We Three Kings…Oh and Gary Bettman Too

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September 21, 2014 by NowhereButPop

by Khalid Bennett

I’ve been meaning to write this article for a while but with a different premise.  At first, I was going to discuss what I would do if I was the new commissioner of MLB.  Then I thought, maybe I should do one about Roger Goodell and criticize him on how he has handled the recent state of the NFL regarding the myriad of different crimes committed by its players.  It would’ve been another “what if I was the commissioner of NFL” type of article.  But I’m sick and tired of hearing more about the crimes than actual games when I watch ESPN.

So I decided I would do sort of a “comparison” between the commissioners of MLB, NBA, and NFL.  Which job is better off for the future?

 

NBA

I think that the commissioner of the NBA has the easiest job out of the three.  Adam Silver, commissioner of the NBA, hasn’t had a full season of being commissioner however, after taking over for former commissioner David Stern, who stepped down earlier this year after 30 years of success.  Stern made basketball into an international sensation.  At one point, basketball wasn’t watchable…literally!  You had to deal with tape delays just to watch the NBA playoffs. Now you can watch a national televised game in 215 countries at the same time.  You can thank the rivalry of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird for the rise of popularity of the NBA.  You can thank the formation of the Dream Team for dominating every country with the plethora of superstars (minus Christian Lattener).  Stern bought the business aspect of the NBA with Michael Jordan and Nike.  Remember, everybody wanted and STILL wants to be like Mike.  He even created a dress code for the NBA.  His tenure wasn’t all smooth with lockouts and other controversies but it seems like he was very well respected.  Adam Silver is basically set. All he has to do is keep doing what Stern was doing and the NBA will be fine.  Yes, Silver had to handle the Donald Sterling situation and now Danny Ferry, but he’ll do fine.  Being under Stern for so long, I think Silver has learned some things and will keep the NBA relevant for a long time.

 

MLB

Bud Selig has been the commissioner of MLB since 1992.[1]  He’s the reason why watching baseball was so much fun growing up.  But one can say he’s also reason why baseball is not America’s pastime; at least for the new generation.  As much as sports is a business, I never really saw Bud Selig as being all about business.  I think he actually cared more about the fans and the audience’s interest.  He created three divisions for the American and National League. He created a wild card (and eventually a second wild card) to make baseball more competitive.  He granted home-field advantage in the All-Star game, he brought in instant replay, he even invested in the World Baseball Classic.  And yet, baseball was starting to decline.  Performance enhancing drugs was the biggest issue of Selig’s reign, as he cracked down on it and made it a bigger punishment for those who use them.  Steroids did help fans keep their eyes glued to the TV as players were hitting home runs from left to right.  Now that pitching has dominated the sport, people have found their eyes wander away from baseball games.  The game has become too slow and boring, stadiums are declining every year in attendance, and baseball is now becoming the third most watched sport.  There are TV shows that have a better rating than a national televised MLB game.  Now that Selig will retire in January 2015, it’s up to Rob Manfred to bring baseball back.  I’ve never heard of Manfred but is he the right man?  Can he make the MLB watchable again?

 

NFL

Roger Goodell has been the commissioner of the NFL since 2006.  Where do I start with Goodell?  Good news is that he has made the NFL the most watched sport in America.  He has made the sport more watchable and accessible than ever before.  It’ll be America’s pastime for the new generation and the next one after.  It’s a violent sport, but America loves violence.  But, then there’s the legal issues. Where do I start with that?  Should I start with Adam “Pacman” Jones? Michael Vick?  Or should I start with the recent domestic violence cases with Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, Ray McDonald, and Jonathan Dwyer?  All issues where Goodell just shrugs his shoulders and moves on?  How about Adrian Peterson and his child abuse?  He hasn’t said much about it.  There’s Richie Incognito and his bullying.  There’s the huge amount of NFL players who believe that smoking marijuana and getting caught isn’t such a big deal.  Or maybe it is with the fact that smoking marijuana gets a harsher penalty than actually beating your girlfriend/wife.  Goodell hasn’t said anything with the recent fiasco in the NFL.  Now he’s being investigated that he knew about the tapes of Ray Rice beating his wife but did nothing and still gave Rice a 2-game suspension.  It seems like Goodell is more concerned about the “safety” of the players.  I do understand what he’s trying to do but it’s getting ridiculous.  I’m sure that most NFL players know the risks of playing football. It’s gonna come to a point where the NFL will become flag football.  Oh and don’t forget Spygate, Bountygate, an NFL lockout, and a referee lockout. Good job Roger Goodell for make the NFL the #1 sport in America.  Good job for making it safer.  Now what are you going to do with all the conduct your players are performing?  I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s another domestic violence case by the time this article is posted, and Goodell wouldn’t say anything about it.

 

So which commissioner would you like to be right now?  There’s always the eternally hated Gary Bettman, commissioner of the NHL.  Or you could be the president of the NCAA, with all their hypocritical rules lawsuits and corruptive practices.  I’m sure those are much better choices.

[1] Unofficially since 1992, officially since 1998.

 

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