Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
Blog Entry

Goodell on 18 games: 'People want more football'

Posted on: February 17, 2012 8:39 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 9:42 pm
 
Whether fans want it or not (they don't appear to), what about the safety concerns of an 18-game schedule? (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's salary will reportedly double to $20 million as part of a new five-year contract extension from the NFL. That's a lot of coin but if the league wasn't awash in money the owners wouldn't reward Goodell with that kind of payday.

Not surprisingly, some players were less than effusive when they heard the news, probably because depending on your perspective, Goodell's tenure as commissioner falls somewhere between awesome (the owners) and awful (the players). Falcons wide receiver Roddy White tweeted apoplectically Tuesday:

"How in the hell can u pay a man this much money that can't run tackle or catch?"

And before you roll your eyes, this isn't a "he's never played the game!" argument. When someone suggested that Goodell's oversight as commissioner has allowed White to make a lot of money, White got testy.

"Thats the stupidest thing i have ever heard the players make this league dont ever forget that," White tweeted in response. "My god given talents feed me not him."

This is true. No fan in the history of tackle football has ever bought a ticket to a game to see Goodell. We talked about this on a recent Pick-6 Podcast and our opinion is basically this: Goodell is a savvy politician who worked his way up from the bottom and is now presiding over the nation's most popular sport. He is responsible for it's growth, yes, but without players the NFL wouldn't exist in it's current form. We're pretty sure Goodell would agree with this.


We mention this because Goodell spoke recently about the state of the league, specifically addressing expansion ("We are not considering expansion. I’ve tried to make that clear when I was asked by Bob Costas recently.") and the never-gonna-die 18-game schedule discussions.

“Well, I appreciate the enthusiasm for it and I hear it from the fans consistently," Goodell told ESPN 1050, dusting off his not-entirely-accurate talking points from this summer's lockout. "People want more football. I think they want less preseason and more regular season and that’s the concept we are talking about here."

Again, this is stretching the truth. Everybody -- fans, players, media -- thinks the preseason is too long. But that doesn't mean they want, say, two fewer preseason games if it means two more regular-season games. Last May, CBSSports.com's Josh Katzowitz did an informal Twitter poll and found that 83.9 percent of respondents were fine with the 16-game schedule.

In February 2011, Sports Illustrated's Peter King did his own Twitter poll and concluded that "18 percent of 1,200 football fans, less than one out of every five, want what Goodell says they want. And 82 percent want to keep it at 16 regular-season games."

But even if you call B.S. on the self-selection bias in such polls, what about this? Goodell has championed safety above all else but isn't he talking out of both sides of his mouth when he says "safety is No. 1" and then clamoring for two additional regular-season games because the fans want it?

In November 2010, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said "The additional games, the studies show, will not really increase injuries."

Technically, Ross was right. Esquire wrote about this issue back in January 2011:
Dated September 6, 2010, the 26-page version (of a study conducted by an independent research firm for an NFLPA injury report) relies on data from the NFL Injury Surveillance System in following 16,552 injuries from 2004 to 2009 — position-by-position, game-by-game, and location-by-location.

Over the course of a season, the analysis found that 16.1 percent of injuries occurred in training camp, another 24.7 percent in preseason, and 57.9 percent during the regular season. In total, 21.2 percent classified as "major" injuries, with severity increasing dramatically from the regular season to the postseason. And while game-related injuries actually trended down from week to week, the report's introduction of head-injury data provides an alarming juxtaposition…
The juxtaposition? Total team injuries decrease over the course of a 16-game season and into the postseason but the percentage of brain-related injuries increases over that same time. (You can see the charts here.)

Perhaps that's a function of better awareness about the long-term dangers of concussions, as well as improved testings procedures. "Still," the Esquire piece concludes, "the early version of the report states that each player now has a 10 percent chance of suffering from a concussion in a given season."

However you spin it, that's not good.

Back to Goodell's recent radio appearance:

"We wouldn’t add an extra two games without reducing the preseason and we are not going to do it without the players support, so we did that in the collective bargaining agreement instead of having the unilateral right, which we had," he said. "We determined that we were going to do this together. We are going to make changes in the offseason and during the preseason and during the regular season to make the game safer. If we can accomplish that we’ll look at the idea of restructuring the season and taking two preseason games away and the potential of adding regular season games, but I don’t think that will happen until at least 2013 or 14.”

Conspiracy theorists might say that while Goodell's crackdown on helmet-to-helmet hits and unprotected pass-catchers does make the game safer, it's also something he and the owners can point to in a few years and say, "See, we take this very seriously, illegal hits are down, the NFL is less violent, the next logical step: 18-game seasons."

Because other than money, there's no urgency here. If Goodell truly is listening to the fans (or the players), this wouldn't ever come up again. We're guessing that ain't happening.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed
Comments

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2012 12:55 pm
 

Goodell on 18 games: 'People want more football'

The beef I have with the NFL has always been to throw a bone to those cities/states that don't have NFL teams.  Let us enjoy a pre-season game, or even a regular season game.

But no you gave to give those games to London, Mexico or anywhere else you can make a buck.

Now that's one point people rarely make that I agree with 100 percent, there are hundreds of thousands of NFL fans in North America that buy NFL merchandise and help increase TV ratings, putting a ton of money in the NFL and the player's pockets that never see a return for their investment.  It sure would be nice for the NFL to as you called it, "throw a bone" once in a while to a city that needs it.

BUT, once again where I disagree is where you only mention the NFL.  Do you understand the revenue the NFL brings from anything they do also goes to the players?  The more they bring in, the more the players bring in as well and the higher team cap hits go, thus salaries increase in a big way.  The union signed off on these overseas games you mentioned in London for example.  Do you really think the players would rather travel overseas to play a football game then fly a couple hours to another North American city?  Of course not.... but the union agreed because its likely been proven there is more revenue to be had in London, thus the game is played there.

Again, it's NOT just Goodell,,,, there is much more to this, and that's why I defend him the way I do.  I'm not smarter then anybody else on these boards and just because I type a lot doesn't mean I'm trying to imply that I am.  I simply have done a ton of reading on how these things work, so I know for a fact Goodell isn't the only bad guy here when it comes to the fans complaints.

They just signed a new CBA.  Did you ever hear the union complain ONCE about the overseas games and the effect it has on the players?  Why didn't the union stand firm and say no to overseas games?  They could have...... but they didn't.  So blame them as well, not just one guy. 



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2012 12:55 pm
 

Goodell on 18 games: 'People want more football'

The beef I have with the NFL has always been to throw a bone to those cities/states that don't have NFL teams.  Let us enjoy a pre-season game, or even a regular season game.

But no you gave to give those games to London, Mexico or anywhere else you can make a buck.

Now that's one point people rarely make that I agree with 100 percent, there are hundreds of thousands of NFL fans in North America that buy NFL merchandise and help increase TV ratings, putting a ton of money in the NFL and the player's pockets that never see a return for their investment.  It sure would be nice for the NFL to as you called it, "throw a bone" once in a while to a city that needs it.

BUT, once again where I disagree is where you only mention the NFL.  Do you understand the revenue the NFL brings from anything they do also goes to the players?  The more they bring in, the more the players bring in as well and the higher team cap hits go, thus salaries increase in a big way.  The union signed off on these overseas games you mentioned in London for example.  Do you really think the players would rather travel overseas to play a football game then fly a couple hours to another North American city?  Of course not.... but the union agreed because its likely been proven there is more revenue to be had in London, thus the game is played there.

Again, it's NOT just Goodell,,,, there is much more to this, and that's why I defend him the way I do.  I'm not smarter then anybody else on these boards and just because I type a lot doesn't mean I'm trying to imply that I am.  I simply have done a ton of reading on how these things work, so I know for a fact Goodell isn't the only bad guy here when it comes to the fans complaints.

They just signed a new CBA.  Did you ever hear the union complain ONCE about the overseas games and the effect it has on the players?  Why didn't the union stand firm and say no to overseas games?  They could have...... but they didn't.  So blame them as well, not just one guy. 



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2012 12:46 pm
 

Goodell on 18 games: 'People want more football'

Simply eliminate 2 pre-season games just like he would like to do and instead of adding 2 regular season games...add just 1.  Oh but wait...that would decrease revenue right????? Ofcourse it would, so please don't tell me that he's trying to do what's in the best interest of the fans.  The fans would love to see 2 less pre-season games and 1 extra regular season game.  It's always about money first and foremost...it's never about the fans...NEVER.

You make some great points, and I happen to agree with everything you said in your above post. But, there is one thing you're missing

The NFL most likely wouldn't have much of a problem removing 2 pre-season games and only adding 1 regular season game if the players were willing to eat half that loss as well.  Remember, they are "partners" and the union calls themselves partners, but they aren't willing to give up anything either, it's not just the owners.   To be honest one thing you and some others on these boards might be missing is the NFL might not be allowed to do what you just suggested, lose one game overall.   Like you said, revenue would decrease and the players automatically lose something in the end.....  what I'm saying it's not just Goodell or the owners, they can't make changes like this without the union signing off on it and taking their loss as well.

Your last line is beautiful and so true as well.  Today's sports world is all about money, not the fans.  The only way it becomes about the fans is if and only if revenue decreases, in that case the fans come back into play again.  Until then, no, the fans aren't number 1.... money is and always will be.  I'm not saying it's right because hey, I'm a fan too.  I just hate how people pin all their problems with a sport on one commissioner when there is a much bigger picture everybody is forgetting about that involves a lot more people then just Goodell. 



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2012 12:35 pm
 

Goodell on 18 games: 'People want more football'

You also said in a different post that some guy must have just woke up from a coma.So again I will ask what gives you the right to insult someone like that.And you never answered my question all those people that watched the Packer game in Oct.Did any of them tune in to the Brewer game too.


The guy I made the coma comment to made an insulting comment to the team I've followed for a very long time, the Detroit Lions. He called them a lousy organization which is what they USED TO BE with Matt Millen leading the way but those days are now gone.

I'm all for everybody having their own opinion, of course we're all allowed that.   But an opinion has to have some backing to it, and saying THIS Lions organization is lousy is not an opinion, it's stupid.  This team changed management 3 years ago and has improved year after year since.  

The ratings numbers I gave you are the rating numbers, that's it.  It tells you the percentage of households that tuned into the games I referred to, that's it.   I'm going to take a wild guess based on what I know about these things and say that yes, some people tuned into both but they were reflected in the stats I gave you.



Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: February 20, 2012 12:20 pm
 

Goodell on 18 games: 'People want more football'

I got no problem with 18 games in a season.  I have always hated the Pre Season  2 pre season games, and then the season should start.

The beef I have with the NFL has always been to throw a bone to those cities/states that don't have NFL teams.  Let us enjoy a pre-season game, or even a regular season game.

But no you gave to give those games to London, Mexico or anywhere else you can make a buck.

Like I've said NFL is American.  Keep in in America, but share it with those of us who can't and don't have the luxury of driving across town to the game.




Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: February 20, 2012 11:06 am
 

Goodell on 18 games: 'People want more football'

I have never bashed Roger Goodell for his handling of the lockout, or for anything else up to this point.  I will however start here.  If Goodell is seriously interested in catering to the fans, then he should be more honest about the approach of adding regular season games.  The real reason why Goodell wants to add regular season games is because across the country season ticket holders complain on a yearly basis that they don't want to have to buy four pre-season games.  Why must we add 2 regular season games instead of just 1.  Simply eliminate 2 pre-season games just like he would like to do and instead of adding 2 regular season games...add just 1.  Oh but wait...that would decrease revenue right????? Ofcourse it would, so please don't tell me that he's trying to do what's in the best interest of the fans.  The fans would love to see 2 less pre-season games and 1 extra regular season game.  It's always about money first and foremost...it's never about the fans...NEVER.   



Since: Jan 29, 2007
Posted on: February 20, 2012 10:29 am
 

Goodell on 18 games: 'People want more football'

The owners were willing to lock out the players because the players were getting something like 57 percent of BRI, that's why.  That number is ok when revenues weren't 9 billion dollars and growing, but the owners wanted a fair share of the pot, and they got it.  The owners knew the players union would cave, and they did.  And one more thing, NFL owners are the richest sports organization owners in the world so if necessary they could easily afford a lockout for a complete season. As for your Goodell comments, numbers is all that matters.  The NFL from 2006 through 2009 grew at a rate of about 7.6 percent per season in revenue.  The other 3 professional sports leagues only averaged growth of around 3.5 percent.   Also, 35 to 45 percent of the revenue other leagues bring in is from ticket sales, in the NFL only 22 percent is ticket sales.  THAT is where Goodell has been a master and why he's the best commissioner the league has ever had.  The revenue outside of ticket sales he's helped increase exponentially during his tenure is why he's getting the raises he's getting.And stop with the "on Goodell's nuts" comments.  What are you, 12 years old?  I'm not on anybody's nuts, but I understand the business world and how it works.  The NFL is by far the most profitable sports league in North America and it's growing, year after year.Until or unless that stops, Goodell isn't going anywhere and he'll continue to see his paychecks get larger.... as they should. 



 Why did you only reference 2006 to 2009? what happened in 2010 and 2011? In terms of the fans having a choice of either accepting the change or not watching. You're right and as I explained I canceled the NFL network and I did not miss not having the Thursday night games. As for my age I happened to be 12 years old, not sure why this is an issue. I'm sorry you do not appreciate the way us kids express ourselves. But my point was you seem to really like Roger Godell. I am curious to why you have such loyalty. Are you Roger Godell? Our maybe a relative of his? Does he pay your bills? I honestly can't think of 1 likable quality he has. Plus someone else made a good point, why say the fans want 18 games? why not just say I want to add 2 more games and remove 2 preseason game, and since I'm the commisioner and you are all just fans I'm going to make this change whether you like it or not? 




Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: February 20, 2012 9:47 am
 

Goodell on 18 games: 'People want more football'

Holy sh** man, are you a drama queen or what?  I said the words shut and up and you're going nuts !!!  All I was saying is fans don't have the right to run a sports league, fans don't make decisions.  That's when I said a fan ( and that includes me as well) either accepts things as they are and shuts up or quits following the game.

By the way, you're too funny.  You think saying "shutup" is an insult yet you can insult me?  You can talk about how I supposedly have "nothing else to do"? That's not insulting?  But wait, that's different, right?  Typical hypocrite....

CHICK FIGHT!!!! CHICK FIGHT!!!!



Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: February 20, 2012 7:55 am
 

Goodell on 18 games: 'People want more football'

"All I was saying is fans don't have the right to run a sports league, fans don't make decisions."


It sure sounds to me like Goodell is trying to base his 18-game b.s. on what fans want, doesn't it?


Let's just tell Goodell this: NO to the 18-game regular season and NO to games in other countries.  Change is necessary for any business to stay ahead of the competition, but in this case there is no competition and change comes from within, by parity.  Therefore, the old saying plays perfectly here: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.     &n
bsp; 


dlopez711
Since: Feb 11, 2012
Posted on: February 20, 2012 4:05 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com