NFL, MLB COMMISSIONERS GETTING OPPOSITE CRITICISM
If anyone read Sunday’s edition of the Houston Chronicle’s sport section, they would have seen two articles involving National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell and another story near the back of the section about Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred.Although both of these CEOs receive much more criticism than compliments, after reading both of these articles, I have to agree that several points supporting the gist of these stories have much merit.The piece about Goodell begins, “No one should hold that much untouchable, God-like power. Especially a sports league that still hasn’t figured out how to properly protect the bodies and brains of its millionaire athletes.”Perhaps the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back was the six-game suspension of Dallas Cowboys’ star running back Ezekiel Elliott.Everyone has an opinion of whether the NFL was somewhat right or terribly wrong. “The public statement issued on behalf of every NFL owner is a lie. The NFL Players Association categorically denies the accusations made in this statement.“We know the league office has a history of being exposed for its lack of credibility. This in another example of the NFL’s hypocrisy on display and an attempt to create a sideshow to distract from their own failings in dealing with such serious issues. They should be ashamed for stooping to new lows.” The NFLPA issued that statement last Wednesday.The organization believes Goodell has been the judge, jury, appeals system and executioner for too long. The NFLPA suggests the NFL’s long-standing commissioner should be stripped of his “God-like crown.”When Elliott’s suspension is appealed Aug. 29, most of the facts are publicly unknown, yet much already has been decided in private, beyond closed doors, just like Deflategate and Bountygate and so many other lives and careers that Goodell has impacted as his power and reach have increased, the Chronicle article pointed out. And now ESPN claims that the NFL owners are preparing to extend Goodell’s hefty contract through 2024. On the other side of the coin, MLB umpires are wearing white wristbands during games protesting “abusive player behavior” after Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler was fined but not suspended for his recent tirade against umpire Angel Hernandez. The World Umpires Association said the union strongly objected to the response by the commissioner’s office. “The Office of the Commissioner’s lenient treatment to abusive player behavior sends the wrong message to players and managers. It’s open season on umpires and that’s bad for the game,” the WUA said. “Enough is enough. Umpires will wear the wristbands until our concerns are taken seriously,” the union warned. MLB said it had no comment on the union’s statement. Kinsler replied, “I really don’t think too deeply into it. I hope they wear the wristbands for the rest of their careers. I don’t care. I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, that’s their problem.” Last week at the owner’s meeting in Chicago, Commissioner Manfred drew a distinction on remarks by players and umpires. “It is not unusual after a very competitive event for a player to say something that we don’t think is helpful over the long term. We have always dealt with those by player discipline and fines. That’s the ordinary course,” Manfred commented. “I see the umpire thing differently. Umpires have to be beyond reproach on the topic of impartiality. That’s why there are specific rules in the umpire basic agreement about public comment,” the commissioner concluded. The WUA disagrees and believes Kinsler should have been fined and suspended. They want Manfred to have more power to make these decisions immediately. KWICKIES…It was one heck of a good weekend for the Lone Star State’s NFL teams. The Houston Texans played toe-to-toe with the world champion New England Patriots (with Tom Brady on the field) and eked out a 27-23 victory. And the Dallas Cowboys (without Ezekiel Elliott) outlasted the Indianapolis Colts 24-19. New Mexico State will have its own brand of beer to sell on campus, making them only the fifth Division I school to have their own homemade brand. Several NMSU alumni are the brew masters. School officials claim the project will be a low-cost money-maker. The Katy ISD has the distinction of having the most expensive high school football stadium in the country—Legacy Stadium which seats 12.000 at a cost of $72 million. Other high-dollar facilities in Texas include McKinney ISD which is set to open in 2018 at a cost of $69.9, Allen ISD which opened its 18,000-seat stadium in 2012 at a cost of $60 million, Prosper ISD recently announced plans to open a new stadium in 2019 at a cost of $48 million, Alvin ISD is planning to open a $41.5 million in 2018 and Clear Creek ISD’s 10,000-seat stadium which opened last year. The Houston Astros began a three-game series with the red-hot Washington Nationals yesterday (Tuesday) after beating the Oakland A’s two -of-three last weekend. The eight-game home stand concludes this weekend with two games against the LA Angels. The high-scoring Astros didn’t do that last weekend, winning 3-1, 3-0 and losing 3-2. Fortunately they still lead the AL West Division by a dozen games. JUST BETWEEN US…Our local high school football teams fared well Friday night in their first scrimmages against real opponents. The Bridge City Cardinals turned their seasoned defense loose against Buna holding the Cougars to a single touchdown while scoring three TDs. The two-time defending state champion West Orange-Stark Mustangs needed a late field goal by Chad Dallas to down a salty Port Neches-Groves 16-14 at The Reservation. The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears turned their No. 1 offense loose against Coldspring and scored four early touchdowns and another for the victory. The Orangefield Bobcats engaged in a defensive struggle against the Shepherd Pirates, forcing several turnovers in a low-scoring, hard-hitting controlled scrimmage. All the final scrimmages take place tomorrow (Thursday) with the Mustangs traveling to meet Vidor, LCM welcoming Newton, Orangefield will host Splendora and Bridge City will play Kirbyville at home. The regular season kicks off next weekend.