For bloggers, the roads to respectability and equality have been paved with mixed intentions. The struggle to stand as peers with the establishment has been filled with stops and starts. So while everything is subject to change and it'd be premature to spike the football, it does feel like a scenario in which one of the most powerful brokers in all of sports is resigned to work out of his basement is rather significant.
Peter King reports that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will be announcing picks during next week's draft from the lower level of his Bronxville, N.Y. domicile. What a time to be alive and adapting to an ever-changing and logistically daunting environment! This is obviously the responsible move and the league should be given due credit for taking its foot off the gas pedal for once as it steers toward business as usual and normalcy.
But, wow. How the tables have upended.
All those years of elitist, snide remarks from the gatekeepers of journalism and brush-offs from the leagues when it comes to credentialing-- and we all end up in the same place. Feels like there's a lesson there.
Because I, and so many keyboard warriors have been forced to build up a tough exterior from the blogging backlash, it feels like my place to do a few things here. First, of course, is to welcome Goodell to the club. He's a Basement Boy now and will be forever. And he'll come out of this different. Better, of course, but different. Expanded horizons are always good.
Secondly, it's worth offering some tips. Transitioning from a plush Park Avenue office or fancy stage to a dimly-lit man cave is humbling. But it's also freeing in a way. Creating content in a basement affords a needed disconnect from the world, an ability to be creative and take risks without seeing real-time obstacles or being as conscious about said obstacles.
What Goodell needs to do is fully embrace his new character. Hop on camera with a hoodless gray sweatshirt and matching sweats. Perhaps throw in a few food stains. Crack an adult beverage or a few. Lean in. There's some hyperbole there, but it's worth considering if striking a more casual tone is a better move than trying to act like everything is normal. It will be interesting to see how he plays it.
A few other tips for the Commish, gleaned through years of finding out the hard way:
- Set a schedule and stick to it. Structure is important.
-Find a place to stow the dog where random barking won't tank a live shot.
-Mix in a few pushups and sit-ups to fight against the sedentary lifestyle.
-Strive for reasonable goals. The content never sleeps but you can't do it all, big guy.
And most importantly: Do not allow anyone to give you any guff for following your dreams below ground. What's done under the surface is often times exponentially better than what's done in the light. Again, poignant stuff bloggers have told themselves for years, never truly believing they'd live to see the day they were on equal footing with the head of the damn NFL.
A strange new era.