Above is a photo showing 2 of the most controversial bosses in American history.
On the left, you have NFL commissioner
Roger Goodell and to the right, you have Mafia Chieftain Paul (Big Paul) Castellano.
Both Goodell & Castellano were picked to succeed as head of their respective Factions, mostly due to the thought that they could bring their entities into a more business-like money making era. On October 6, 1976, then head of the Gambino Crime family Carlo Gambino died at home of natural causes.Against expectations, he had appointed Castellano to succeed him over his underboss Aniello “Neil” Dellacroce. Gambino appeared to believe that his crime family would benefit from Castellano’s focus on “white collar businesses” A quote from a high ranking Mafia lieutenant, ” Castellano identified more as a businessman than a hoodlum; he took over non-legitimate businesses and converted them to legitimate enterprises.” Goodell on the other hand was voted in as the next NFL commissioner. Still a kinda handpicked choice . Steelers chairman Dan Rooney, “I was looking for the best person to be commissioner, and I had no doubt in my mind that was Roger Goodell. He has done everything during his term with the league in all the departments. He knows labor. He knows television. He knows the business end of it. And really he knows the fans. He’s really capable and well-rounded.” The owners were clearly thinking about future financial success. Both factions got what they wanted.
Castellano got the Gambino family involved in the “Manhattan building boom” of the late 70s and early 80s as well as labor unions and other “white collar rackets .Goodell was at the helm for a new T.V. deal labor and succeed with a new labor agreement (after a strike but still). Forbes 2014 has four NFL teams listed in the top ten worldwide in revenue. Questionable decisions: Both Goodell & Castellano were involved in questionable conduct. Goodell implemented stiffer fines and suspension all surrounding his personal conduct and substance abuse policies. Castellano required a significantly higher portions from his soldiers rackets than most other mafia bosses did. Castellano was extremely harsh on the John Gotti crew who he deemed nothing but hoodlums and knuckleheads. Goodell sent a harsh message when he suspended Saints HC Sean Payton for a yr and his DC indefinitely for the “Bounty Gate” Scandal.
Of course both had their favorites too. Goodell and patriots owner Robert Kraft are good friends and ppl around the league believe they get impartial treatment. Castellano main enforcement crew headed by fabled hitman Roy Demeo was said to have the leeway to conduct any kind of business they want including narcotics trafficking which was nothing short of forbidden by the Family heads and punishable by death. In both instances the preferential treatment made for some jealous onlookers. The tape they didn’t see vs the tape they didn’t know existed. The Ray Rice domestic violence case was maybe the turning point of the thought that Roger Goodell was a great commissioner. This thought that there was actual video evidence of the occurrence but Goodell himself didn’t see it is laughable at best. His flip floping of suspensions and a myriad of other instances including Adrian Peterson child abuse case made the others in charge (the owners) second guess their choice.
In 1985 Castellano was arrested along with several other crime family bosses in what became known as the Commission Case, an investigation into mob control over the New York City construction business..Unfortunately for him the bulk of evidence came from a wire tap placed in his home kitchen. The other family heads might be second guessing that decision as well.
In December 1985 Paul Castellano was gunned down with his driver in front of Sparks steakhouse in Manhattan by 4 unidentified assailants. The Hit ordered by one of his soldiers John Gotti. Now I don’t think an NFL player will drive past the league office and “bust a cap” in Goodell, but with the way he has come down harsh in the past and his serious mishandling of events in 2014, it’s only a wonder if his final fate will come at the hands of one if his underlings a swift and unapologetic hand, just like the one that cut down Big Paul.