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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.

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Comments

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2012 2:12 am
 

Goodell on 18 games: 'People want more football'

I guess in here is just like real life.Some people just think they are smarter than everyone.It seems that you know everything about everything.I guess by the length of your posts and the amount of postings you make all the time,you really don't have much else to do.You may be right about everything.But is this the way to live life.Spending all you time in a sports blog.I guess if life you are a lawyer or some other profession where you can spend alot of time online and research all of these stats you post.

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....

By the way since you care, I'm not a lawyer. I work in sales and marketing from my home office.  I'm in front of a computer all the time and I can do whatever the hell I please since I don't have a boss over my head yelling at me.

But no... that can't be it..... you already figured me out. 


dlopez711
Since: Feb 11, 2012
Posted on: February 20, 2012 12:42 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2012 12:26 am
 

Goodell on 18 games: 'People want more football'

Redwings,

You seem to know alot and I see that you post long comments to show your point.But do you realize that since 2002 that baseball has made money every year.The reason being television.There are more stations paying bigger money to sports to televise their games even  sports revenue are up.You give all the credit to Goodell but he really took over a very successful business.Goodell is really just a puppet for the owners.His rules are changing the game from a mans sports into some sort of touch football league.

Dlopez.  I've been a fan of MLB since 1980, so I like baseball.  But it's not even close to football.  I just finished another post where I pointed out very recently MLB grossed 2 billion dollars less then the NFL did, and they play a lot more games. I also pointed out the NFL's PRE-GAME SHOW had higher ratings then 2 MLB playoff games.  

As for your comment about Goodell being just a puppet for the owners that took over a very successful business, you could say that about a lot of successful CEO's on the planet.  But the bottom line is revenue and company growth, and Goodell has succeeded in both those areas since he's been hired.  If the NFL wasn't doing well Goodell would have been blamed and fired.  Since the NFL has done extremely well he gets rewarded.  You can't have it both ways.  You can't blame a guy if the league suffers, and then give him zero credit when it prospers.  That's not a logical argument and it doesn't make sense at all.

One final thing here. There has NEVER been a commissioner in the history of sports that didn't report to the owners.  There has NEVER been a commissioner in the history of sports that didn't listen to the owner and what they had to say.  There is no such thing as a "puppet" for a commissioner, they simply report to the owners and if the owners don't like something the commissioner obliges and makes the changes.  

You guys think these billionaire owners are all idiots for some reason, I find it amazing that you people believe these owners would dish out that kind of money to a commissioner that was just a "puppet".  If the owners believed the game would have grown just as well without Goodell, he would be gone and the new commissioner would be lucky to make a million dollars.  These owners are a lot smarter then people think.  You don't get to where these people are in life by just skating by and being stupid.  



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2012 12:16 am
 

Goodell on 18 games: 'People want more football'

I don't get what gives you the right to tell people what they can do.You have nerve telling people to shut up.Just because you have a different opinion.

It has nothing to do with a difference of opinion, it has to do with sports fans thinking just because they purchase tickets or watch a game on tv they can dictate what the NFL does.  You don't get a say in anything, they do as they please and always will.

1st off baseball is just as popular as football is,

You are wrong and no, that's not just my opinion, you're not even close on that one.  In October of 2011 the NFL's PRE-GAME SHOW had higher ratings then both MLB PLAYOFF GAMES THAT SAME DAY !!   The Packers regular season game drew 44 percent of Milwaukee households while the Brewers only drew 20 percent.  The Cardinals football game that day drew 4 times the amount of viewers then the Diamondbacks playoff game.  

MLB's revenue in 2010 was 2 BILLION DOLLARS LESS then the NFL's revenue.  MLB has a 162 game season, the NFL has a 16 game season, you do the math.   Don't ever compare MLB to the NFL again, it's a joke of a comparison. 
I think 2 more games is ridiculous.Players are shot and hurt at the end of the season and 2 more games would make it worse

Maybe you're right, but my point is that doesn't matter.  Once again, it's all about MONEY. And not just for the owners or Goodell, but for the players.  They wouldn't bump the season up 2 games if they don't know ahead of time the tickets will be sold and advertisers will be ready to step up.  More revenue means not only Goodell and the league is happy, but the players are too because their share increases.  It means team caps will go up exponentially, in other words salaries increase... everybody's happy.

And you are wrong Goodall is a clown.He has made the league like touch football.You can not hit anyone,Refs are calling penalaties against hits on Q.B'S that are not even happening.In the Pack/Giant game the Giants got a Penalty for roughing the passer and there was no hit.

I don't like some of the rule changes either.  I don't like how a qb can barely get touched, or that a wide receiver can barely be bumped anymore.  And I don't like the new kickoff rules amongst other things.  But once again, you're wrong about Goodell.  The only way you'll be right is if and only if revenues DECREASE and LESS PEOPLE FOLLOW THE NFL !!!  Until then and as long as those numbers keep INCREASING then Goodell is doing a fantastic job. 


dlopez711
Since: Feb 11, 2012
Posted on: February 20, 2012 12:00 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator



dlopez711
Since: Feb 11, 2012
Posted on: February 19, 2012 11:41 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 19, 2012 9:09 pm
 

Goodell on 18 games: 'People want more football'

Redwings1969 Why are you on Godells nuts? If The NFL is in such great prosperity, than why were the owners willing to lockout this past season. The NFL is definitely a strong product and has had great success. Most of it should be attributed to Paul Taglibue (sp?) that man was the  commisioner of all time. Roger Godell is more like David Stern. Think about it 25 years ago the NBA was huge. Stern kept changing the dynamic of the sport and slowly the product diminished. The NFL this past season was boring. I even canceled the nfl network because it wasn't worth the added money on my cable bill. Trust me Godell is chipping away at the foundation of the NFL. But keep your head in the sand Redwing1969, and continue to consume this subpar product.

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. 



Since: Jan 29, 2007
Posted on: February 19, 2012 7:29 pm
 

Goodell on 18 games: 'People want more football'

Redwings1969 Why are you on Godells nuts? If The NFL is in such great prosperity, than why were the owners willing to lockout this past season. The NFL is definitely a strong product and has had great success. Most of it should be attributed to Paul Taglibue (sp?) that man was the best commisioner of all time. Roger Godell is more like David Stern. Think about it 25 years ago the NBA was huge. Stern kept changing the dynamic of the sport and slowly the product diminished. The NFL this past season was boring. I even canceled the nfl network because it wasn't worth the added money on my cable bill. Trust me Godell is chipping away at the foundation of the NFL. But keep your head in the sand Redwing1969, and continue to consume this subpar product.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2012 7:16 pm
 

Goodell on 18 games: 'People want more football'

It's a pretty neat and effective system that has made the NFL what it is today.  All of you people whining day after day after day are a waste of time.  If you don't like the NFL anymore, there is a solution.  Stop supporting the NFL.   OR... shut up.   There are only 2 options..... pick one.
Why does there only have to be two options? Talking can be a great way to get things done.

As far as my commitment to the NFL, it's getting weaker all the time. The NFL was never going to compete with hockey for me, but it was always a solid no. 2. But the way Goodell is running things, MLS is quickly gaining on it as far as what matters most to me. 18 games would be the final shove that pushes football behind soccer for me. Nobody wants this proposal except the owners.



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 19, 2012 3:28 pm
 

Goodell on 18 games: 'People want more football'

Excellent article. Gooddell is driving this league into the ground with his BS.

Driving the league into the ground?  LOL   What?  It's by far the most popular of the top 4 sports in North America and revenues are increasing year after year.  If that's "driving the league into the ground"  the other 3 sports would beg for the failure the NFL is suffering.  Goodell, whether you like him or not is the leader of a massive organization that is growing every year and putting money into a lot of people's pockets.  If as a fan you don't like what he's doing then stop spending money on the NFL, and stop watching games on TV.  You have every right to NOT support the NFL.....  what you don't have a right to do is determine who runs the league. The only people that have that right are the owners, the people that take all the risks and invested their own personal cash in these businesses.  As a fan you don't have one iota worth of say as to who runs the NFL.  Do the players let you decide who runs the union? No, the players make that decision, the owners have no say in who leads the union, just as the players have no say in who runs the league. 

It's a pretty neat and effective system that has made the NFL what it is today.  All of you people whining day after day after day are a waste of time.  If you don't like the NFL anymore, there is a solution.  Stop supporting the NFL.   OR... shut up.   There are only 2 options..... pick one. 


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