NOLA-Former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Joe Horn has never been one to hold his tongue. Ever.
He's come out swinging at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell referring to the him as "the devil."
"I don't like what Roger Goodell is doing," Horn said. "He has so much power that he can almost shut people down. I just don't like him. And I don't like that on draft day these kids don't know that they're hugging the devil. I hate to see kids that are lost and then happy but they really don't know that the man they're hugging will rip their throat apart.
"If he has an opportunity to take money from them, or there's a situation where they're guilty before they go to court, he'll rip them apart. And there's nothing no one can do about it. If the owners are happy with Roger Goodell, the fans, the media, no one can take his job from him.
"I hate it."
First things first, it's great to hear from Joe Horn. Can't believe that motherfucker doesn't call me anymore. Must have wasted all his rollover minutes on touchdown celebrations. Anyway, it's good to know, by way of unwanted opinion, that Joe Horn is still alive. It's probably about once at year at this point that Joe Horn comes out of the woodwork to remind us he's still that semi-irrational, outspoken individual that we used to cheer so defiantly for on Sunday afternoons. I must say, I kind of love it.
Is calling Roger Goodell 'the devil' a little over the top? Sure. However, you can't say that the parallels aren't there. Much of what Joe Horn criticizes Goodell for is unfortunately part of his job description, but that doesn't mean he is completely void of devilish attributes. For instance, over the course of their career, how many positive interactions does an NFL player have with the NFL commissioner? It pretty much begins and ends with the hug on draft day. If you are an NFL player that is having a conversation with Roger Goodell there is a strong probability that you won't like how that conversation ends. As an NFL employee, you only recognize his presence when his presence is detrimental to you. If Roger Goodell's smile on draft day doesn't scream "you are now under my power" then I don't know what does. The fact of the matter is that as soon as a player becomes property of the NFL the only thing Roger is concerned with is making sure that they don't have a negative impact on him. You either abide by the rules set forth to you, or you sentence yourself to whatever punishment Satan sees fit. There's no love lost for the thousands of players that call professional football their occupation. That's what the NFL Player's Association is for. Hell, he only became proactive in regards to player safety when all of those that were able to escape his deadly grasp began to cost him money.
Now it does seem silly to chastise something as trivial and well intentioned as a hug, but that hug is basically the receipt you receive upon selling your soul. It may be an unwanted proof of sale, but it's a proof of sale nonetheless. What is a player going to do, go up there and not hug Roger Goodell? Imagine getting the best news of your life from your worst enemy. I would kiss the kid that used to bully me in 3rd grade right on the forehead if he told me I won the lottery. It really is quite the predicament to be in. You can walk up there, ignore the devil, and shoot your career straight to hell, or you can obey social norms and hug that evil bastard like you're trying to squeeze every single penny out of Lucifer's pockets. You can hold him close like you are trying to see if there is a soul somewhere deep down inside. How can you suppress your happiness just because the person who is responsible for it no longer has your best interests in mind?