With the potential of a $9 billion league blowing up in roughly a few weeks because NFL owners and players can’t figure out how to divide their gold bars and caviar, Roger Goodell just did the last thing you would expect: He Tweeted.
Never mind have a meeting with owners. Never mind having a meeting with players. Never mind the novel concept of setting up a meeting with owners and players . . . wait for it . . . together!
The absurdity of an NFL lockout just reached a new level because it’s clear now Goodell is worried only about winning a public relations battle. At 2:27 p.m Wednesday, he sent out a message on Twitter from @NFLCommish address: “Here’s why the status quo is not an option for the next CBA.” And then he added a link to an op-en piece that began running in media outlets last week, titled, “We need an agreement both sides can live with.”
Goodell presumably sent out his link for the same reason I send out my links: to increase page views because there’s an editor standing behind him with a blowtorch. This confirms that the NFL wants to copy the long-successful business model of the thriving newspaper industry and AJC.com, which of course leads to one question: Where’s my share of the $9 billion?
But seriously . . .
I don’t want to take sides at this time on the owners vs. players debate because the fact it has gotten this far — less than three weeks from the expiration of the CBA — illustrates that both sides are idiots. But if the commissioner of the NFL is Tweeting, it shows he cares more about perception than getting a deal done.
Let me also pull excerpts of Goodell’s manifesto:
– “From 2001 to 2009, player compensation doubled and the teams committed a total of $34 billion to player costs. The NFL is healthy in many respects, but we do not have a healthy business model that can sustain growth.”
Comment: I love how he got specific about player salaries but not owner revenues. Just a modest reference to the NFL being “healthy.”
– Goodell wrote, “We need an agreement that both sides can live with and obtain what they need, not simply what they want.” Yet later he referenced, “We need new stadiums in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego; and the ability for more league investment in new technology to improve service to fans in stadiums and at home.”
Comment: Actually, new stadiums are not what owners need. That’s what owners want. They want bigger TV screens. They want more luxury suites. They want to make more money. Problem is that owners can’t find sucker governments to build them stadiums like they used it.
But it’s all about the spin, right?
I’ve never been more certain that there will be a lockout. Why? Because the commissioner of the NFL isn’t focused on getting a deal done. He’s focused on selling you his side. And getting page views.
By Jeff Schultz