Roger Goodell has best of both worlds as TV airs violent hits while he cracks down on violators

Shannon Sharpe ain’t no hypocrite. While his NFL TV analyst brethren were laying the self-righteous sanctimony on thick in support of Roger Goodell’s head-hunting crackdown, Sharpe, on CBS’ “The NFL Today,” was consistent. “When you got guys who don’t play football, or have never played football, making these decisions, this is what you get,” Sharpe said Sunday. “You’re overreacting.” This is the same Sharpe who in 2005 was a most enthusiastic participant in a weekly CBS pregame feature called “The Pounder Index.” A fast-food chain paid CBS large cash to air video of the spectacularly brutal “hits” of the week. Sharpe took great pleasure in assigning a numerical rating to each collision. The more violent, the higher the “mark.” Sharpe also provided his own unique sound effects to caption the mayhem. For Sharpe, five years later, to come out all circumspect and sincere about players being protected from random helmet-to-helmet violence would’ve been the act of a phony. Nonetheless, this isn’t about Sharpe. Nor is it about whether one agrees with the NFL’s “new” policy. See, that “Pounder Index” feature is just a small example how television, most notably the NFL’s TV partners, has glamorized and sold the NFL’s violent culture. Goodell can fine players, but he won’t dare interfere with his bag men at ESPN, Fox, CBS and NBC who pay the league a combined almost $28 billion, in the current contract, for the right to televise NFL football. Goodell isn’t telling his TV bobos to “cool it” on gratuitous… [Read full story]

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