Here’s the closing commentary from Bryant Gumbel that will air tonight on Real Sports.
BRYANT GUMBEL CLOSING COMMENTARY REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL AIRS TONIGHT, TUESDAY, JUNE 23 @ 10:00 PM ET/PT, 9:00 PM CT
“Finally tonight a few words about leadership. In 1964, justice Potter Stewart famously said he couldn’t define pornography, but he knew it when he saw it. Well, the same could be said of leadership. It defies easy definition. Of the commissioners in the four major team sports, only pro football’s Roger Goodell seems to understand the concept and not run from it.
Unlike his predecessor, Paul Tagliabue, who couldn’t lead a two–man parade, Goodell seems determined to not only lead the NFL, but redefine the nature of its character. His conduits to do so right now are a pair of troubled wide receivers named Donte Stallworth and Plaxico Burress, both of whom would seem to have successfully circumvented the judicial process.
In Florida, Stallworth somehow got just 30 days in jail for driving drunk and killing a pedestrian. Burress, in New York, has managed to delay his judgment day in court, despite the fact that no one denies he committed an offense that’s punishable by a mandatory three years in jail. Thankfully, Goodell seems determined to act where the judicial system will not. He’s already suspended Stallworth indefinitely, and he seems likely to retard Plaxico’s plan to play this coming season. Here’s hoping that’s exactly what he does.
When he does, the commissioner’s sure to run afoul of lawyers and union leaders. They’ll no doubt question his authority, and his right to act in advance of, or in addition to, the judicial process. But he should take the action and take the flak…because it’s the right thing to do. I know that’s easy for me to say, but this has nothing to do with football and everything to do with justice…and ultimately, leadership, too.”
I like this particular commentary although I feel Bryant’s words on Tagliabue are a bit harsh. Based on the written word, it gets an A from me. But I’ll watch it to get the whole experience.