There was a lot of player reaction to Commissioner Goodell's Wednesday decision to suspend Jonathan Vilma for a year. Most of it was negative and/or disbelieving, as this collection illustrates. Reggie Bush even said, "I bet you won't find one NFL Player who agrees with these suspensions."
Reggie Bush bet wrong.
Eli Manning, on a media call yesterday to promote his Saturday Night Live appearance, had supportive words for the commissioner and his hammer of justice. Via the Fifth Down:
"I think he's doing the right thing to make sure this doesn't ever happen again," Manning said. "There's no room for any type of bounty system in the N.F.L. You have to respect the game."
Manning added: "I think he's been harsh to try and prove, to make a statement, that there is no place for this in the game of football."
Stands to reason, as Eli Manning is a star quarterback, and thus, among the most likely to be the target of a bounty. It's sort of like a leprechaun speaking out in favor of a law that would harshly punish who beat leprechauns with baseball bats. What position did you expect him to take?
Also, even if Reggie Bush was right, and every single player in the league was against the penalties (which, again, just isn't true), would it matter? You can't get an unbiased opinion of a disciplinarian from the people subject to his/her discipline. When I was four, I got in trouble for dunking my mom's curling iron in the toilet. I thought she was a meanie. My opinion was perhaps not one that should've been considered valid.
At any rate, harsh as it may have been, it couldn't have been much of a surprise to anyone. That is what Roger Goodell does. When an issue like this arises, imagine a punishment that would've seemed fair under a different commissioner. Then multiply that by about six, and you'll probably be close to Goodell's response.