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In this era of profound statements and reboots of epic movies, it stands to reason that everything we watch today is governed by some sort of code. The NFL is certainly no exception, as our crack team of researchers recently uncovered a pair of digital tablets, each about eight months old, written in that time-indelible medium – Arial 12pt. On these tablets were inscribed the rules by which we should all live with and by each other and, most importantly, our teams.
When translated from ancient Lombardi, the text reads as follows:
- “I am the Lord your Goodell, who brought you out of the land of unprofitability, out of the house of Tagliabue and Rozelle. You shall have no other governing bodies before Me.”
Interpretation: Never forget who’s in charge. If you try to subscribe to another governing entity, such as an appeals court, I will trash you repeatedly and harshly, even after I lose.
- “You shall not make for yourself a trademarked image—any likeness of anything that is in the league offices above, or that is in the player’s union beneath, or that is in the beer cups in the stadium that is a wholesale trademark or product of the NFL and its affiliates wrongly obtained and used; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your Goodell, am a jealous Goodell, visiting the iniquity of the owners upon the players to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands of fans, to those who love Me and whom studies and polls show are overwhelmingly in favor of it.”
Interpretation: You sell something with the shield or a logo on it, pay up. Now.
- “You shall not take the name of the Lord your Goodell in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”
Interpretation: I don’t give a flying bit of bullpoopie about what you say in the press about me or my league. But you’ll definitely be off my Christmas list, James Harrison. Got that?
- “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it drunken and football-filled. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your Goodell. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor the dude who is crashed on your couch. For in six days the Lord made the NFL and the players, the coaches, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it, and scheduled proper game times.”
Interpretation: Watch the games. They’re pretty cool, even if it’s not your father’s football game, where concussions were written off as “getting your bell rung”.
- “Honor your coach and your GM, that your playoff days may be long upon the playing surface which the Lord your Goodell is bestowing upon you.”
Interpretation: Have faith in your organization, because they’re making me money. Unless you’re a Jaguars fan.
- “You shall not murder.”
Interpretation: “Ya hearing this, Ray Lewis? This means you. By the way, I granted you that second Super Bowl win just so you’d shut up and quit talking about me all the time.” – God
Second interpretation: “Two games.” – Goodell
- “You shall not commit adultery, unless you’re on the road in a strange hotel, you’re armed with enough hush money, and the law isn’t involved. Then it’s ok.”
Interpretation: It’s all about the image. Your fidelity means nothing to anyone else, except maybe your wife, and the Lord your Goodell highly doubts that she cares.
- “You shall not steal signals from your opponents.”
Interpretation: Don’t cheat. It makes us all look bad, Bill Belichick.
- “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor, unless it exonerates you.”
Interpretation: Plea down and roll your posse instead. Ray Lewis knows this one well too.
- “You shall not covet your neighbor’s team; you shall not covet your neighbor’s players, nor his general manager, nor his head coach, nor his uniforms, nor his blocking sleds, nor anything that is your neighbor’s. Except his wife. See #7.”
Interpretation: If your team sucks, it sucks for you. Deal with it.