Goodell or Selig: Dan, Chip debate the most hated commissioner

Chip and Dan introduce a new category of entries today on With football season close to the kickoff and an I-10 battle between the Texans and Saints this weekend, today’s point/counterpoint features a faceoff.

• •• ••• •• •

Today’s point/counterpoint: Which commissioner is more hated by which fan base – Bud Selig by the Houston fans or Roger Goodell by the New Orleans fans?

Dan P: No doubt, it’s Selig.

I think both fan bases of Houston and New Orleans have good reason to hate the mlb commissioner and the NFL commissioner respectively. I think the difference between the two situations is the difference between chronic pain and acute pain.

Bud Selig has been a long term chronic pain in the “Asstros”.  He can be rightfully blamed for conspiring with his evil minion – Drayton McLane – to have the Astros follow his draft spot slotting for paying or in many cases, not paying draft picks. Of course Drayton took it even farther by having his GMs not even attempt to draft picks that he deemed would expect too much moola. Bud also had us open the stadium roof for the World Series sweep after the team had swept thru the first two playoff rounds with it closed. And he forced us to play a crucial post-Ike home series against the Cubs in their own backyard of Milwaukee. Oh….and he put forth the plan that forced the Astros into the American League.

On the other hand (as far as I know) Roger Goodell has hacked off the Crescent City quickly and deeply relative to one situation – the practical one season death penalty for the team in 2012 due to the Bounty-gate scandal. While I don’t condone paying players extra to inflict injuries on the opponents, the fact that 4 player suspensions were overturned shows that maybe the evidence was not that air tight. Either way – losing your defensive coordinator (forever), coach (whole season), GM (8 games) and interim head coach (6 games) and having the turmoil hanging around the team – basically torpedoed the whole season.

In the end I think the Astros’ fans have more reason for their hate – but that football being what it is – the Saints ire is more passionate and voracious.

• •• ••• •• •

Chip: Sorry, Dan, Roger Goodell single-handedly killed a season. And Saints’ fans can’t overlook that fact.

Yes, Bud Selig has been a thorn in the side of Houston and its fans for several years. Sort of like a little chihuhua nipping at your pant legs.

But it’s Goodell who, with one sudden rash of rulings, lowered the death knell on the Saints’ hopes of returning to the Super Bowl in 2012. The player suspensions were significant — though overturned later in the season — but it was the suspension of head coach Sean Payton that sealed the deal for the Saints’ poor season.

Was there a problem in the Saints’ organization and the so-called bounty scandal? Perhaps, but even Paul Tagliabue, who overturned the suspensions, said the penalties were handed down based on “talk” prior to games, not on on-field actions.

In his report, Tagliabue wrote: “”It is essential to recognize that Vilma is being most severely disciplined for ‘talk’ or speech at a team meeting on the evening before the Saints-Vikings game. He is not being punished for his performance on the field and, indeed, none of the discipline of any player here relates to on-field conduct.”

Tagliabue allowed some of the penalties to stand, including draft picks in 2012 and 2013 and the suspensions of Payton and GM Mickey Loomis.

But perhaps more than the penalties themselves, the stigma may stretch beyond 2012.

I’m no fan of how Selig has related to the Astros, but Goodell’s unprecedented decision on the Saints will leave a sour taste in Saints’ fans for years to come.

Which commissioner is the most hated?


14 comments on “Goodell or Selig: Dan, Chip debate the most hated commissioner

  1. I’ve had a few people e-mail me on this topic – they read the blog but were too “shy” to post directly. Here are a couple notes:
    – From Sam -“Selig will always belong in the third ring of hell in my opinion. Between the Milwaukee fiasco no-no, and many other dubious decisions by that senile old man, I have no love left for him.”
    – From Betsy – ” I immediately said to myself “Bud Selig”. He’s done the Astros wrong! I actually like R. Goodall fairly well.”


  2. One thing I will say about both situations – whether they deserved the response they got or not the Saints actually did something to get Goodall’s attention. The Astros are like some unloved step child that did nothing to get Bud’s ire. In fact it could be more of a “give a mouse a cookie” situation with Bud – he just kept pushing it more and more.


  3. Might as well add David Stern to the mix. These guys act if they always know what’s best for their respective sports and avoid due process whenever possible. They don’t run a democracy by any stretch of the imagination. And the courts have typically allowed MLB, the NBA and the NFL to call their own shots.

    Moving on back to Astroland, Martinez sure did look composed on the mound last night. Sure, it’s only one outing, but he got outs against the Rangers. There must be some reason why he was kept down in CC for so long. Smelly (big) feet?

    And a bad break for Stassi. Looks like a tough kid though. Took one in the face and kept standing.

    Encouraging to finally see some guys coming up and showing some ability. I’d take an all in house rotation next year if it were up to me.


    • Dave – they are first and foremost a business. And like Vince McMahon likes to say – you have to do whats right for business. It was easy for us to say that Stern nixing that Gasol trade was heavy handed, but Stern made the choice he felt was best for the sport as a whole. To be honest, it really worked out in the favor of the Rockets, though the Hornets, er, the Pelicans, are still stewing (I live in NOLA, I listen to it daily on the radio shows here – noone is more hated in this town then Goodell, but Stern runs a close race).


      • Steven, sure, business first, but in most cases, clubs are at least partially financed by the taxpayer, at least as far as getting stadiums built. And professional sports clubs are not quite so obligated to disclose finances as a Fortune 500 Company would be, publically traded or otherwise.


  4. Selig deserves a special “place” in our hearts for the storm response and the “home” games in Milwaukee.

    Still, blaming Selig for the Astros poor drafting is a stretch. Did he ask teams to pay in slot? Yes. Did he mandate the Astros draft “signable” players? No, the Astros did that one themselves. I am less disappointed in their drafting signable guys than I am in their poor draft choices period, after all the biggest stars in the game are rarely chosen #1 overall, and there are plenty of superstars not even drafted in the 1st round. They skimped on scouting in order to bring us Kent, Beltran, Johnson, Clemens, Pettitte, and Lee, took their shot, and now we pay for it. Even if this franchise had won two world series (the 98 and 05 teeams were certainly capable), we would still be right here, but instead of dogging McLane we would be celebrating the owner that did it.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am no McLane fan, its amazing the success of franchises like Minnesota and Oakland that do it by drafting well (MInnesota has 2 of the top 5 prospects in baseball right now), and when they get bad, like Minnesota is right now, they don’t stay that way long and they don’t get THIS bad. I wish the Astros had that type of management, but they didn’t, and we are where we are. Maybe Crane is what Bo says he is, there is mounting evidence that supports that opinion, but maybe Luhnow is what the A’s and Twins have had for so long, smart management.


  5. Are we trying to decide whether Houston’s cumulative hate for Selig is greater than New Orleans’ cumulative hate for Goodell? Well, the Saints had a total attendance of 584,336 in 2012 according to Wikipedia. The Astros had a total attendance in 2012 of 1,607,733 according to ESPN. Of note is the Saints managed that over 8 games and ranked in the top third of the league. The Astros managed it over 81 games and finished only ahead of Cleveland and Seattle*.

    I’d probably give a nod to New Orleans right now for two reasons. First, the fans there are delusional enough to think they were going to win the division. Hey, they were only three wins away from a wild card though. Second, the Houston fans don’t really care about the Astros unless they are winning. That means a lot of fans have likely forgotten we even have a team let alone who the commissioner of baseball is right now.

    * Fun fact – we’re in a dead heat with Cleveland for last in attendance in 2013. They have a better home attendance by 329 fans per game, but our road attendance is better by 476 per game. We’ll see how it all shakes out in the end. Houston is actually ahead of Miami and Tampa (last at 18,389 per game) on home attendance. How can contending teams in Cleveland and Tampa have such a terrible following? Oakland and KC aren’t doing much better either.


  6. Devin – I find it interesting that 18 of the 30 teams attendance is down and that 11 have lost more attendance per game than the Astros have.


    • With school starting (or started depending on where you live) it’s likely we’ll see some additional declines on the average attendances. Then again, Bud Selig could probably order each time to “give away” 1,000+ tickets for each remaining game so they could inflate their reported numbers.


  7. PED’s are running amuck in the NFL, but because they play so few games………
    Roger Goodell turns his head. I’m not a football girl, so I pay little attention to it.
    Selig will be hated here in Houston, until this generation of Astros fans have died off
    because the younger kids (under 20) won’t remember, or care why the Astros were
    kicked to the curb. Hands down Bud Selig.
    On a lighter note…….I was VERY impressed with David Martinez and Lo last night.
    Anyone have any news on Stassi? Poor kid.


  8. My answer would echo (I think) an old Miller Lite commercial. Where two were arguing about “More Taste” and “Less Filling.” And Billy Martin (Again, I think) says, “I feel strongly both ways.” Selig and Goodell – trading the devil for the witch.


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