Do you remember Jon Lovitz’ “Pathological Liar” character from Saturday Night Live a few too many years back? That’s exactly how this incredibly self-serving and bullshit-laden apology from NFL Commissioner Roger “Kommissar” Goodell reads. Check it out for yourself…
To NFL Fans:
The National Football League is at its best when the focus is on the players and the action on the field, not on labor negotiations.
Just so you know, that is the only non-crap line in this whole message from the Kommissar.
All of us who love the sport appreciate the skills and dedication of the players and coaches. That is why we are focused not just on what happens on the field but what our game will be like in another decade or two. The NFL has always tried to look ahead, to innovate, and to constantly improve in all we do.
First of all, Rog, you don’t have the first clue what the world of sports will look like in 30 years. Three decades ago, the NFL still trailed baseball in terms of popularity. Three decades ago, boxing still mattered. Three decades ago, NASCAR was a regional endeavor for southern gear-heads. An nobody thought that would ever change.
Three decades from now, things could be very different in America. I know white America doesn’t want to admit this, but 30 years from now the plurality of people in this country could be of Hispanic descent. There’s also a very good possibility that in the next three decades we could see a massive emigration into the U.S. from China. If those things happen, the odds are that soccer will be the most popular sport in this country, with a close second being baseball. Asians and Hispanics both love soccer and baseball, and couldn’t give a shit less about the NFL.
We recognize that some decisions may be difficult to accept in the passion of the moment, but my most important responsibility is to improve the game for this generation and the next.
I believe in accountability, not excuses. And I regret we were not able to secure an agreement sooner in the process and avoid the unfortunate distractions to the game. You deserve better.
Gee, Rog…why is it that I deserve better than I’m getting? Could it be because I, and every other fan out there, are the ones who are paying the freight for this league that you are slowly, but surely killing through sheer mis-management. You are right, we deserve better than Thursday night games being used to prop up your dying television venture which still can’t be seen in half the household in America. We deserve better than archaic television “black-out” rules, and we deserve better than being gouged for those tickets and for the ability to escape your ridiculous regional broadcasting concept. Face it, anything more than 200 bucks for the NFL Sunday Ticket is nothing short of highway robbery.
And while we’re at it, Rog, don’t hand me anymore of your bullshit about “decisions” and passion of the moment. I know you want me to believe that the “Monday Night Fiasco” had nothing to do with the rush to end this labor dispute, and that’s a complete pant-load.
You will never convince me of that because we all saw how you handled the lockout with the players. You spent years planning both that lockout and this one with the officials. Both of those lockouts were orchestrated by you, Rog, in concert with dick-holes like Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft, and they were both intended to break the unions. You failed with the players, largely because you over-played your hand, and you failed with the referees because you gambled that the scab official wouldn’t fuck the game up so badly there would be a public outcry. You gambled, and you lost.
As a lifelong fan, this wasn’t an easy process for anyone involved. I particularly want to commend the replacement officials for taking on an unenviable task and doing it with focus and dedication in the most adverse of circumstances.
In other words, you want to commend a bunch of guys who were woefully under-prepared to do a job that you under-valued, and when they failed, you threw them under the bus. We all know that had the “Monday Night Fiasco” never happened, you had every intention of starving the officials’ union out of existence. Because you didn’t appreciate there actually is some skill involved in officiating an NFL game, you thought you could get away with a bunch small and junior college guys.
Our new agreement gives long-term stability to an important aspect of our game, officiating. More important, with this agreement, officiating will be better in the long run. While the financial issues received the most attention, these negotiations were much more about long-term reforms. For example, beginning with the 2013 season, the NFL will have the option of hiring a number of officials on a full-time basis to work year-round, including on the field. In addition, the NFL will have the option to retain additional officials for training and development purposes, and may assign those additional officials to work NFL games.
Your new agreement also sets you up for an even uglier set of labor problems when the collective bargaining agreements with the players and the referees expire, because they’ve all seen the screwing you tried to lay on them this time around, and they aren’t going to forget it. The problem is one of these days which you don’t even see coming, you will take another one of these poorly-executed gambles only to find out the fans have decided to move on. Watch what the NHL is about to do to itself if you don’t believe that.
We are moving forward with the finest officials in sports back on the field. It’s time to put the focus where it belongs – on the clubs and players and our magnificent game, with a special thanks to our fans for their passion.
The fans deserve a “thank you” not for their passion, but because they didn’t take their sports entertainment dollar somewhere else. Keep screwing around like this, and one day they just might do that.