-of-shit, Roger [smegma-breath] Goodell!!!

    May his pussy be infested with the fleas of 1000 camels!

  28. borski
    February 1, 2011 4:10 am


    Peter King Misquoted Goodell. Here is the clarification.

    Goodell wasn’t referring to Steeler players.

  29. Burgh is the Word
    February 1, 2011 7:37 am

    Poor Roger, I guess he will just have to go home and take it out on his wife’s fine ass.


    Wonder if they ever role plays and he makes her call him ‘Ben’

  30. Duncan
    February 1, 2011 8:02 am

    “douchebaggery and asshattery and flat out giant-assholeism” – is that a medical condition or a state of mind? Either way, it’s just flat out funny!

  31. AngryMongo
    February 1, 2011 8:21 am

    @Burgh is the Word
    Not surprising. Whether or not Goodell actually meant “players” vs. “Steelers,” the article brewed up a S#!t storm so, of course there would be a correction…. at 10:23 PM

  32. #1 WI Steeler Fan
    February 1, 2011 9:07 am

    So, Goodell spoke to about 2 dozen players about Ben- not Steelers- what did he think they were going to say- “Please, Mr. Commish, please – don’t suspend Big Ben for 6 games?” Of course they aren’t going to support Ben… they have to play against him. What a freskin joke.

  33. former pittsburgher
    February 1, 2011 10:10 am

    reply to #26

    I know this is off subject but, were you there in Germany? My grandparents and mother lived there. They were not Nazi’s. It is just reckless to say that all Germans loved Hitler. My grandparents feared him. They feared being shot just because they helped their Jewish neighbors, but they did it any way. I am sorry but your comment is dangerous, not funny. I for one will always skip over your comments because lately you are just mean and trashy.

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  35. BeauJacques
    February 1, 2011 10:55 am

    #34 @poor fake-

    Really? Get a clue and get over it!

    I don’t believe you, but even if I did,
    then YOU above all people should be aware
    of the danger of allowing demagogues like Goodell, Mubarek, and Hitler into power and see the all the parallels that it seemed OK at first!!

    I KNOW your grandparents would!!

    It’s not funny!

  36. empirechick
    February 1, 2011 11:00 am

    Virginia – can you please block BeauJacques again?

  37. Chris P
    February 1, 2011 11:13 am

    it is going to be so satisfying watching godell hand Steelers the sticky Lombardi. Hoping Harrison or Ben gets MVP now.

  38. Mike
    February 1, 2011 11:34 am

    Peter King actually retracted his statement this morning. Goodell did not talk to Steelers’ players, he just talked to random players around the league. Which begs another question. Why does players’ opinion of Ben measure into a suspension for a violation of a league rule? He violated the personal conduct policy, but people like him, so he gets a shorter suspension? Strange.

  39. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    February 1, 2011 11:34 am

    I’m with @Empirechick.

  40. eileen
    February 1, 2011 11:52 am

    I wonder what 24 of Goodell’s coworkers or employees would say about him.

  41. Aileen
    February 1, 2011 12:01 pm

    Here’s the thing about Goodell’s statement. What relevance does it on his decision to mete out punishment?

    If good citizen QB Drew Brees suddenly loses his mind and sets fire to what’s left of New Orleans, does Roger Goodell go to other players for their input?

    If the entire league rushes to Brees’ defense, does Goodell say “well, the entire league came to his defense, so I better mitigate the punishment.”

    Frankly, I am offended by Goodell’s disclosure to Peter King as to conversations he had with other players. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the guy is an ego-maniacal prick.

  42. Father George
    February 1, 2011 12:12 pm

    Unfortunate that this whole Ben saga has been fueled by people running with half truths, friend of a friend of a cousins husbands first hand info and outright lies. A retraction is about as good as having a stament struck in court – the idea has been planted and no amount of apologies will undo the damage. I am 99% positive this is true.

  43. LaReina
    February 1, 2011 12:19 pm

    I’m still trying to grasp the concept of pro football players asking a teammate for an autograph.

  44. BeauJacques
    February 1, 2011 12:21 pm

    @empire & @expat-

    Haters suck!

  45. Lee
    February 1, 2011 12:31 pm

    I’m with Ex Pat and Empirechick.
    BeauJacques, all of your comments, every last one of the comments you write on this blog are offensive.
    Hitler and Goodell, not the same. Period. Pretty sure Goodell isn’t interested in genocide.
    Why can’t you stay on topic and comment on what the posts are actually about instead of trying to be as offensive and trashy as possible?

  46. unsatisfied
    February 1, 2011 12:33 pm

    how about this?

    if ben doesn’t put himself in this position — not once, but twice — goodell’s comments never happen.

    just sayin’.

  47. agreed
    February 1, 2011 1:34 pm

    I agree with ‘unsatisfied’ completely. Thanks for saying it.

  48. PittinDC
    February 1, 2011 1:43 pm

    I don’t really think it matters which players Goodell talked to, or what they even talked about – it is highly unprofessional for him to divulge what was discussed about another player in any capacity. I wouldn’t want my boss to go to another one of my co-workers and ask about me, and then tell the whole company what others thought of me. I have to agree that players will be less likely to speak candidly about situations in the future.

  49. Vivian formerly NY Luvs Pitts
    February 1, 2011 2:17 pm

    @Chris P I pray it happens. SMDH