So, there’s an NBC/Marist poll that’s been floating around out there – maybe you’ve seen it, maybe you haven’t – in which 606 adults answered questions regarding the NFL’s and Roger Goodell’s handling of the recent wave of fiascos perpetrated by the league’s talent. One of the questions asks whether Roger Goodell, in light of his mishandling of these events, should resign; 29% of respondents said yes, 43% say no, and the remaining 29% remain unsure.
There’s really only one way to analyze the result here, that 29% of those who took the survey believe that, in light of these most recent domestic violence incidents by players and how badly handled they have been, particularly the Ray Rice incident, Roger Goodell should maybe think about resigning from his current position, that others don’t think he should quit his job, and that a third group haven’t really made up their mind about it. However, you could interpret it differently if you’re NFL Talking Head and Mouthpiece Peter King, who isn’t really a human so much as a boutique transcription service for the NFL. Here’s what you might think if you’re Peter King:
Twenty-nine percent believe Roger Goodell should be forced to resign—which, conversely, could be taken (and I am sure will be by the league) that Goodell has 71% job approval. That’s not what it says, though. The question was whether Goodell should be forced to resign, not whether he is doing a good job at running the NFL.
We should take a moment and note that the poll doesn’t ask whether or not Goodell should be forced to resign, only that it asks whether he should resign, which is an entirely different question. But, let’s get back to Peter King; one could take it that way. Maybe some people will read it as an affirmation and endorsement of Goodell’s performance as commissioner. Completely ignoring what the question itself asks, some observers could totally draw that conclusion. But those who will draw that conclusion are not wise, nor are they even correct.
As for ol’ Pete, though, don’t come looking for him to take up the burning truncheon of simpleton outrage:
I think if you’re waiting for me to call for Roger Goodell to be fired, you’ll have to wait a while. I’m not into mob rule either.
Here’s the thing about writers like Peter King and Phil Mushnick: they have a way of distracting you from the pointlessness of their statements by giving you bad writing. That last sentence, I have no idea what he’s getting at, I don’t know what Peter King means. At first blush, the second sentence makes some sense, in that it could follow from the first. It’s a neat pandering trick he’s doing here: He waves his hands a little bit and hey presto!—”deploying critical thinking faculties in the formation of an opinion” suddenly is synonymous with “deferring to reactionary hysteria.”
This is how Peter King works, in that he can’t conceive of having any original thoughts of his own. If the things he thinks he thinks are not to be rote transcription of inside-NFL talking points, then the only alternative is for them to be rote transcription of outside-NFL conventional wisdom.