To every appearance, what matters to the NFL is that this decision makes Goodell look strong. Cooperate with him or you’ll get screwed. If the suspension is reduced on appeal—which is highly likely—Goodell will blame the union again, continuing the owners’ quest to make the only advocate for players completely irrelevant. If it doesn’t, all the better. Most importantly, everyone can feel better about having Elliott on their fantasy football teams in a few weeks, and everyone can rest assured that the NFL is against domestic violence. There will be fireworks, cheerleaders, and fans forking out money while telling themselves that the NFL is a safe and orderly place, quite unlike the real world from which it provides a respite, run by wise leaders who stand tall. In the world of NFL discipline, that’s all that matters, and all that ever has.