NFL controversy

With this being a season unlike any other for the National Football League, one wonders if this has become a watershed for the league. As more unflattering stories are uncovered, is this a turning point? For years, the NFL has been the Teflon league, the untouchable 800 lb. gorilla in the room that can do no wrong.

But in this TMZ era where no league is safe, could we see more stories like the one on’s Outside the Lines site that alleges intentional misdirection by the Baltimore Ravens during the Ray Rice scandal?

After Watergate, the media treated the White House and the Presidency in a different matter. Instead of ignoring certain stories, everything became fair game. The relationship between the media and the White House became adversarial which continues today. News conferences between the White House press corps and the President have become contentious.

On Friday, the press conference held by the NFL to allow Commissioner Roger Goodell to make his first public statements in ten days was nothing but confrontational. Reporters treated Goodell like a hostile witness and the Commissioner certainly did not help himself with his answers either.

Beginning with Ray Rice and continuing with other domestic violence incidents involving NFL players, the shine appears to be off the league. Since August, ESPN’ers Keith Olbermann, Hannah Storm and others have made commentaries that have been critical of the league. Olbermann has called for Goodell’s resignation dating back to the beginning of last month. This is certainly different from the ESPN that was seen as kowtowing to the NFL when it dropped the scripted “Playmakers” after one season and ended its cooperation in the PBS’ “League of Denial” Frontline documentary last year.

Should the league continue to fumble the handling of future domestic violence cases and perceived to cover up other negative stories, the media will be on witch hunt mode.

With TMZ lurking and ready to pounce on every mistake, the NFL now has entered a new era. It may be an era that could cause a lot of discomfort for the league and open a huge Pandora’s Box.

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.