Tag:Roger Goodell
Posted on: July 14, 2011 11:14 am
Edited on: July 14, 2011 9:55 pm

What else did Harrison tell magazine reporter?

HarrisonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

In an interesting admission today, the writer of the controversial James Harrison piece for Men’s Journal magazine told Harrison to do whatever he needs to do in order to make peace with his quarterback.

“We talked about 11 o’clock yesterday morning,” Paul Solotaroff told ESPN radio, via Pro Football Talk. “Look, James is the guy who’s got to live with Ben for the next three years.... So as I told James, ‘Listen, whatever you’ve got to say to mend fences is perfectly fine with me.’”

That’s why Harrison told Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger that Solotaroff twisted his words in the story.

But it also sounds like Solotaroff didn’t use all the quotes he could have, and apparently, Harrison got really nasty in the interview (it, of course, would be a surprise if Harrison wasn't nasty)

Harrison's Big Day
“I filled up three notebooks, I don’t know how many hours of digital tape, and I cut so much stuff from this piece,” Solotaroff said. “There is just acres of stuff James said that’s compelling and amusing and riveting. And that wasn’t the only thing he said about Ben.”

In addition to bashing Roethlisberger and RB Rashard Mendenhall in the piece that ran -- he also said some not-so-nice things about commissioner Roger Goodell -- Solotaroff left on the cutting room floor the quote in which Harrison called Cleveland’s Colt McCoy “an idiot kid quarterback.”

But you know what’s also kind of weird about this interview? Solotaroff seems like a HUGE fan of Harrison.

“I was furious at the way James got done by Goodell last year,” Solotaroff said. “I thought making him the poster boy for this abrupt and arbitrary rule change . . . was about the most wrongheaded thing you could do, particularly since Goodell seemed bent on singling James out.”

That’s fine for Solotaroff to feel that way. But now it sounds like Solotaroff is protecting Harrison from getting into even more trouble, simply because he likes Harrison so much.

And when you basically admit to that in a radio interview, your credibility as an objective reporter will get called into question. As it should be.

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Posted on: July 13, 2011 3:22 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2011 3:35 pm

Harrison already backtracking on fiery comments?

Posted by Will Brinson

Steelers linebacker James Harrison blew up a normally calm Wednesday when his interview in Men's Journal revealed some incredibly explosive quotes about Roger Goodell, NFL policies and his teammates.

After the mess had flown through, in and around the proverbial fan, Harrison did what any smart public figure does: claim his Facebook account got hacked backtrack quickly on his comments.

Per Merrill Hoge of ESPN (by way of Adam Schefter), Harrison gave his teammate Ben Roethlisberger a buzz Wednesday morning to talk about the interview and claimed, according to Roethlisberger, "the writer twisted many of his comments" and that he didn't mean to dogpile on Ben the way he did. (He ripped his two interceptions in the Super Bowl and likened the Steelers' quarterback to Peyton Manning … in paygrade only.)

According to Schefter, Roethlisberger is "taking Harrison at his word" and that their relationship is "fine."

Rashard Mendenhall, who Harrison called a "fumble machine," is also apparently cool with the comments, saying on Twitter that he doesn't "have a problem with what [Harrison] said because I know him."

Harrison's Big Day

So, the good news is that Harrison appears to be relatively in the clear when it comes to his teammates.

The bad news is that he's not exactly safe yet when it comes to the Steelers, who didn't sound thrilled about what Harrison had to say (kind of like when you call your dad and tell him your first-semester-at-college grades before you get home for Christmas).

And the even worse news is it's going to be really, really tough for Harrison to figure out how to explain away his most aggressive comments -- refusing to pee on Roger Goodell if he's on fire, devil, clown, etc., -- which were directed squarely at the man who's going to be running the NFL in 2011.

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Posted on: July 13, 2011 9:49 am
Edited on: July 13, 2011 10:14 am

James Harrison targeted for being James Harrison

Posted by Will Brinson

In an August issue of Men's Journal -- one that will be the most-read issue of the mag in history based on how much it's being talked about -- Steelers linebacker James Harrison tirades against Roger Goodell in an absolutely stunning number of ways.

I don't want to get into the hypothetical urine-less fire encompassing Roger Goodell or the fact that Ben Roethlisberger just had a Pittsburgh-area bus run over his back. Because something else stands out to me.

Namely, that Harrison, per the Associated Press, wonders "whether a black player is punished more for a hard hit on a white player than the opposite."

Now, I don't have any mathematical data or statistical models to back me up on this, but I do have a photo of a bare-chested Harrison holding a pair of guns -- posing, mind you -- for the very same magazine in which he called Roger Goodell a "clown."

This isn't problematic because the guns and name-calling make him look dangerous. This is problematic because it makes Harrison look like an absolute psychopath, who just so happens to tackle other men for a living, and oftentimes do so in an illegal -- per the league's rules -- manner.

And when you abandon decorum and common sense by taking a spin over the border into Crazytown with your credibility flying out the window, you lose the right to comment on social issues. You lose the right to comment on prejudice in situations like this, because you're already too prejudiced yourself. (This doesn't take into account the use of homophobic slurs in a derogatory manner, either.)

Harrison can't be "targeted" anymore -- he's walking around painting the target on himself with his incendiary comments, name-calling and unwillingness to pee on the commissioner.

Look, Harrison's a smart dude because he's getting attention for his comments and a lot of times, as Mike Freeman pointed out, he's got salient points about the way that the NFL does business.

But most of the time his biggest beef is with the fact that he's getting singled out and fined for things he does on the football field.

Unfortunately for Harrison, once you acknowledge that you're a "hitman" and pose on a magazine holding guns and call high-ranking people in the NFL inflammatory names and don't do any of this off the record, well, you lose your right to complain.

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Posted on: July 12, 2011 1:21 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 8:36 am

Podcast: How Goodell can repair his image

Posted by Ryan Wilson

With each passing day we're inching closer to the 2011 NFL season. Last month, the word on the street was that there would be a new collective bargaining agreement by mid-July. It now sounds like July 21 is the date a CBA would be ratified and the league season would officially begin.

CBSSports.com columnist Mike Freeman joins Eye on Football host Will Brinson to talk about whether the lockout's actually coming to a close, what Roger Goodell needs to do to repair his reputation with the players (related: what he should also do with Kenny Britt), and if the Hall of Fame Game will go off as scheduled on August 7.

Talking starts below.

Just hit the play button and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download.

Posted on: July 11, 2011 8:43 am
Edited on: July 11, 2011 9:53 am

Report: New CBA could be ratified by July 21

Posted by Ryan Wilson

A new collective bargaining agreement could be in place and ratified during the July 21 league meetings, ESPN reported Monday morning. This comes on the heels of another report Sunday that the two sides are "in really good shape" and that they're down to "one main issue … the rookie wage scale."

One NFL owner told ESPN over the weekend that there's "no reason to believe [the deal] won't get done." The thinking is that a handshake agreement will be put in place in the next seven to 10 days allowing each side to ratify it and start the 2011 season.

UPDATE (9:45 a.m. ET): ESPN has added the following paragraph to its original report: "However, one member of the players' negotiating team who has been a constant presence at the table said that players feel they have made significant concessions and overtures "that have not been reciprocated."

One issue with the July 21 ratification date: for weeks we've heard that if an agreement wasn't in place by July 15, free agency and training camps could be delayed, and preseason games could be lost, which would cost the owners and players anywhere from $200-$800 million.

The workaround to that, via the ESPN report:
While a rookie wage system has been identified as the most complex issue still to be resolved between the owners and players as they return to the negotiating table this week in New York, the level of overall confidence in reaching an agreement also is evident in a document known as "The Transition Rules" that NFL teams would follow if and when both players and owners ratify a new labor agreement.

The Transition Rules spell out an actual timeline for roster transactions under the July 21 deal scenario, including the start of the new league year during which free agents would become eligible for the open market on July 28.

With the tight timeline, teams will be scrambling to fill rosters that must be set at 90 players on roughly Aug. 3 -- but all training camps would be able to open on time.

If the deal were to be ratified July 21, it would assure that almost all preseason games would be played, according to sources
The only game that might be affected is the August 7 Hall of Fame game, which as of last week was still slated to be played.

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Posted on: July 8, 2011 11:38 am
Edited on: July 8, 2011 12:01 pm

Lockout ruling to speed up talks or a Doty hammer

Posted by Will Brinson

When we recently asked seven important lockout questions, one of them dealt with the rulings that were "hanging out there" from U.S. District Judge Doty and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The latter, as we know by now, has been handed down, making the lockout legal, and it's quite possible that Doty's ruling could come soon as well.

But that probably hinges on whether the owners attempt to use the circuit court's ruling as a true source of leverage in the talks that are ongoing Friday and could (should?) continue through the weekend.

See, the owners have a choice, what with the lockout ruling coming down in their favor in the middle of negotiations: They can sit on it or they can use it when they walk into the room with the players.
NFL Labor

If the former happens, it's a good thing; the negotiations will get a kick in the rear vis-a-vis the players' concern that the lockout could extend into perpetuity. And nothing will have actually changed, because everyone expected this ruling in the owners' favor.

Though -- it's worth noting -- the fact that the Eighth Circuit was wise enough to leave open the NFL's legal risk should they lose a full season is tremendous, because it doesn't give anyone incentive to miss a large chunk of football.

If the latter happens, we should fear for the future of football, and we should also expect to see Doty drop a hammer in the form of the television contract rulings. If the owners attempt to maximize the negotiating power a legal lockout gives them, the only way for the players to truly swing the momentum pendulum back to the middle is Doty giving them a big ruling on the television contracts.

Hopefully, it won't come to that, and both sides will see how important it is to get a deal done as soon as possible.

But if they don't play nice in the face of the latest legal ruling, there's a very good shot at Doty dropping a hammer that could truly create labor chaos.

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Posted on: July 7, 2011 10:27 am
Edited on: July 20, 2011 8:08 pm

Podcast: an end to the lockout could be near

Posted by Ryan Wilson

We're getting there, people. An end to the lockout could be a week away, maybe days.

In the latest Eye on Football podcast, we talk about who NFL commissioner Roger Goodell might have in his crosshairs for violating the personal conduct policy in recent months (we're looking right at you, Kenny Britt), as well as which teams would be willing to fork over $19 million a year for Nnamdi Asomugha, even though free agents like Johnathan Joseph and Ike Taylor would come much cheaper (somewhere in the $9 million-a-year range).

Here's to hoping that this is our last lockout podcast ever, because there's only so many times you can discuss where Tiki Barber might sit on the bench next season.

Talking starts below.

Just hit the play button and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download.

Posted on: July 7, 2011 9:10 am
Edited on: July 7, 2011 9:17 am
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