goodell

Dear Roger Goodell,

You don’t know me. You likely never will. But your idiocy has me considering a Kickstarter account to buy an football franchise just so I can mess up your meetings and start a campaign to openly overthrow you as commissioner of the National Football League.

You are an egotist, no doubt. It takes a certain kind of ego to be in the position you’re in. But you’re the kind of egotist who is not only driven by ego but is prevented from being human by it as well. When it comes to ceding power or admitting fault, you are the absolute worst. Bar none.

By now, many people know about your involvement in the aftermath of the Ray Rice intimate partner violence case, caught on tape and presented to a public that was rightly horrified. Presented with a video of Rice dragging his then-fiance (now wife) around, unconcious in a casino you chose to shrug your shoulders and summarily approve a two game suspension. Your excuse? You didn’t know what led up to it. Just this week video has been released that shows what led up to it…violence that is all too familiar to women yet ironically still incomprehensible to see.  Your response? Indefinitely suspend Rice after the Baltimore Ravens released him.

And that’s not even all of it, Roger.

In the face of calls for your job and criticisms of your handling of the situation, you respond that you never saw the video. It was an ongoing investigation, after all, how could you? It’s not like you run one of the most powerful organizations in American history that has been known to get ahold of the information it needs whenever necessary. And you couldn’t just ASK THE CASINO, could you?

Oh wait…

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And then, just tonight, the Associated Press indicates that not only is that bunk, but you were OFFERED and GIVEN the video by law enforcement. But I guess you didn’t think it was important to watch, right? But someone in your organization did…and if that’s true and you didn’t know, isn’t that just as bad?

No wonder our society has no concept of appropriate behavior and consent with people like you in charge of how we determine what is punishable. Meanwhile, you know what you did think was either as important or more important than Ray Rice’s video-taped rampage?

  • Brandon Merriweather–2 games for illegal hit, August 2014
  • Ndamukong Suh–countless 2 game suspensions for illegal conduct on the field, notably November 2011
  • Half of the New Orleans Saints for the so-called “bounty” controversy got suspended for at least 4 games
  • and in the past year you have upheld or imposed at least 35 suspensions as long as or (usually) longer than the one you initially approved for Rice for substance usage, sometimes that substance being marijuana.

You’ve pissed everyone off, Rog. I mean, you got members of Congress to do something…and the American public will support Congress over your slimy reputation any day. Think about that…Americans likely trust Congress more than you. And at best estimates, on any given day, Americans trust Congress only about 10%.  Wow. I guess Jerry Jones is still going to bat for you. There’s something to boast about.

Here’s the thing. You run the professional association of the most violent sport in this country. And you do so with an iron fist that would make Machiavelli shiver in despair. On top of that, your franchises routinely use misogyny to sell products and violence as a cultural currency that runs so deep that it is not only common to see fights and sexual harassment in the stands, it is almost impossible to miss it. Yet, you don’t see the problem with essentially saying that uncontroverted evidence of intimate partner violence is not enough for you to impose more than a feeble slap on the wrist.

And here I thought you were tough.

You’re not faultless in any of this. In fact, I would go so far as to call you an accomplice. Your organization, under your tight grip of leadership has demonstrated that treating women like punching bags is the preferred method of activity. It’s the norm. So riddle me this: if you encourage violence on the field, condone and celebrate it in the stands and turn a blind eye to your players engaging in it in the most blatant of ways, how are you not an accessory to the crime? I’ve heard of get away drivers doing less work than you have done for Ray Rice and his ilk.

Make no mistake, Rice is not alone. And the problem is not solely the NFL’s problem. But the NFL has the power to make a definitive statement on this issue and, like so many other wasted opportunities, the NFL chooses to do the wrong thing with Goodell steering the car. Don’t act like you couldn’t do anything else. Don’t you dare say your hands were tied. Don’t lie any more, Goodell. If you can suspend a player for smoking a joint (or a bowl or regularly having a pipe by his bed…I don’t care, really), then you can surely make an example of violent behavior, especially intimate partner violence, that makes a real difference for our society and for the betterment of your organization.

But you haven’t.

And you won’t.

goodell change

You’re a coward, Roger Goodell. A feckless craven who shouldn’t be in charge of a junk yard, let alone one of the most powerful organizations in the country. You don’t care about women. You don’t care about your players’ brain damage. You don’t care about your coaches and owners and their weird antics and discriminatory behavior. You don’t see the problem with having a team whose name is literally an ethnic slur. You are scum of the earth.

And you’ll win.

Maybe not you personally. Maybe you’ll resign or get booted in the heat of public scrutiny. But you will always win, Goodell. For that, I hate you even more.

People wonder why women find it so difficult to watch football sometimes. I feel conflicted any time I enjoy it. This is why. This is why people distrust sports leagues and jocks. It’s people like you who ruin it for the rest of us.

Thanks for nothing.

Sincerely,

A Woman Who Has Had Enough

 

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departure

“The truth is of course is that there is no journey. We are arriving and departing all at the same time.”- David Bowie

Earlier this summer, our Monday babysitter, Miss Sandi, let me know that there was a good possibility that she would not be able to continue watching the girls in the fall. The center where she worked promoted her and that meant working there full time, no Mondays off with us. When she confirmed it in July, I knew it was coming. That didn’t make it any easier.

It is such a common thing for parents to have anxiety about leaving their kids with strangers. It’s not only common, it’s probably a good safety mechanism on nature. And I was no different. When I went back to work, I knew that my mom could only watch the girls 2 full days a week. I needed another option. With twins, it is sometimes more cost effective to bring someone into the home, especially at a young age. So I reluctantly started interviewing people. All of them seemed nice except one that didn’t like Brooklyn so she was automatically disqualified. None of them stood out. I had concerns about each one’s ability to handle two small babies alone. Just as I was about to wrap up interviewing, I got an email from Sandi asking if I was still looking and listing her qualifications. She came by, met with The Mister and me and Brooklyn (aka, the Hiring Committee) and her references were impeccable. So we hired her.

I have never been so right about a person.

The girls spent at least one day a week (sometimes more) with Miss Sandi. While they love their time with Gigi (my mom), Miss Sandi brought them new and exciting activities that none of us had thought of before. And she had more energy than all of us combined. I never once worried about leaving her with the girls when The Mister started working full time outside of the house again. I often joked that Miss Sandi would have to just stay on through college, one day a week.

But it wasn’t just that. My mornings with Sandi before the girls would get up were so precious to me. We’d often sit and chat, even though more times than not I needed to get moving.  She had great insight into kids and I’d often bounce things off of her about the girls and their development. We’d talk about life and pets. Sandi struck me as a lot like me in many ways–someone far more mature than their age, but still willing to be silly and have fun. She would send me pictures here and there during their time together. Not all the time, just a few. Enough to let me know they were having fun but not too much to make me miss them. Like superhero leprechauns on St. Patrick’s Day…

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On her last official day, I couldn’t get myself together to make something special. Part of it was time. Part of it was that I knew if I did that, the finality would set in and I would take a nose-dive into Emotionsville, population 3….me and two 19 month old girls who cry if I do. So I simply wrote down how much her presence has put me at ease and how much she has made this past year and a half possible. And I got her a Target gift card since we often discussed our love of Target and a few pictures of the girls.

That’s when she handed it to me.

Sandi had been taking pictures of the girls time with her since the beginning. And in a scrapbook, she laid it all to memory from very first day until the last day…the last page was blank, but when Emma ripped Sandi’s envelope from the card I got her in pieces, we put the piece in there. It was fitting.

I flipped through and saw my round faced babies become lean-mean running-around-and-climbing-everywhere machines. I saw the fun things that they got to do. I saw the smiles, the laughter and the complete ease at which the girls were with her. And on the last page, she had a picture of her and Ellie and soon to be printed (and delivered on her first non-weekly babysitting trip here) picture of her and Emma.

On those pages were the times that I trusted her with my heart and she was handing it back so full that I could barely handle it. And that’s when I noticed it…

…on one page, in the corner, was a picture of Ellie holding a lilac from the lilac bush out back–the very lilac bush that I am convinced saved my life not so many years ago by reminding me of the promise of spring and the presence of my Nana in my life always.

I held it in as best as I could as Sandi said goodbye…for now. She’ll be back for occasional visits and babysitting adventures. But there was something complete with her last formal day of full work.  She also has to return the scrapbook as there were a few finishing touches to be made and pictures to be printed. And seeing that picture made it both easier on me and unbelievably more bittersweet.

The girls will be off to daycare next week. Just one day for now, but more to come. They still get their days with Gigi and we get our own time, just us girls. This weekend at my aunt’s house, I held Emma up to a picture of my aunt and uncle, cousins and their grandparents–including my Nana and Grandpa. Emma pointed at my Nana and made a noise. I told her that was Nana. My aunt and I looked at her and smiled. Ellie later pointed out both my Nana and the other grandmother, clearly understanding the importance of those two women. I told them both that the one was Nana. And they remembered it and repeated it back to me.

I will always be nervous about trusting people with my children. It is only normal. But Miss Sandi made it possible. And that damn lilac bush…I think my Nana knew I needed a hug at that very moment. When the girls went to bed, I cried. I sent Sandi a text explaining that if I seemed restrained earlier it was only because I knew I needed to keep it together or risk sending the girls into a crying fit as well. She knew. She cried the whole way home.

I may never fully ascribe to a set doctrine of faith without questioning it again, but I do know this: there are forces out there more powerful than me, that have impeccable timing and a penchant for tears. And as much as they try me and vex me and back me into corners I’d rather not populate, they seem to have some of my best interests at heart.

…and the lilac bush keeps growing, blooming year and again, a small reminder of the give and take life has to offer.

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Madness and Genius: Loss and Laughter

August 11, 2014

There are times of mass mourning when a public figure dies. Inevitably, this leads to people becoming grim at the celebrity culture in general. In most part, I couldn’t agree more. But the cynic in some people leads them to chime in that the masses are fools for mourning the loss of a soul. I […]

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Your Move, Freud

July 24, 2014

It is an elementary primal emotion for humans that when we feel scarcity approaching, we horde. The conveniences of modern life have lessened this, but we all have our triggers. Hell, our bodies do it with food (which is one reason why dieting is so bad for you). It’s a way to adapt and survive. […]

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Let’s All Go to the Movies

July 14, 2014

When I was younger–high school and college-aged–I used to go to the movies like it was my job. In fact, it was kind of a dream job to be a movie critic. But that dream faded much like my dreams of being a rock star, actress and veterinarian. Mr. CVD and I had our lunch […]

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The Well Runs Dry

July 9, 2014

Let me tell you a little story about The Shack. These things will come in bits and pieces but it will all make sense in the end. It’s like a Seinfeld episode that takes place over a great many years. Scene 1: The first time The Mister took me to The Shack he had been […]

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My Life Lately…A Tale of GIFs, Part 9

June 19, 2014

  When the semester was over and I thought I would have all kinds of time to get stuff done…   When I realized that I agreed to take on three independent study students to supplement income…   When I saw how little that income actually was…   When I couldn’t focus on anything I […]

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It Was Bound to Happen

June 11, 2014

We had our first ER trip yesterday. It took almost 17 months for a full-fledged emergency but it has happened. And, unsurprisingly, it was with Emma…the mini-me.  I was hoping she’d forego the part of me that is clumsy and cursed and injury prone, but it seems that’s part of the package deal. No substitutions, […]

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For the Love of Showers

June 1, 2014

I can’t ever recall being a bath girl. A lot of gals like baths. They light candles and relax. Maybe they read. Maybe they listen to music. There are a lot of bubbles. They leave the situation feeling relaxed. Perhaps it’s because I’m a larger lady and bathtubs normally make me feel trapped, but I […]

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What of it?

May 27, 2014

The Mister shared a memed story with me tonight that he said was definitely written about me. The story goes like this… A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales. The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mamal, its […]

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