PFT- On Friday, Mark Wahlberg told ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike that Commissioner Roger Goodell, along with “various owners,” directly tried to put the kibosh on the show.
“You can’t do this,” Goodell told Wahlberg, according to Wahlberg, who claims that he persuaded the league that the show was a “good thing” because “hopefully you get the word out there with the crazy stuff and the financial side of it, we’ll hopefully get these guys to realize they’ve got to be more careful with what they do with their money.”
Although a league source with knowledge of the situation told PFT under a guarantee of anonymity that Goodell made no such call, the league office officially declined comment.
This isn't a post to condemn the NFL for potentially trying to pull the plug on 'Ballers'. In fact, it's quite the opposite. This is a post to condemn the NFL for not doing more to pull the plug on 'Ballers'. I am not choosing sides in a "he said, he said" between Roger Goodell and Mark Wahlberg. I don't know what level of communication they had about a show that glorifies the less-than-desirable and insanely stereotypical aspects of professional football, but I know it wasn't enough.
Of all the unnecessary shit that Roger Goodell has done to make the league less fun the HBO series that laughably fails to fulfill it's promise in portraying it's athletes is the one thing he decided to be lenient with? The fact that he has sentenced me to spending a half hour every Sunday night watching some poorly written show that I hate solely because I am the embodiment of the demographic it was created to satisfy actually makes me despise him more.
I thought the most important responsibility he had as commissioner was to protect the shield, yet he's letting the brand get besmirched by a direct association with a sitcom so predictably unbelievable that it makes his frivolous suspension decisions look well thought out? Fucking Goodell had the unique opportunity to be a buzzkill (his favorite hobby) while simultaneously shutting down production of a program that has somehow become a complete parody of what it set out to be in the first place and he let it slip from his fingers? I will never forgive him because his negligence will be on my mind every time I pick up the remote and think about channel surfing mid-episode only to begrudgingly put it back down and continue hate watching a series that can't possibly feature enough tits and ass to make me forget that it's terrible television. Forget BountyGate. This may be recency bias, but being coerced into watching that weekly abortion feels like the most detrimental punishment Roger Goodell has ever - either directly or indirectly - bestowed upon me. Hey Commish, this skin deep disaster makes 'Entourage' look like a multi-layered biopic aimed at providing it's viewers perspective so....