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Roger Goodell embarrasses himself in nationally televised press conference

The NFL commissioner conducted a press conference on Friday. It went poorly.

Alex Goodlett

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell conducted a press conference Friday afternoon, with plans on addressing the many issues the NFL has faced in recent weeks. And just when you thought things couldn't get worse, they did.

Roger Goodell opened with an opening statement that included some action items with domestic violence groups, and discussions with NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith. He then opened the floor to questions, and things fell apart from there.

Goodell dodged every significant question. And I don't mean that he said he could not answer them, or they were still figuring out details on specifics to certain issues, but rather he just pulled a Jim Harbaugh and answered the question he thought they should have asked. Coach Harbaugh did that recently where someone asked him if Alex Boone would start last Sunday, and he said the team was looking good in practice. It took a follow-up question to actually get a Boone reference.

There were several highlights to this train wreck. The most bizarre moment had to be when Benjy Bronk from the Howard Stern Show made an appearance. As a reporter was asking a question, Bronk was heard off camera screaming "Don't take me to an elevator!" He yelled it repeatedly before being removed from the press conference. Given how surreal this press conference seemed, it was only fitting that someone would prank it like this.

Goodell said the NFL was working on revising the personal conduct policy, with plans to get something figured out hopefully by the Super Bowl. He sidestepped questions about Ray McDonald and other players currently facing potential punishment. Instead, he talked about how they will improve things, without actually attempting to give any details. He had to come out in front of the media, but he could have saved us all a lot of time and just issued a press release.

The lowlights were aplenty. If you enjoy a good train wreck, I recommend finding video. Here are just a few of the lowlights:

  • TMZ asked how the NFL did not get the second Ray Rice tape when they got it with one phone call. His response, "I don't know how you got the tape." Thanks, Roger.
  • Rachel Nichols noted that former FBI director Robert Mueller, who is conducting this "independent" investigation, is involved with a law firm that has done extensive business with the NFL. She asked how this could be viewed as independent if there is a significant connection. Goodell said she was questioning the integrity of Mueller, and condescendingly talked about how there were lots of law firms out there. It was arguably the lowest point of this press conference
  • Goodell said "everything is on the table" with regard to figuring out the personal conduct policy, but quickly stated he would not resign. This is not surprising, but it was amusing given that everything is on the table.
  • He would not go into much detail on the Ray Rice situation because the NFLPA has appealed the suspension. Good use of the internal appeals process to dodge those questions
  • He was asked about the notion that he told the Saints ignorance of the law was no excuse. He proceeded to completely ignore that and talk about improving things and the usual nonsense.

There were plenty of great tweets throughout. Here are a few: