The word is “picayune,’’ and it won’t stop bouncing around my head. It means “petty; worthless,’’ and if that doesn’t define everything about the waste of time that has been Deflategate, I don’t know what does.
Roger Goodell’s decision to pursue the matter to the ends of the earth has been a study in the trivial being slavishly served. We are, in the end, talking about air. Or, if you prefer, nothing. And I do.
A federal judge nullified Tom Brady’s four-game suspension Thursday, saying that Goodell had gone too far in meting out “his own brand of industrial justice.’’
What to do about Goodell, the NFL commissioner acting like the police chief, mayor and judge in a speed trap of a small town? That will be up to the 32 owners, which is to say that our theme of “nothing’’ fits perfectly. He has helped make them billions of dollars. He will continue to help make them billions of dollars.
Remember, the commissioner works at the pleasure of the owners. It’s difficult to imagine that Goodell went rogue on the Brady matter. Owners might be upset at the circus it has become, but they didn’t stop him from acting like a bloodhound on a scent.
The owners should have canned Goodell over his handling of the Ray Rice case. It wasn’t until an aghast American public saw video of the then-Ravens running back knocking out his fiancée that Goodell realized a two-game suspension wasn’t nearly enough and that, oh, yeah, perhaps the league ought to toughen its personal-conduct policies.
Goodell has put more time and effort into a silly cheating controversy than he has into the domestic-violence problem. Think about that. And it’s not over. The NFL has, of course, said it will appeal the ruling.
It makes him and everyone around him look small. Picayune.