The NFL is plagued by suspensions and it causes more than missed opportunities for those who bet on NFL games. Whether it be for off the field activities, violating substance abuse policies, or even deflategate it seems the NFL has no shortage of ill-behaving athletes. While the player’s pockets may suffer it is ultimately the fans who are left out in the rain. Obviously a team is not at its best without all its starters. While losing players to injury is part of the game, having to suffer a defeat because of the poor judgment of a team’s star athlete is one of the most crushing aspects of being an avid fan. The NFL has been trying to combat the rising issue of player conduct. But in a sport as physical as football some fans might think it’s only natural for its players to be so aggressive. While that may be true for some, it’s not an accurate representation of the NFL and it’s important for the league to combat this prejudice. Roger Goodell and the NFL have made it their mission to address this issue over the last several years.
One of the most famous cases that Roger Goodell has overseen was the suspension of Michael Vick back in 2007. Within hours of Vick’s confession of his involvement with dogfighting operations the NFL suspended Vick indefinitely. Ultimately Vick served his time and ended up returning to play in the league, never quite finding the former glory he enjoyed with the Falcons. Vick has stated publicly that 2016 will be his final season. While Vick certainly faced his share of public scrutiny and suffered more than enough monetary consequences the real victims are the fans. Atlanta’s fans were robbed of a first overall draft pick. A draft pick who certainly wasn’t a bust and was becoming the face of the franchise. A couple of poor decisions and the Falcons were left without their start quarterback.
The Patriots, who are a little more successful than the Falcons, will have to start this season without their future hall of fame quarterback. While four games might not seem like a deal breaker those who bet on NFL futures should be aware of the fact that since 1980 only three teams have won the Super Bowl after an 0-2 start. Brady only has so many seasons left and it’s important for him to solidify his legacy that’s already tarnished by spygate and deflategate. In the end the fans are left picking up the tab as this suspension greatly reduces the Patriots’ chances for a Super Bowl.
The most recent suspension Goodell has served goes to Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell. Bell will have to serve a four-game suspension for eluding several drug tests. The running backs case is still under review but the fans are already preparing for the worst. The Steelers were betting on finally getting some consistency on offense and in light of this news it seems they’ll have to wait even longer. Pittsburg has not had Bell for a complete season since 2014. With the running back trying to secure a long term deal – even going as far as to rap about it – one would think he’d be doing all he can to be in the Steeler’s favor. Bell’s history raises suspicion as he was arrested back in 2014 for possession of marijuana. While Bell’s future seems inconsistent, you can bet on NFL’s Roger Goodell to keep handing out suspensions and coming down on players.