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Old 04-27-2011, 11:28 PM  
Dave Lane Dave Lane is offline
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Posnanski unloads both barrels on owners and Goodell

http://joeposnanski.si.com/2011/04/2...the-last-drop/

Roger Goodell is clearly no schlemiel or schlimazel. Roger Goodell looks, as the cliché goes, right out of central casting. He’s a powerful looking guy, fills out a suit, gives every impression of being in charge at every moment of every day. If you were in a group stuck on an elevator with Roger Goodell, there is no question that he would be in charge, even if you had CEOs of companies and three-star generals in there. There are just people who exude authority, people who will walk down the street and people will just know that they are CEO of something or other. Goodell has that aura.

But, while watching this NFL labor mess, something has occurred to me, something that cuts completely against looks and aura and everything else. It has occurred to me that Roger Goodell might about 20,000 leagues over his head. It has occurred to me that while Bud Selig is destined to be underestimated because of the way he carries himself, that Roger Goodell is destined to be overestimated for exactly the same reason.

Here’s my thinking: The owners, under Goodell’s leadership, decided to go for broke as they try to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. They did this at a time when the NFL is, by far, the most successful sports league in America, perhaps the world. They did this at a time when the league is a $9 billion entity, when television networks are sending flowers and chocolate, and when reports are coming out constantly about the horrible damage that football does to its players. Goodell, in representing the owners, had the gall to cry poor, to demand a billion more right off the top for the league’s billionaire owners, to say that the game could not possibly continue like this, to take money away from players who seem to be dying young and suffering terribly in their later years, and to actually demand expanding the season.

At this point, the feeling had to be that Goodell knew what he was doing. The NFL is on some kind of crazy winning streak when it comes to building the game — pro football just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Heck, the NFL DRAFT is now one of the biggest sporting events on the calendar. And that’s just a bunch of people in a room writing names on index cards. The league seems invulnerable to harm, and destined only to get richer and more popular and more powerful. On top of that, Goodell just embodies confidence and certainty. If the league officials figured that this was the time to take a bunch of money away from the players, hey, who could argue with their record?

Still, there were signs early on that things were not going as planned. In sports’ work stoppages, at least in my view, the majority of Americans automatically tend to side with the owners … or anyway they tend to side AGAINST the players. I think the reasons for this are involved and complicated and worthy of a 10,000-word post of their own. But generally people seem to get angrier at the players that they know than the silhouettes of the owners that they don’t.

But not in this case. Oh, sure, there were plenty who blamed the players, almost out of habit. More than usual, though, seemed to realize that the players were not really asking for anything. It was the owners shrieking that the system was irreparably broken, that they needed more money, that they needed to add games, that they were in big trouble. And when the players asked them to open the books and actually PROVE that they were in any sort of trouble at all, well, suddenly crickets chirped.

So I think many people blamed the owners for this whole fight. I know I did. I think the NFL owners already have by far the best deal in sports and are driven by pure greed to get more. Roger Goodell’s attempts to change this perception seemed to me pretty pathetic and unconvincing. He kept trying to call the attempt to add two games to the regular season a mere “reconfiguring” of the schedule (and he kept saying that the fans wanted it, though every poll suggested that the fans overwhelmingly did not). He kept talking in vague generalities about the financial doom that the league would face if they did not rework the CBA … and nobody really believed him. He sent what seemed to me an ill-conceived letter to the players association. He sent what seemed to me a ridiculous letter to the fans. And, as expected, he presided over a lockout of the players.

Right now, that lockout looks to be the most self-destructive move that a league has made in a long, long time. The lockout was enjoined by a judge on Monday, meaning it’s now over. The league is appealing Judge Nelson’s ruling, but from what I can tell the league’s appeal seems on shaky ground, and as our own Michael McCann says, the league now has a whole lot to worry about. The players, assuming the ruling is not overturned, now have serious negotiating power. The owners, assuming the ruling is not overturned, now have a serious problem convincing anyone that they aren’t already overflowing in money. This thing has a chance to become a major embarrassment for the owners … and perhaps more than just an embarrassment. It could be a financial catastrophe.

And based on Goodell’s opinion column in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, it looks like the impressive NFL commissioner is completely out of ideas. I wrote on Twitter that the only thing missing from this ludicrous column was exclamation points. You could tell right away that this column was untrustworthy when in the second sentence he wrote, “For six weeks, there has been a work stoppage,” as if that was caused by some sort of natural disaster and was not a result of the owners locking out the players. He then talks about how great the NFL system has been for everyone without even taking one sentence to mention the inconvenient fact that it was the owners, not the players, who wanted to blow up the old system in a bald money grab. He then offers an utterly unrealistic and devious doomsday scenario “if the players win” — a scenario that he knows will never happen and is only in play now because of the owners’ greedy lockout that was slammed down by the courts.

It all screamed of desperation and, frankly, it felt a bit incompetent, too. If Bud Selig ever wrote a column like that, people would be pulling out their torches and pitchforks. Roger Goodell is undoubtedly a brilliant guy, and he has a strong history with the league, and he is trying to represent a group of very different owners who probably resent that they have to give ANY of their money to the players. But that’s the job of commissioner, and right now it looks like Goodell is flailing.

Of course, maybe he isn’t. Maybe he has expected everything that has happened and has contingency plans that are not easily seen now. Maybe everything is going exactly according to plan. I have mentioned that I am reading Robert Caro’s Master of the Senate about Lyndon Johnson, and the amazing thing about LBJ as Senator was how he manipulated people without them knowing it, how sometimes he wanted bills he supported to fail, and how sometimes he wanted people he differed with on his side, and how he had a clear plan that he did not want anyone to see until it was too late.

Maybe Goodell is like that, too. That is certainly the reputation he has built in many quarters. I am beginning to think, though, that reputation is way, way off. Bud Selig is clearly much more effective and authoritative than he lets on. I can’t help but wonder if Roger Goodell is exactly the opposite.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:30 PM   #2
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If we've lost Posnanski, we've lost America. /Owners.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:33 PM   #3
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:34 PM   #4
Simplex3 Simplex3 is offline
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"I think the NFL owners already have by far the best deal in sports and are driven by pure greed to get more."

I quit reading here. What are the owners supposed to be motivated by? Love of the game? Bwah hahahahaha!

Posnanski can feed all the BS lines he wants about how he works his job for love of the craft, but if the paychecks stopped his ass would be out the door. Likewise he'd jump ship tomorrow for an extra $1. Greedy bastard.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:36 PM   #5
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Do you think anyone pays Pos to write that blog that he fills with gigantic amounts of content on an almost daily basis?
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:16 AM   #6
salame salame is offline
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think in terms of actual 0's
a good contract is a few mil a season
owners make BILLIONS
****ing billions
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:22 AM   #7
Simplex3 Simplex3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salame View Post
think in terms of actual 0's
a good contract is a few mil a season
owners make BILLIONS
****ing billions
To a guy in Rwanda making 100's a year is obscene. You must be a greedy prick too. Perspective is a bitch.

The end result is that it doesn't matter at all what you think as long as you keep buying tickets or tuning in on Sundays.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplex3 View Post
"I think the NFL owners already have by far the best deal in sports and are driven by pure greed to get more."

I quit reading here. What are the owners supposed to be motivated by? Love of the game? Bwah hahahahaha!

Posnanski can feed all the BS lines he wants about how he works his job for love of the craft, but if the paychecks stopped his ass would be out the door. Likewise he'd jump ship tomorrow for an extra $1. Greedy bastard.
What's wrong about the statement?
Do the NFL owners have the best deal in sports? Yes, revenues in the NFL have skyrocketed and the owners have collected almost all of the increases, while the players have collected little of it.

Are they motivated by greed? Yes. The players are too, of course, but unlike the owners, the players are actually underpaid.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:24 AM   #9
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By the way, this is a terrific article.

Goodell is in way over his head. He took over a wildly popular game and now may be driving it into the ground. Inconsistently strict definitions of excessive celebration. Inconsistent enforcement of penalties, like getting fined more money for a helmet-to-helmet hit than punching a helmetless Cortland Finnegan in the head. An 18-game season that no fan in their right mind wants. And now presiding over an embarrassing labor conflict driven by owners asking for the moon at the worst possible time.

Can anyone name a single good thing Goodell has done for the game?
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:36 AM   #10
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the owners got their ass handed to them in court, and yes, Goodell is clueless...
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
By the way, this is a terrific article.

Goodell is in way over his head. He took over a wildly popular game and now may be driving it into the ground. Inconsistently strict definitions of excessive celebration. Inconsistent enforcement of penalties, like getting fined more money for a helmet-to-helmet hit than punching a helmetless Cortland Finnegan in the head. An 18-game season that no fan in their right mind wants. And now presiding over an embarrassing labor conflict driven by owners asking for the moon at the worst possible time.

Can anyone name a single good thing Goodell has done for the game?
He applies foot-to-ass when players screw up off the field. But that is it.
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplex3 View Post
"I think the NFL owners already have by far the best deal in sports and are driven by pure greed to get more."

I quit reading here.
That's always a good way to understand both sides of an argument.

Did you "quit reading" Goodell's OP in the Wall Street Journal when he made idiotic and outrageous statements, or did you just ?
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:48 AM   #13
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Goodell is pretty slimy. Remember what he did with the evidence that the Patriots cheated?
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplex3 View Post
"I think the NFL owners already have by far the best deal in sports and are driven by pure greed to get more."

I quit reading here. What are the owners supposed to be motivated by? Love of the game? Bwah hahahahaha!
How about not f'ing up the wildly successful league their fathers built? This isn't a widget factory, where the primary motive is to make an extra $.00001/widget.

Public perception matters to sponsors, consumers, and networks.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplex3 View Post
Posnanski can feed all the BS lines he wants about how he works his job for love of the craft, but if the paychecks stopped his ass would be out the door. Likewise he'd jump ship tomorrow for an extra $1. Greedy bastard.
Uh...Poz stayed at the Star for years despite more lucrative offers elsewhere.

Try being less dumb.
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