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As NFL continues to take shots, Goodell remains in a no-win situation



David Letterman livened up Peyton Manning’s statue unveiling in Indianapolis last weekend, and dropped some truth before he left.

“Roger Goodell is here,” Letterman said of the NFL Commissioner, who was booed heartily in the heartland. “$48 million a year, and he can’t give his job away.”

They say money can’t buy happiness. Even though Goodell’s misery is gold-plated and wood-paneled because of that robust salary, it’s misery nonetheless.

The NFL has its share of problems. Some pretty big ones, too.

Another quote comes to mind, from Mavericks owner Mark Cuban: “I think the NFL is 10 years away from an implosion,” he said in 2014. “I’m just telling you: Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered.”

Cuban was talking about a TV package that locked in Thursday Night Football, which he saw as excess in addition to Sundays and Mondays.

But he could have been talking about the myriad of woes plaguing the league, the latest headlined by what appears to be a take-no-prisoners Tweet grudge being executed out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

President Trump’s weeks-long tweets against players kneeling during the national anthem has now morphed into threats of taking away tax breaks for the NFL. Whether or not this is because Trump has a decades-long grudge against the league after his USFL failed in the 1980s, or because the league didn’t let him buy the Buffalo Bills in 2013, or whether he just likes being a thorn in everyone’s side, the fact is that his base is buying what he’s selling, and the NFL is taking a hit.

In a genius move, Trump has hijacked the storyline. When Colin Kaepernick knelt during the anthem last year and said he was doing it to raise awareness over social injustice and perceived unfairness between minorities and law enforcement, he specifically explained that he was not dishonoring the military. He even changed from sitting to kneeling, to show more respect.

But Trump has convinced many Americans that those who kneel are disrespecting the military and our country. And like Otter in “Animal House”, he’s not going to sit here and let you “bad mouth the United States of America!”

Like Otter, Trump would like to lead NFL fans out of the stadium, humming the “Star Spangled Banner.”

That’s it. The prez has stolen the blueprint from the Delta House’s Otter.

Sort of genius, right?

Goodell is in a no-win. If he forces the players to stand, he comes off as an authoritarian despot who will have a court case on his hands. If he allows them to kneel, Ottter — errrrr, Trump — will have them march out of the courtroom.

Add these woes to Goodell’s past tussles with Mike Vick and dogfighting. . . Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, Ezekiel Elliott and domestic abuse . . . the Fainaru brothers cataloging the plague of CTE . . . declining TV ratings . . . and now this. All problems, all so very serious, all so very threatening to the league’s well-being.

$48 million and he can’t give his job away? As always, Dave Letterman was on point.