Roger Goodell and the NFL had a chance to make an easy and smart business decision, but they managed to absolutely blow it.
What happened on Friday between Roger Goodell, the NFL, and Dave Portnoy could have been seen from a mile away. Portnoy won a charity auction which would have allowed him to come to Goodell’s house and watch a Monday Night Football game with the commissioner. The NFL sent Portnoy an email claiming that he failed their background check and would not be allowed to attend. Portnoy posted a video Friday reading the email that he received.
Dave Portnoy and Barstool Sports have had several run-ins with the NFL which is why it played out in this manner.
The NFL had many chances to prevent Portnoy from winning the charity auction. Portnoy was not keeping it a secret that he was going all in on winning, posting multiple times saying so. The NFL very easily could have came in with a pseudo-wager that topped Portnoy’s to keep him from winning the auction, but they didn’t think of that. Sure, that would have caused some negative publicity from Barstool and Portnoy, but not to the level they are experiencing now. Portnoy has previously gone pretty far to make Goodell look like a clown, there is no doubt that he will push the envelope further now.
This could have been such an easy win for Roger Goodell and the NFL. Goodell could have leaned into the joke of him being a clown and maybe answered the door when Portnoy arrived wearing a clown nose. Playing along with the joke and potentially building a relationship between the two parties. This could have been a win-win-win scenario for the NFL, Goodell, and Barstool. Instead they opted to continue their battle and will end up on the losing side of things with Barstool and Portnoy the victors.