Roger Goodell just stepped off the podium from his Super Bowl press conference. During this time, he spoke on a number of topics regarding the state of the National Football League. Obviously, the big question of the day is about the labor negotiations, so we'll lead off with some highlights of Roger Goodell's Press Conference.
"There are no deal breakers. We need to sit down and have a healthy conversation about the issues we have."
"That's our entire focus, making the game better.... We have to make the game better going forward"
"This isn't about the next 10 months. It's about the next 10 years."
Nothing new has been said in this press conference. The PR battle continues. Both sides are still talking about talking. That means nothing to me, as a fan. Granted, there are a ton of topics being discussed (the money, the 18 game schedule, player safety, etc.), but the way that the NFL and NFLPA are going about this is all wrong. Making the media a middle man and playing "he said, she said" isn't progress.
Are you worried about a backlash from the fans if an agreement isn't met or do you think you're immune from that?
"I do not think we're immunte from that. The fans want football."
Do you reach out to a Paul Tagliabue for advice?
"As i said earlier, I believe you need to talk to a lot of people in this job. You represent a lot of constituents, the fans the clubs the players all our business partners. You need to talk and you need to listen. I'm not worried about legacies or how i'll be percieved. I'm worried about doing the right thing."
Trust doesn't seem to exist. Why should fans trust either side when it's billionaires vs millionaires?
"What i hear from fans is that they want football. the fans aren't forgotten here. we want to bring more football and better football for the fans. We want to continue the great game that we have for our fans. they just want an agreement. That's our responsibility. I don't think anyone's going to feel sorry for either one of us if an agreement isn't met."
OCNN powered by Motorola Zoom "We want to know. Do you know how far away we are to getting a deal done?"
"Both sides are going to be prepared for every outcome. The committment between the owners is to get a deal done... It has to be done now. Let's get to work and get an agreement that works for everybody."
Still nothing new. Goodell did recognize that the fans just want a deal done. He is aware of that fact. A wise Star Wars character (Yoda) once said, "Do or do not. There is no try." The NFL and NFLPA should stop trying to get a deal done. Instead... do it.
Couldn't you have, like in college, assign an official to check all the players' pads pregame?
"We do have personnel at every gme that makes sure that the pads are worn. They aren't required. We think they should be required. We believe we need to make them mandatory. With players, you're going to have the situation 'safety vs performance'. We think you can do both."
On the penalties and fines for Head-to-Head contact
The rules apply to 32 teams and every player in the league. No exceptions. Everybody will play by the same rules.... The players adjusted.
This was a huge topic during the press conference. Player safety has been a major focus for the NFL for a long time and it will be no different this offseason. The commissioner stated numerous times that he believes safety of the players and the performance of the players are equally as important. I can't disagree with that. The players are why fans will spend $75 on a jersey. Having players injured isn't good for anyone - the fans, the players or the league.
On if the Texas snow storm:
"North Texas was prepared. New York will be prepared. I think it's going to be a great Super Bowl here and in New York."
Would you be open to cold weather cities?
"We have and we are in the sense that we're going to Indianapolis next year. This storm is affecting most of our country. When we choose to play in climates where this is more likely to happen, they are very capable playing in these kinds of conditions. We have played in Detroit, Minnesota and in Indianpolis...."
How great would it be if Denver got a Super Bowl? Well, from the sounds of Roger Goodell's answer, don't count on it. Yeah, yeah... I heard him say that he would put a Super Bowl in a cold weather city. But all of the examples he mentioned had indoor stadiums.
Should the Rooney Rule be tweaked?
"I think anything can be improved. The Rooney Rule has been extraordinarily successful. It has made the NFL better. We have had better people that have been exposed, given an opportunity and succeeded. I think it's great for the game of football. I think we can tweak that and we will look at that and see what we can do."
Interesting that the final question was about the Rooney Rule. I think that when the reporter posed this question, he was searching for a bit more. I know that there is a belief, not just from me, that many clubs will grant an interview to a minority just so they can check the Rooney Rule off of their list or requirements. Just because a candidate is interviewed doesn't mean they have a legitimate chance at the job.
I know that this is the NFL's way of being outspoken about diversity, but I think many of us are past this. The best candidate will get the job, regardless of the color of their skin or place of birth. The NFL is such a competitive league. Winning means everything in this league, race means nothing.
On technology in the NFL. Could I-pads be used in-game for coaches on the sidelines? Could fans be allowed to listen to in game calls through a headset?
"You talk about something that is critical, I believe to the NFL. Innovation. To continue success, we have to improve everything we do. One of the great things about technology is that it's made the game greater for our fans.... whether you're in the stadium or at home, we have a great product."
This is one of my favorite topics of the interview. Yes, I found the labor agreement to be interesting, but it didn't really give us anything new to discuss. The technology, however, is something that isn't being talked about very much.
When the reporter mentioned the idea of allowing fans to listen to in game calls through a headset, my eyes lit up. Currently, NASCAR had a similar product called "NASCAR FanView". You could plug in some headphones to this device and listen to the radio communications of any team on the track. It also had a television screen that you could access different information like lap times, speeds, and driver positions.
The NFL could really benefit from something like this, in my opinion. The fans are becoming so much more knowledgeable about the game, formations and play calling. This would give the hard-core fans another reason to come to the stadium. Of course, there are all kinds of variables that could halt this such as opposing teams listening to play calls, but the concept is definitely something of interest.