Goodell Gets His Contract And NFL Owners Give Fans The One-Finger Salute

This week  the National Football League (NFL) owners finally confirmed what was long understood but never concretely confirmed: their utter contempt for football fans.  Despite the open hatred shown by fans for Commissioner Roger Goodell  for years, the owners agreed to a five-year contract extension worth nearly $40 million a year.  It has long been assumed that Goodell was a handy shill for the owners in taking actions that were distinctly anti-fan.  Goodell has taken the criticism while the owners kept their distance. Now however they have established that they were behind Goodell’s unpopular actions all along and cemented the NFL as the most hostile business toward its own customers in the world.  As a lifelong football (Bears) fan, I have been torn between my growing dissatisfaction with the NFL and my love for the game.  Like many fans, this move at least brings clarity to the position of the owners.

Goodell is without question the most unpopular commissioner. A recent poll shows that 60 percent of fans object to Goodell’s handling of the protest controversy.  However, the owners decided to renew his contract (he demanded $50 million a year plus the lifetime use of a private plane from the NFL).  Many were shocked by Goodell’s demand for a lifetime private plane but Goodell is so hated by fans that he may be reluctant to even walk through an airport.

Goodell has been widely denounced for his alleged covering up of the dangers of concussions until there was no way to avoid addressing the serious medical problem facing players.  He is also responsible for contracts that routinely ripped off fans like his recurring contracts with DishTV that requires fans to hand over their cable contracts at ridiculous prices if they want to watch their teams play (a contract denounced by consumer advocates).  Then he was widely criticized for his own obscene salary, shaking down artists, and corrupt contracts and demands from cities who might want to host the Superbowl.

There is an interesting potential problem for the NFL owners.  They tied most of Goodell’s contract to performance.  Thus, if fans continue to boycott the games, he could well face a reduction of salary. Given the deep antagonism for Goodell, that prospect might be even more attractive for fans in boycotting games.  Otherwise Goodell is on track to earn more than Brady and Brees.

It is fascinating to see the gamble of the owners at a time from fan attendance is down and viewership is down over the anthem protests.  The owners clearly believe that fans have short attention spans that there is nothing that they cannot charge or insult that they can deliver that would significantly decrease profits.  The question is whether they are right but fans are forced to watch Goodell for the next five years.


23 thoughts on “Goodell Gets His Contract And NFL Owners Give Fans The One-Finger Salute”

  1. Football is boring. Get the names of the kneelers’ churches and go stand for the anthem when they kneel and pray.

  2. Few other enterprises can stick it to the fans (paying customers) and still survive. Then, I thought to myself: just who are the NFL’s paying customers? Oh right… the advertisers. Let’s see what happens when the advertisers begin realizing that the lumpenproletariat have stopped watching NFL broadcasts and stopped buying their products. Maybe then, we’ll see a change.

    In the meantime, the people most hurt by the empty stadium seats are the municipalities that own/run the stadiums and the vendors.

    PS – College football is much more fun to watch.

    1. I’m not certain there’s much difference between the NFL and NCAA football other than the pay received by the players.

      1. I haven’t seen any of the players take a knee yet. Or organize in support of BLM.

  3. If you don’t like the product, don’t buy it. Also, you can always start up your own professional sports league.

    In this case, the glibertarian argument actually works.

  4. Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

    Proverbs: 16:18

    1. Nick:

      Since we’re on a Biblical bent today, here’s my pertinent alltime favorite from that Roman convert of some repute:

      “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools …”

      Man, that’s good writing.

  5. This from Dallas…. Cowboys fans are generally split in their opinion of Jerry Jones. But they unanimously revile Goodell for suspending a player for “crimes” that the police said cannot be proven, from a victim who has serious credibility issues, AND by a Commissioner whose own investigator said that there is very little credible evidence in the matter. So, we are proud of Jerry for standing up to Goodell (until the rest of the owners threatened to cancel his franchise ownership).

    One more thing about Jerry: he hates to lose and loves revenge. Goodell won this battle but the war is not over.

  6. As a life long Vikings fan this season is exactly what I would have dreamed up. I’m trying to ignore the NFL but of coarse, this will be the year that Minnesota goes to the super bowl and wins it and I will have to be a closet watcher. But, the thought that keeps running through my head is that the NFL will never let the Vikes be in the super bowl this year since it is being hosted in their stadium. And I believe, that no team has ever had home field advantage in the super bowl.

    1. Likewise Jim. I grew up in Minneapolis during the 60’s and 70’s and have always been a Vikings fan. When I came out to San Diego I also became a Chargers fan. I’ve always dreamed of a Vikings/Chargers Superbowl. This would ensure I would finally have win. I’ll likely continue to watch the NFL on TV, but would never attend another game or buy their merchandise.

  7. As a New Patriots fan I can honestly tell you ” There’s no good in Goodall”!

  8. The best way to put an end to this debauchery is for each person to put an end to watching professional football and buying its merchandise. As long as sufficient numbers of fans continue to watch nothing will change.

    For myself there are several businesses and individuals I refuse to give money or time to. I know my payments matter little in the grand scheme but at least I have the satisfaction of knowing I am not enabling dishonorable entities.

  9. I only worry about college football. Professional football is a rip-off and I am not going to contribute to Goodell’s salary. I haven’t been a fan of professional football since the Baltimore Colts snuck out of town in the middle of the night to go to Indianapolis. At least Johnny Unitas had the intestinal fortitude to tell them to take his records out of their book since he only played for Baltimore.

  10. I used to enjoy an afternoon watching the game of football but then it became a business and now a field of protests. So now I enjoy watching TMC. TMC broadcasts film noir.

  11. I see no gamble among the owners. With the TV contracts, luxury seat licenses, season tickets, parking concessions, memorabilia, et al;, owners have house money to play with. It seems a bit frivolous to target the commissioner when he represents the owners with their full consent.

    1. The owners are the richest 0.1% taking care of each other.
      Owners offload the business risks to the community when taxpayers build their stadiums.
      The players take the risks when providing their services.
      Cut the owners out of the deal.

      If a community as an owner makes a profit or, if opportunity is created for businesses who benefit from city teams (along with their employees), that’s great. If community members are sympathetic to players who take a knee, they will express that.

      Does Turley think that in a public stadium built with tax payer dollars, a player should be denied the right to kneel because some poll claims that people don’t like it, which just happens to conform with Trump’s conflation of the protest and veterans? Relative to proportionate population demographics, what is minority representation among veterans?

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