"I got started with Pryor, then moved on to Plaxico Burress, Cedric Benson and all the other criminals tarnishing the shield. I quickly realized that if you looked hard enough, you could suspend every player in the NFL for something," Goodell said, smiling from ear to ear.
Goodell denied that this was simply a ploy to re-instate the NFL lockout, which lasted 144 days but failed to cost the league any regular season games. When pressed on the sheer volume of suspensions, Goodell turned the proceedings over to Raiders owner Al Davis, who detailed the reasons for each player's suspension via an overhead projector.
"Ben Roethlisberger: tarnishing the shield. Drew Brees: varnishing the shield. Albert Haynesworth: garnishing his meal."
The vast majority of players appealed their suspensions, but some took them in stride, such as Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie.
"This time off will give me some much needed time to spend with my kids," he said, "and probably make some more. Which is what I got suspended for in the first place."
Others, like Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, were blindsided by the league's action.
"I got suspended for 'virgining the shield', which I'm not even sure is a thing," Tebow said. "I promise you one thing, a lot of good will come out of this. You will never see any player in the entire country fight his suspension as hard as I will."
Goodell responded by suspending Tebow for the entire season.