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Commissioner Fails To Make Real Case

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Commissioner Fails To Make Real Case

GREEN BAY, WI - Much was made of Rodger Goodell's trip to Lambeau in the weeks leading up to today's annual shareholders meeting. Goodell was going to take questions from fans, both during the actual meeting itself held inside Lambeau Field, and afterward during a more intimate Q&A session with 120 fans that had been preselected by the Packers.

What might have been an excellent opportunity for a frank discussion about the many issues facing the league as it heads into the final year of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, instead was a milquetoast affair with Packer fans almost relegated to stage props in the NFL's propaganda war with the NFLPA.

Time and again, Goodell refused to answer specific "what happens if there's no agreement this time next year" questions, instead choosing to almost belittle fans by telling them that "We know all you want is more football."

It's hard to believe that all fans want is "more football" given the thoughtful, intelligent questions presented to the Commissioner on a broad range of topics, from player safety to revenue sharing. Unfortunately, what they mostly got from the Commissioner sounded as though it was read directly off of NFLLabor.com

I understand that there's only so much detail the Commissioner can go into, but would it really have hurt to talk in specifics about any of the topics the fans showed genuine interest in?

Meeting with the media afterward, Goodell was asked about the possibility of a lockout in 2011. His response? There's "such a long way to go between now and then." See? Why even worry about it? It's an interesting response from someone who wants to make the case that the financial model the league has been built on is crumbling.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (9) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

jerseypackfan's picture

You guys see that 800lb Gorilla over there? Me neither, next question...

c.d. angeli's picture

Can't wait to hear it live on Cheesehead Radio tonight!

misterj's picture

it's so neat to hear your voice asking roger goodell a question on packers.com!

PackerAaron's picture

Simply surreal.

Bearmeat's picture

The media consistently makes players look bad during contract negotiations, holdouts, etc...
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The fact is that NFL owners are all billionaires. Not just puny millionaires. They have money to spare, and they're concerned about realistically 5-6% of the overall pie. This is a just a plain old "Who's got the biggest dong" game between the NFL and the NFLPA. It's ugly now, and it's only going to get uglier.
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The owners are not above being shady in contract negotiations. If I were a player, I'd be trying to get all I could too, regardless of what "normal" people thought of my salary.

seekr's picture

"We're so far away from that..." If I remember my calendar instruction from Kindergarten, that's not that far away.

Asshalo's picture

..." instead was a milquetoast affair with Packer fans almost relegated to stage props in the NFL’s propaganda war with the NFLPA."

I was also disappointed reading the transcripts and watching the forum. Every question he answered seemed to follow a script, not really answering the question-- just running through his notes on the general topic presented by the question. Didn't take long for me to think, "Duh, what was I expecting. What else would this be but a PR opportunity."

It's nice that fans were asking the important questions, putting a chink the PR event itself.

More generally it was nice to have all eyes on Green Bay for the day.

baboons's picture

Goodell seems desperate to keep the fans quiet. Perhaps he realises that if so many were to band together to form an action group there would be real opposition to this argument between millionaires.

Ruppert's picture

No surprise to me. If he addresses a question about "what happens in 2011 if..." honestly, the NFLPA can continue to say "See! The owners are PLANNING ON a lockout!!" And you just cannot expect the head of one side of a Labor/Management negotiation to go into much detail about the actual issues being discussed.

I don't see where he really had much to gain by handling it any differently. That doesn't mean I like it...I'd LOVE to know what's going on behind the scenes. Aaron is right, I'm sure...so would millions of fans. But you just can't expect him to do anything different, and I don't really think you can fault him for it.

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