Deflategate: Iceberg, straight ahead

Roger Goodell at Super Bowl XLIII Feb. 1, 2009. Photograph by Sgt. Bradley Lail, USAF.

Roger Goodell at Super Bowl XLIII Feb. 1, 2009. Photograph by Sgt. Bradley Lail, USAF.

So NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will hear Tom Brady’s appeal, despite a request from the NFL Players Association that he recuse himself.

“One of the primary responsibilities of the commissioner is to protect the integrity of the game and to do what’s right for the game of football,” Goodell said

“That’s my job. We have a process that’s been negotiated with the union that’s been in place for decades. It’s something that we’ve had in place for a long time and we’re going to do it that way.”

What planet is he on? First, there’s the NFL’s constant misuse of the word “integrity.” It means “wholeness.” In Jungian psychology, the integrated self is the self that is all of a piece. Alistair Cooke, the late, longtime host of “Masterpiece Theatre,” once said of Marilyn Monroe that she was a person of integrity – a mess off and onscreen. Cruel but you get his point: “Integrity” doesn’t mean “honesty.” It means that you’d be the same way with the president of the United States that you are with your grocer. It’s a quality that the Dalai Lama and the pope are said to have. It’s not a quality that’s usually associated with football players. What a surprise.

But let’s suppose it were. Whatever “integrity” the game had went out the door with Ray Rice dragging the unconscious body of his cold-cocked wife Janay from that Atlantic City hotel elevator; the commish’s tepid response; the counter-response; and the subsequent barrage of assaults, arrests, suspensions, trials and convictions, culminating in Aaron Hernandez’s life sentence for murder.

Deflategate is small potatoes in the scheme of those things, many say.

I say it is more like the tip of the iceberg.