Tony Kornheiser: Andre Johnson Avoided Suspension Because of Ratings
But while Finnegan's agent chalked it up to a bias based on perception of his client, Kornheiser thinks the league let Johnson go without a suspension because they want him to play Thursday night when the Texans face the Eagles on the league-owned NFL Network.
On his radio show, Kornheiser offered this: "Do you think that part of [the lack of suspension for Johnson] might have to do with the fact that the NFL, which owns the NFL Network, has a game on Thursday night featuring the Houston Texans, whose only draw is basically Andre Johnson? And I'm not going to say, 'I'm not saying, I'm just saying.' I'm gonna say, I think it does."
The accusations bring into play the possibly shaky ethical ground that can be broached when a media outlet is owned by the business it covers. But while there may be a little truth to what Kornheiser believes, it's a stretch to think it was the sole (or even most influential) factor in the NFL's decision. The league hasn't had much trouble winning the ratings battle no matter the matchup. And it's not as if the game lacks drawing power otherwise -- both teams are very much in the hunt for their division crowns, and the game features the league's most buzzed-about player of the season in MVP candidate Michael Vick.
Kornheiser spent three years in the booth as a color commentator for "Monday Night Football," from 2006-08.