Everyone remarks on Tom Brady’s workmanlike performance at quarterback in every game. The way Brady thinks about the game shows in the way he plays it:
Like I said, every week you put together a different plan. …You start each week and you’ve got to put the same amount of work in every single week. And you can’t forget one detail. And then you get one chance to go out there and do it on Sunday.
It’s hard to win. It’s really hard to win. It’s easy to take it for granted, because we have a good record and we’ve played well for a period of time. But I don’t think we as players ever take it for granted, because I’ve been around long enough to realize how hard it is to get the ball in the end zone, to put together drives. It’s no easy task. You’ve got to keep working at it.
Prepare, then do your best with the situation in front of you.
Mindless officials apply a rule, conceived to prevent cheating, to a completely different situation. If someone objects and you hear yourself say “rules are rules” to justify your action, you know you have done something wrong.
NFL owners should fire Roger Goodell. They’re not going to do that, though. Replacing him is like electing a pope, except the owners do not deliberate in secret. They do not want to deliberate in public until Goodell steps aside on his own.
Short of firing or retirement, owners and the league should remove discipline from Goodell’s hands. He is terrible at it. He is also bad at PR. He makes his disciplinary decisions for PR reasons, and everyone knows it. The disciplinary decisions he makes are horrible, unfair, and even dishonest, no matter how you look at them. They are so bad, over time, that they just generate more bad publicity.
The NFL commissioner and all the owners should create a body to hear disciplinary cases. You could even have a high commission to hear appeals, with lower level boards – one for each division, say – to handle drug offenses and the like. Other large organizations operate the same way. A decentralized disciplinary systemn would work as well for the National Football League. Then Goodell could do whatever the commissioner does when he’s not working on discipline, such as go out to lunch with the owners.
Honestly, the man has to stop punishing people. He has made the league’s whole disciplinary system into something that looks like Alice in Wonderland’s Queen of Hearts. “Off with his head!” she would say, to the surprise of all her listeners. The decision he hands down in a particular case is absolutely unpredictable. He is the league’s supreme lawgiver. Yet he has shown everyone – in real life – what Lewis Carroll was thinking about when he created his fantastical queen, dealer of fantastical punishments.