It’s become cliché to say, “I can’t wait for the ESPN 30 for 30 on [insert crazy sports story here]!” But the 30 for 30 that’s eventually done on what happened to Laremy Tunsil during the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft is truly going to be great. If you somehow missed out on all the drama, someone hacked Tunsil’s Twitter account and posted a video of him using a gas-mask bong to smoke weed just as the draft was starting last night, and it led to Tunsil—a projected top five pick—free-falling all the way to the Dolphins at No. 13 in the draft. It was the most interesting story of the night, and it got even more interesting after Tunsil was drafted when someone also hacked his Instagram account and posted texts of him asking his coaches at Ole Miss for money to pay his mother's rent and light bill.
It’s OK for us to say that, but you wouldn’t expect for Roger Goodell to say it. After all, his job as NFL Commissioner is supposed to be to “protect the shield,” and a video of a top draft pick smoking weed with a gas mask over his face isn’t exactly good for the NFL’s brand (even though, in the grand scheme of things, it's really not that bad). But during an interview on ESPN this morning, Goodell went as far as to say that what happened with Tunsil was, ahem, “what makes the draft so exciting.”
“Clubs make decisions,” he said. “Sometimes they take risks. Sometimes they do the right things. Sometimes they don’t, and we’ll see. Hopefully, he is going to turn out to be a great young player.”
Now, as just about everyone who has written about Goodell’s comments has pointed out, he is not wrong in what he said. The Tunsil storyline is probably one of the most intriguing storylines in recent NFL Draft history. But doesn’t it seem weird to hear Goodell talk about Tunsil as if he’s some character involved in a plot twist in a movie as opposed to a young man who just watched about $7 million fly out the window because of a social media hack?
Oh well. It’s got people talking about the NFL in April, right? And that's all that seems to matter to Goodell.
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