Our Own Personal Wizard Of Oz: Goodell, the Ravens, and Ray Rice

The genius of the story Wizard of Oz was the actual character of the Wizard. He appeared to be the most powerful character but reality was he was the weakest. Completely devoid of any real power or magic, he was all smoke and mirrors, created because the culture was too weak to stand on their own. So he played that role but when real power and leadership was needed – he couldn’t provide that. And the people got mad at him for not having any real power when the real issue was the people’s lack of courage to face reality in the first place. He was just opportunistic enough to take advantage of the situation.

See the parallel?

I get why the whole world hates Roger Goodell, the Ravens, and Ray Rice right now. I just think that circle should be a little wider. Like ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBS, Fox, and NFL Network as well. What about the hotel? Or the law enforcement agencies? You’re telling me that TMZ scooped all these guys on an NFL story?

I’m not buying it. I’m not a fan of TMZ but let’s get this clear – they seem to be the only ones willing to make it public. All those other entities’ relationships with the NFL compromised them. At worse – they were bought out to not tell the story. At best – because of their relationship with the NFL, they didn’t push hard enough to find out the whole story.

This isn’t a one-time issue. It’s happening right now again. See Greg Hardy with the Carolina Panthers and Ray McDonald of the San Francisco 49ers. The networks that have NFL contracts aren’t pushing these stories, demanding punishments from the team or the league. Both men played on Sunday. Ray McDonald’s case happened within 72 hours of the new “Domestic Violence Policy” that has YET to be enforced.

There are a dozen different ways this should have played out but none of those happened because each level of “responsibility” pushed it up to the next level creating this Wizard of Oz culture for the NFL, Roger Goodell, and the Ravens.

We fans aren’t innocent either. I’m guessing we didn’t stop watching the NFL or buying jerseys or showing up to games or playing fantasy football this weekend. I wonder what would happen if every fantasy football league cleared their roster this week and every game ended in a 0-0 tie? Or if the stands were empty for one weekend?

The bottom line – our dollars and corporate sponsorship dollars helped build the Wizard. Wonder what it will take to pull the curtain back?


3 thoughts on “Our Own Personal Wizard Of Oz: Goodell, the Ravens, and Ray Rice

      1. Pastors? And not being sarcastic…wonder if people sometimes stuff us behind the curtain and expect all the right levers to be pulled when the truth is we’re the same sinful creatures that need God’s grace and a loving community?


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