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Old 03-14-2011, 07:01 PM   #1
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Default Blame for mess NFL finds itself in must start with Goodell

Blame for mess NFL finds itself in must start with Goodell
http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/1...t-with-goodell
By Mike Freeman
CBSSports.com National Columnist
March 13, 2011Tell Mike your opinion!

It was December, and the clock was still ticking. Yes, remember when there was still a labor clock? There was hope Laborgeddon could be avoided. Roger Goodell met with a small group of fans in Foxborough, Mass., and was asked if peace could be brokered.

"I think it's critically important to avoid" a work stoppage, Goodell said in remarks to the media after his talk with fans. "We need to have a system that works for everybody, but I think everybody would agree that what's most important is football, and that we should work very hard to avoid that."

When Goodell took over for Paul Tagliabue as commissioner in September of 2006, his sole job in many ways was to avoid the disastrous circumstances the league faces today. Obviously, he failed.

It's not a coincidence the NFL is experiencing its first work stoppage in nearly a quarter of a century during the Reign of Goodell.

Goodell is a good man with solid intentions. But his reputation for heavy-handedness with the players over the past few years -- the excessive punishments, the harsh suspensions -- led to a level of distrust that carried into negotiations, several players say.

The distrust in Goodell has been building for years -- not weeks -- and the failed talks were a symptom. As Goodell suspended players for entire seasons, union player reps watched. As Goodell sometimes displayed an attitude that he was a king and they were serfs, players watched. (Take out the "sometimes" and this statement is 100% correct. - mesa) As Goodell and the owners asked for a cool $1 billion refund without giving a detailed explanation why a league swimming in an orgy of cash was suddenly broke, they watched some more. When Carolina owner Jerry Richardson was condescending in meetings with the players they ... watched.

After the bungled attempt to use television money as a lockout fund became public, anger and distrust, building for some time in the player ranks, mixed into a highly volatile brew, several players said in interviews with CBSSports.com over the past week. The distance between Goodell and some players may in fact now be impossible to close.

There was one example of that anger after mediation collapsed. In a news conference, league lawyer Jeff Pash stated a litany of things owners were said to have offered the players. One person close to the players association responded bluntly: "Pash lies and Goodell isn't doing [expletive] about it." A player added: "Pash is standing there saying things he knows aren't true, and Roger is right there, not stopping it."

The pleasantries are over, and now it's full-fledged war between the NFL and its players

"Jeff Pash lied," NFLPA lawyer Jim Quinn said. "Jeff Pash lied to the players, he lied to the fans."

Criticism of Goodell is mostly muted in the press, because unlike Tagliabue, the current commissioner has an extraordinarily friendly relationship with many in the football media. (and an "extraordinary" friendly relationship with the Cheats. - mesa)

In fairness to Goodell, it does take two to get a deal done. But Goodell and the owners clearly took the hard-ass route, and doing so with a bunch of athletes who compete for a living, failing to realize their testosterone levels would rise considerably, was a huge mistake.

This doesn't mean Goodell should have caved. It just means he took a different approach from Tagliabue, and it didn't work.

NFLPA leader DeMaurice Smith is different from predecessor Gene Upshaw and Goodell is different from Tagliabue, so it's difficult to compare one set of leaders to another. Still, Tagliabue was adept at keeping the anger and distrust at minimal levels when dealing with the union. One former union rep compared Tagliabue to Bill Clinton (minus the bimbo eruptions) in that Tagliabue could get almost anyone to listen to his viewpoint.

The odd thing about Tagliabue's legacy (he should be in the Hall of Fame) is that the media portrayed him as a cold automaton. Privately, he was anything but. Tagliabue gained Upshaw's trust while Goodell never truly earned Smith's.

Tagliabue accomplished two things Goodell couldn't. First, Tagliabue didn't try to steamroll the players. Second, he kept the angry owners away from the process. Most of the meetings with Upshaw involved small groups of negotiating teams. There was more communication. There was also more give and take.

I'm absolutely convinced that if Tagliabue was commissioner, a deal would've been consummated. There's no question about it.

Now, everything moves to the court system. It should have never gone this far and hasn't for many years. But here we are. Here we go. There is plenty of blame, but Goodell's primary mission was to stop this.

And he failed.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: Blame for mess NFL finds itself in must start with Goodell

Give me a break!!! With all do respect I believe the NFL bent over backwards to make this thing work, and again the union is keeping people out of work instead of doing what's it's supposed to do and keeping them employed . watch tis video http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d...on-decertifies and tell me what you think. I have been following this for some time, and it seems as though the Players union is holding all this up for what? Transparency on financial records of the owners. Even though they agreed to release past financials prior and including 2009 it seems as though it's never enough. All of this to claim that the owners don't need a peice of the pie because of their already established wealth. And the players aren't wealthy? when was the last time you saw an NFL owner making millions on a commercial. They pay well, and I agree it is none of their business what the owners make. They take all the risk IE. on top ten drafts whom are garunteed millions, and often more than not are a waste of money. They take all the risk, put up all the dough, and need to report the capital on their risk. What business owners are subject to this. None !! except the NFL owners. What a stupid reason to risk salaries of so many. Billions of dollars are at the disposal of both sides. and the owners want a more even slice. they have even cut their request of 1 biliion to 800 million to 500.million, and have agreed to better retirement for players, already retired a 60% increase, and a sweeter deal to keep this thing going. But the union has made it all about control, and power, and have made it clear that if they don't get every thing they want! Game over! pompuss jerks !!! While all these players suffer they play power games!! The compromises the owners have made will all but alliviate the piece of the pie they are asking for.

Last edited by thebus36idf; 03-15-2011 at 12:27 AM. Reason: editing
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: Blame for mess NFL finds itself in must start with Goodell

After watching the video, it makes me think that this whole thing for the players is about more than just money and numbers. I'm sure they are going after the money thing due to the excessive fines that the league has put on some players for what they feel are "innocent" or "legal" hits. I couldn't imagine trying to work with the guys in suits and ties, because I'm sure they dehumanize players and view them as their "property" and they should be happy with what the owners are willing to give them.

Yes, I think athletes are overpaid. Yes, I think that in comparison to other careers (firefighters, teachers, police officers, military personel) the NFL players and owners are a bunch of greedy punks. But America is way too backwards to fix that.

After Goodell was done speaking, I noticed he went into the back and began talking to the female and was smiling and laughing. I'm pretty sure that if I was the face of a failing company, I would not be in the mood to be joking around and I would be darn sure to be paying CLOSE attention to what everyone on my side was saying.
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: Blame for mess NFL finds itself in must start with Goodell

It never ceases to amaze me how workers are always the greedy ones in our society, no matter how much or how little they earn. The wealth of owners is never questioned. Never mind that they contribute nothing.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: Blame for mess NFL finds itself in must start with Goodell

I do not understand why anyone would support the owners. Goodell is the problem and the reason they are in this situation is because of him. He created the distain from him, owners and down to the players. He should resign and go do something else. He has been the worst commissioner i have ever seen in sports, and will continue to get worse every year. The owners and goodell are greedy, hypocritical aholes. Thats not me just forming my own narrow minded opinion. Look at what this guy has done over the last 2 years alone. Stole money from players for doing their job. Suspended players left and right on his own idea of what the situation was. I can go on and on.

Goodell needs to go. Pur and simple. This whole thing might be a blessing in disguise, but I think these issues wouldnt even be an issue if Goodell wasnt commissioner.
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:54 AM   #6
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Default Re: Blame for mess NFL finds itself in must start with Goodell

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebus36idf View Post
Give me a break!!! With all do respect I believe the NFL bent over backwards to make this thing work, and again the union is keeping people out of work instead of doing what's it's supposed to do and keeping them employed . watch tis video http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d...on-decertifies and tell me what you think. I have been following this for some time, and it seems as though the Players union is holding all this up for what? Transparency on financial records of the owners. Even though they agreed to release past financials prior and including 2009 it seems as though it's never enough. All of this to claim that the owners don't need a peice of the pie because of their already established wealth. And the players aren't wealthy? when was the last time you saw an NFL owner making millions on a commercial. They pay well, and I agree it is none of their business what the owners make. They take all the risk IE. on top ten drafts whom are garunteed millions, and often more than not are a waste of money. They take all the risk, put up all the dough, and need to report the capital on their risk. What business owners are subject to this. None !! except the NFL owners. What a stupid reason to risk salaries of so many. Billions of dollars are at the disposal of both sides. and the owners want a more even slice. they have even cut their request of 1 biliion to 800 million to 500.million, and have agreed to better retirement for players, already retired a 60% increase, and a sweeter deal to keep this thing going. But the union has made it all about control, and power, and have made it clear that if they don't get every thing they want! Game over! pompuss jerks !!! While all these players suffer they play power games!! The compromises the owners have made will all but alliviate the piece of the pie they are asking for.
I see Jerry Jones in lots of commercials.
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Old 03-16-2011, 04:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: Blame for mess NFL finds itself in must start with Goodell

It bears mentioning that there is zero financial risk to being an NFL owner. There are indeed personnel and management risks: Will this 1st round pick pan out? Is he a character problem? Does this coach know what he's doing? Do we have enough depth at this position? So on and so forth.

But financial risk has been completely eliminated from the NFL's business model. All you have to do is look at the Bills, Bengals, Cardinals, etc. to see the "risk" these owners take on when they make poor decisions and operate hideously crappy teams. They are all fabulously profitable franchises, the envy of the sports world.

Stop being such an obedient American, and stop crying for the rich folks. It makes zero sense to say "There's no sympathy for those millionaires in these tough times" and then immediately start showing sympathy for the billionaires. I just don't get it.
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