Joe Posnanski has a good angle on Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, even if the title of his article is so trite that it is painful to read. Check it out here.
The thrust of the article is that Goodell looks the part of powerful league commissioner, but looking deeper reveals something different. My take is that he seems more susceptible to being ‘Fooled by Randomness’ than most people are – which is saying quite a lot. I won’t go into a long explanation of what I mean by that, but for a bit more explanation, check out an earlier post here.
Goodell, for all his appearance of being strong, has been swept along by a tide of lawyers that has resulted in the lockout being lifted by a federal judge. Poor negotiation aside, he has sent out ridiculous letters to the public, and has a crafted stump speech that is so oversimplified that even the average “I’m tired” Facebook poster can understand. He has also presided over the slow destruction of the rulebook to the extent that we will now have to wait for a replay official to confirm a touchdown that our eyes have told us is obvious. The main way that Goodell is ‘Fooled by Randomness’ then, is that he believes in a mythical utopia that can be solved by the correct legal strategy (instead of collaborative negotiation) and an on-the-field utopia where every call is exactly right and human variability (rather than human error) disappears.