Goodell aims to plug draft leaks

"It's all about me," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell seems to be telling his public. (REUTERS)

Bill Lankhof, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 8:31 PM ET

Commissioner Roger Goodell is tired of being upstaged.

Every year, about this time, teams leak news of who they’ll select in the draft.

Then, there are all those annoying camera shots on draft day of players on the phone in the green room talking to teams just before they’re picked. As a result, when Goodell turns up on the dais to announce a team’s selection, the moment holds all the drama, passion and suspense of a good-night kiss from a girl named Mommy.

Often he’s telling viewers what they already know.

Well, no more.

Roger, like a kid with a triple scoop beckoning through the ice cream counter glass, needs his fix; his Television Moment. So, the NFL’s control freaks are trying to shut the information taps — from Twitter to hotel lobby tittle-tattle. At least, that’s the idea.

Teams have been told to shut up. Although, guess the Colts didn’t get the memo, judging from Tuesday’s Andrew Luck tip.

Anyway, analysts on the networks covering the event have been told not to report picks before they’re announced. In other words, the league wants the media to be good little TV talking heads; just do as they say, when they say.

Remember, No news, is good news!

GROUP HUG

Linebacker DeMarcus Ware may be the Cowboys’ best player so it has to hurt when he admits his team has to be more like (CAUTION: Readers are advised this item may not be suitable for Dallas fans. Contains inflammatory opinion that could be harmful to certain segments of the viewership. Please skip to Item Three to avoid being incensed) ... so, where were we? Oh, yeah, the Giants.

Much as it hurts him to admit it, Ware told NBC Sports Talk that the Cowboys’ NFC rivals have an enviable team spirit. “I really don’t like to talk about the Giants, but their team camaraderie, where they had the adversity at the beginning, and then all of a sudden, it really kicked in,” Ware said. “The last maybe eight games, the blood sweat and tears really kicked in, the guys started feeling it and they had that swagger about themselves.”

Ware said the Cowboys need to find a similar togetherness. “It’s just being there for the man beside you.”

So, it’s not about holding leads, a crappy pass defence or whether Tony Romo can come through in the clutch. The only thing standing between the Cowboys and beating the Giants on opening night in 2012 is who can hold hands and best get together for a jolly good rendition of ‘kum-bah-yah.’ Who knew?

HI, JEROME

The NFL has announced receiver Jerome Simpson will serve a three-game suspension. Meantime, the Vikings announced Tuesday they had signed him to a one-year contract.

Simpson served a 15-day sentence after pleading guilty to marijuana charges last month after catching 50 passes for 725 yards with the Bengals last year. But let’s face it, anything short of a felony makes him an under-achiever in Cincinnati.

On the other hand, Minnesota looked at all those stats, figured he’d be perfect as a big-play, complement to Percy Harvin and said: “Hi, Jerome.”

Evidently he didn’t reply: “No thanks. Maybe later.”

So, they signed him.

CHAMPIONS & CHUMPS

A judge ruled Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall’s law suit against Hanesbrands, the parent of apparel company, Champion, can be heard.

Champion dropped Mendenhall as a spokesman after he was critical on Twitter of people for celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden. He also questioned whether hijacked planes caused the collapse of the World Trade Centre.

The judge ruled that Mendenhall has a plausible claim that Hanesbrands breached its contract. Nice to see Mendenhall get one right, because as claims go it may be the only one he’s made lately that would fit into the plausible category.

QUICK HITS

The Jets have told Tim Tebow they’ll use him on the punt team. Teams will have to pay more attention to fakes than they would if a non-quarterback was standing in front of the punter. Tebow has said he is first a football player; then a quarterback. Looks like he’ll get a chance to prove it ... Former B.C. Lions rush end Cameron Wake is boycotting Dolphins’ mini-camp in a contract dispute. Wake, who has 28 sacks his first three seasons in Miami, is scheduled to earn $615,000 in 2012, but wants a long-term deal ... A Louisiana state police and FBI task force is investigating allegations that the Saints set up general manager Mickey Loomis’ booth in the Superdome so he could listen in on opposing coaches from 2002-04. State police Col. Mike Edmonson said he’s aware that statutes of limitations — six years under state wiretapping laws — may hinder prosecution but added, “let’s find out if any laws have been broken first” ... An AFC personnel manager believes the Browns and Dolphins may pass on Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill. “I don’t think a lot of teams think of him as a first-round pick. I can see a situation where he doesn’t go at all in the top 20,” said the source, and ...

Oops! Have we said too much?

Shhhh! Here comes Roger.


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