Cory’s Corner: No Johnny Manziel could open door for Roger Goodell

I understand what the Browns are thinking.

They are trying to protect their quarterback that has lived in a fishbowl dating back to his days as a superstar at Texas A&M.

So they requested to not be on the HBO reality show “Hard Knocks.”

But just because the cameras won’t be humming, and the microphones won’t be hot doesn’t mean Johnny won’t be Johnny.

The attention-loving Johnny Manziel recently returned from a 10-week stint in rehab — which is to be commended. And the Browns are thinking that a dimmer spotlight will lessen the chance that Manziel turns back into Johnny Football.

I’m not buying it. If a guy is going to fall into a relapse, not having the cameras might actually do the inverse. Manziel might be more inclined to make a bad decision when the rest of the world isn’t watching his every move.

But it seems like we come to this point every season. Teams put up the stop sign on the reality show — which Washington has already done.

With all of the turmoil that the NFL has gone through this past year, how about the cameras get pointed at the suits in the NFL offices? Let everyone see how and why decisions get made and how things operate on a day-to-day basis.

It would let people find out how commissioner Roger Goodell earned $45 million last season.

You would think the NFL would want to do this. With Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and the Patriots, the NFL has seen its once-spotless shield get pretty dirty. This would be an act of transparency inside a company that has made football the new America’s pastime — while only making it more popular for future generations.

If Goodell still doesn’t understand that his lack of honesty led to his hatred this year, then the owners should make a move to have him fired. From the mishandling of the Rice elevator video to not addressing why the NFL makes the U.S. military pay for a notorious recruiting scheme.

But unfortunately, just like Manziel, cameras aren’t going to stop Goodell from selling his soul or the NFL’s soul for the almighty dollar. We all know how hungry the NFL is for money. Ever since Goodell came to power, we have seen the launch of the NFL Network, which eventually gave birth to its unwanted son — Thursday Night Football. That was in addition to force-feeding football in soccer-crazy London.

It’s time to pull back the curtain on Goodell. He may not want the cameras to spin around and zoom in on him but after a year like this, I guarantee that legions of people will be interested.

You could make an argument that Goodell is one of the most powerful people in the world. He circumvents legalities in order to punish how he sees fit. You could say that Goodell is the emperor of the NFL nation. He has supreme power and now with the personal conduct policy firmly in place, players must walk on eggshells in terms of how they act off-the-field.

Even if Manziel cleans up his off-the-field behavior, his NFL shelf life looks to be quite short because he has shown that he cannot be a drop back passer in this league.

Goodell just closed the book on one of the most tumultuous seasons in all of sports. It’s time to let people see how the sausage gets made.


Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn


17 thoughts on “Cory’s Corner: No Johnny Manziel could open door for Roger Goodell

  1. Goodell is nothing short of a money hungry whore. I guess that would make the NFL owners pimps. Pimps and whores, pimps and whores, pimps and whores…And the name of the show is “Hard _ocks”…

    1. For once we agree Big T. Personally, I don’t care if Goodell and the owners make all the money in the world, just don’t mess up the game while you’re at it. Unfortunately, the latest CBA did that.

      The drastically reduced off season and training camp practices are hurting the quality of play. Compare the level of play in the last three Super Bowl to the Packers/Steelers 2010 game. More importantly, even though the owners easily got the best of the CBA negotiations, the players finally understood clearly that their bodies are their livelihoods. Even discounting the new rules, I’ve seen tons more hits avoided after the new CBA than ever before going back to 1967.

      1. I’m not sure you can prove causality with the new CBA and your individual perceived “decline in play”. One could argue that the new practice limitations avoid injury to players and actually improve the season long quality of play. It’s an unprovable arguement. I will agree that early season football seems to be more sloppy than in years past. I might suggest that’s more a result of the team activity limitations than an overall decline in the quality of the product overall.

  2. Let’s start with having Goodell turn his private cell over to Brady. A little quid pro quo Roger?

  3. Sadly, greed has become the NFL’s driving force rather than the quality of the on field product. As long as Goodell makes money for the owners he’ll be the commissioner. Who knows what the game will look like by the time he’s done. I wonder if all the NFL teams were structured like the Packers (no individual owner) how much better off the league would be. If nothing else I doubt that Goodell would have a $45 million salary for continually diluting a great game. Thanks, Since ’61

  4. All this talk of Goodell ruining/diluting the game is off base, in my opinion.

    Has the level of play in the NFL regressed? Yes, but mostly on the defensive side of the ball due to the fact that rules have been changed to make the game safer for the players.

    With advancements in medical knowledge and technology, Goodell (and the owners) would have to be morons to not make these changes… they’d be setting themselves up for the mother of all lawsuits.

    Owners don’t want to get sued. Players don’t want to get hurt. The end results are less practices, less out-of-game “hitting”, and safer rules.

    What’s other option does Goodell have? Go back to the ’50’s and ’60’s? As fun as that might be for fans to watch – it would end the sport… society’s current obsession with litigation would see to that.

    1. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” –not sure who said it. That’s my first thought after reading your post. It seems, based on what you say, that goodell is just doing what “morons” wouldn’t do. Mr. Jennerjohn’s point is that he is a liar and a flake, I believe. I think what he has done in terms of making the league a safer place based on the findings of medical sciences is irrelevant and would have been the ruling of any commissioner just above “moron.”

      Great writing, as always, Mr.Jennerjohn.

  5. “Hard Knocks – The League Office” would be boring as hell to watch. Worst idea ever.

    1. lol.. I agree. This has to be one of the worst ideas every. Cory, no offense but nobody is going to have any desire to watch a middle aged white guy in an office all day acting and I mean acting squeaky clean. I personally think my show Hard Knockers about the player’s wives and girlfriends would stand a better chance and would get more viewers. I could be wrong as well but I just can’t imagine anyone wanting to waste an hour of their day watching Roger Goodell at work. Boring as Cow says.

  6. There are many other reasons the NFL shield has suffered black eyes and yes Goodell made some poor attempts to give aid via a steak from the freezer.But issuing claim that he is the main culprit or the reasons for others being the abusers etc, is beyond naïve but simply feigning blindness to condone riding the bandwagon of bs.

  7. Cory — good article. I think “Hard Knocks” show on the NFL would not be a terrible idea, although suspicion would persist about what is edited out. I would watch it out of curiosity to see how the league is run.

    The shield has been stained because people question Goodell’s competence and integrity. Transparency is good business practice in any industry — the NFL is no different.

  8. The NFL needs a commissioner that will take a stand and get ALL the owners on his side to stop serious misconduct from players before it happens, by this I mean deep back ground checks on college athletes before letting them enter the draft, The owners need to stop defending a player even if he is a star of the team, if they get caught breaking the law or rules then do whatever it takes to discipline them according to the level of the offense. The CBA and the players union need to get on board as well and stop justifying serious offenders.

  9. I agree with cow. I like Thursday night games. I think the new rules that improve player safety are completely necessary to preserve the game. I agree that transparency would greatly help the NFL, and that the commissioner has way too much unrestrained power. The off the field rules need to be codified, so that the range of punishments is not arbitrary. So too for some of the actual rules of football, like in exactly what manner is it legal to hit a QB? I’m sure I no longer know or can predict what might get called for roughing and what is legal.

    Finally, from a PR standpoint, I can’t begin to understand why the NFL does not simply fire Goodell, who to my mind is the lightening rod for all of the dissatisfaction. [Yes, the owners are likely ultimately responsible for some, even many of the problems, that’s why one hires a figurehead like Goodell to be the lightening rod.] It is absurd to suggest that he is the only person who can do the job. At $45 million a year, one would think that there would be no shortage of really good candidates. To me, it should be like baseball: fire the manager whether he is at fault or not.

  10. Agree completely that Manziel is more likely to relapse “behind closed doors” than if there were cameras everywhere. The Browns just don’t want the hassle of Hard Knocks, and Manziel’s recovery issue was a convenient excuse.

    1. They don’t need a tv show to keep Manziel in line. They can always hire a babysitter like Jerry Jones did with Dez Bryant.

  11. Let have video surveillance w/o their knowledge… That would be interesting… Anything else would be boring movie with main actor Roger Goodell in main role…

  12. Goodell has done a great job for the owners. However is horrible at administrating justice in a fair and equitable manner. Farm it out to a group of independent experts. Put a firewall between Goodell (and owners) and that team of experts. The Ray Rice fiasco should have been the end of Goodell issuing punishments. Goodell is a pawn of management, nothing more, nothing less. I would argue the Commisioner of football should not be picked by the owners.

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