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Of Mice and More Mice

Watching the Tom Brady decision play out has been like watching an NFL train wreck in slow motion.


Regardless of your feelings on deflategate, I can tell you that having the NFL commission act as both the judge and final arbitrator in a capricious manner was not even close to the intention of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.


Let’s get this straight, Roger Goodell and his NFL internal team are idiots. They have risked the “integrity” of the very league they swore to protect on one of the dumbest issues imaginable.

Remember, if you want to take a stand make sure you are not in quicksand.


But as of this moment the focus of this organizational disaster is likely to move beyond Goodell to the ownership group. Likely Goodell was not a lone cowboy in this affair and was likely too smart politically to destroy himself without being pushed a little by certain owners.


As I have said before, an ownership group is not by its nature a “team”. Like the United Nations, there may be common interests at times but as soon as your own borders are threatened your charity goes out the window.


My guess is what is happening now is that the owners who most hate the Patriots are working to gather their own ownership coalition as the Kraft’s look to gather theirs.


I don’t believe the next ownership meeting will be a sing along around a campfire with marshmallows.

Regardless, while the NFL has momentum the leadership forces are currently fractured. They will try and hide this as much as possible but often organizations take a long time to heal.


Unfortunately, to truly heal, it may be necessary to remove the source of contention. Given that the owners are not going anywhere I would expect the right move to be to gut the NFL league office and rebuild it. Yes, in some ways this is “scapegoating” but throughout history this has proven an effective way to heal broken groups.


Organizations can be extremely strong. They can be what provides you strength and support through difficult times. It is also true, however, that organizations do get sick. Many times organizations “catch” something when its insides go wrong.


Roger Goodell, and those owners who pushed this, have risked the strength of the NFL on essentially a stupid squabble. They have fractured – at least temporarily – the ownership group and have pissed off a lot of fans at the same time.


Here it is for all to see: Lesson 1 on how NOT to run a firm.


PS I realize I have not written lately. I have been reviewing my past posts. Some I have enjoyed but many I have found too, what’s the word, “unTimlike”. I am most often a positive person but I am also a bit of a fighter and I found I softened many of my messages. In many ways I don’t want to risk hurting feelings but as a result I felt, in some cases, that my words lacked conviction.


As I have said, I started this blog as possibly a tribute to Seth Godin whose writing and thoughts I greatly enjoy. But in the end I am not him.


Let’s see what happens from here but, if nothing else, my hope is that I will be more authentic.


Thanks for reading.


T

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