Roger Goodell should be negotiating, not Tweeting for clicks

Hello, I'm Roger Goodell. Follow me on Twitter. (AP photo)

Hello, I'm Roger Goodell. Follow me on Twitter. (AP photo)

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

Earlier:

Dreaming of Albert Pujols as a Brave

Braves spring training: What do you think is No. 1 issue?

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

86 comments Add your comment

juvenal

February 16th, 2011
3:14 pm

JSS

February 16th, 2011
3:14 pm

What don’t you get? Goodell does not care! He has his marching orders, the lockout is coming…

And tell your colleague Ledbetter that I’m easily found. If he’s got a problem, drop me a line, I’ll surly answer!

juvenal

February 16th, 2011
3:14 pm

mammon wins again…selah……..

Jeff Schultz

February 16th, 2011
3:16 pm

JSS — What I don’t get is that a group of men can be that stupid. But I’m not falling for spin …. What’s up with you and D-Led?

cattledawg

February 16th, 2011
3:18 pm

If there is a lockout ,what will I do about fantasy football?

Jeff Schultz

February 16th, 2011
3:19 pm

By the way, I neglected to mention that @NFLCommish has 118,040 followers on Twitter. I’m just slightly behind at 5,742 . . . but rising like a rocket!

juvenal

February 16th, 2011
3:19 pm

Aesop actually explained it withh his golden egg bit……..

juvenal

February 16th, 2011
3:21 pm

heard of the deficit, Jeff? derivatives? Made-off?

cattledawg

February 16th, 2011
3:22 pm

Im for the owners, but I think they do need to do more for the p[layers healthcare.

cattledawg

February 16th, 2011
3:24 pm

I thought I signed up to follow you on twitter, but all I keep getting is emails about how to make my junk bigger.

Paul H

February 16th, 2011
3:26 pm

Jeff, would you consider doing a piece that basically breaks down the arguments of each side and what this pending lockout is all about (in layman’s terms for folks like me)?

Bryant

February 16th, 2011
3:29 pm

Why do we need a new stadium in Los Angeles they dont have a team?

Buckeye

February 16th, 2011
3:33 pm

I agree with Colin Cowherd. The league and fans needs strong franchises. Players come and go.

JSS

February 16th, 2011
3:40 pm

Jeff Schultz
February 16th, 2011
3:16 pm
“JSS — What I don’t get is that a group of men can be that stupid. But I’m not falling for spin …. What’s up with you and D-Led?”

Ledbetter and faithful band of merrymen seem to hate “sunshine.” I guess ignorance is bliss!

They (the owners) painted them self into a corner like the hockey owners did trying to destroy the NFLPA. They are going to kill teams like the Chiefs, Vikings, Bucs, Jags, Packers (to an extent), and especially the Chargers to make a point…

We have both lived in Southern California. We know why there is no team in L.A. … This stadium deal is all about the civic atmosphere. The NFL ownership is crazy if they don’t think there will be blood in the streets before any community gives them a sweet heart building deal with the mess in So. Cal real estate and Sacramento! They are that stupid!

idot

February 16th, 2011
3:46 pm

It’s all about breaking the union.

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

February 16th, 2011
3:51 pm

Watch your back Jeff I have 17 followers on twitter and I am coming strong!
I do follow you and not Goodell so i have that going for me

Matt

February 16th, 2011
3:54 pm

I’m siding with the players on this one. The NFL is a business for sure, and the players need to get as much as they can while they can. The owners will always make money; they just want more. The players have a finite amount of time to play football, and we all know there is no loyalty in football. If you get hurt, they will bring someone else in before you have a chance to get a second opinion.

uga_b

February 16th, 2011
3:59 pm

For now, I think everyone should be with the players because they are the ones that are willing to negotiate and make offers. The owners took their ball and went home, which should have been expected since they “saved” enough money up to make it through the summer.

It is very hard to tell who is being reasonable and who is being unreasonable with the books so locked up. It seems to me that owners want franchises to act both as dividends and as equity investment.

Jeff Schultz

February 16th, 2011
4:00 pm

Juvenal — yes. yes. You mean Madoff? Yeah, him too.

uga_b

February 16th, 2011
4:02 pm

Jeff, what do you think about trying to turn everything on its head and give player’s exclusive rights to their image and things like jerseys and leave the rest to the NFL? Do you think the owners would go for that? Of course not. Probably wish it was more like indentured servitude like NCAA.

Jeff Schultz

February 16th, 2011
4:04 pm

Paul H — Actually, we had one in paper the other day and I’m sure we’ll have more.
Here’s link to main story: http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-falcons/nfl-appears-headed-for-834472.html
Unfortunately can’t find link to simple breakdowns.

Fish Bisch

February 16th, 2011
4:06 pm

Go ahead a lock out NFL. I will take up a new sport like canadian football.

Fish Bisch

February 16th, 2011
4:08 pm

or lingerie football on MTV2

Jeff Schultz

February 16th, 2011
4:09 pm

JSS — Being from LA, I think it’s hysterical there’s no team there. Knowing that market, there was no way NFL could taxpayers to foot bill for a stadium. Majority of populace would respond “Screw you, I’ll go to the beach.” Fact is the rest of the country only now is catching up what L.A. decided about 15 years ago.

Jeff Schultz

February 16th, 2011
4:10 pm

South Ga. Dawg Fan — Take that, Roger! I go South Ga. Dawg Fan in my corner!

D A DoubleU G

February 16th, 2011
4:10 pm

Jeff Schultz,

You should be writing actual sports articles, instead of this crap to try and get clicks.

Bronco Billy

February 16th, 2011
4:11 pm

Guess I’ll be able to focus more on the MLB play-offs this fall…

D A DoubleU G

February 16th, 2011
4:11 pm

Jeff ,

you should actually teach Goodell the art of writing negative stories about the popular local teams in order to get clicks. You are good at that one.

LawDawg

February 16th, 2011
4:12 pm

I’m not siding with anyone. I could give a flip about this. If they miss even a game, I think the fans (who put ALL the money in BOTH SIDES’ pockets) should abandon the league for 1 year. Let us see how that affects the bargaining.

Neither side cares about the fans so why should we side with one group or the other?

Craig

February 16th, 2011
4:12 pm

if obama can tweet, so can goodell. i do think obama has even more important things to do.

fanofsquash....

February 16th, 2011
4:13 pm

sitting here thinking about the new stadiums eveybody needs….and how the packers play in open air, bitter cold air, and the fans are packed in like sardines, and how rich in history that is, and how stupid it is to say fans want and need more technology….ask the World Champion Packers about their technology and fancy stadium…..

Lowcountry Bulldawg

February 16th, 2011
4:15 pm

Neither side is going to look great throughout this process. This is the dirty side of collective bargaining. I do find it laughable for the union to think that the owners should open up there books so the players can see how much profit is being made, then and only then sit down to the bargaining table.

Owners should toe the lie, bring in replacement players. The NFL will have one down year, but the union would be disbanded after one year. Players could not afford to sit out more than one year. Owners would win.

fanofsquash....

February 16th, 2011
4:16 pm

oh yeah, add Chicago and the NE Pats to that list as well….

PMC

February 16th, 2011
4:16 pm

See the thing is, the status quo is perfectly legitimate going foward. Nothing is wrong with the league. EVERYONE is making great money.

Owners love to put it out there that they have taken all this risk? Oh really? George Halas owns the team? They aren’t risking jack squat. They are sitting on gold mines. Don’t like the operating costs? SELL THE FREAKING TEAM!!!

Under this deal everyone was making money everyone was enjoying the product… and they freaking killed it.

I hope regional blackouts become commonplace going foward and the ingame experience is horrid.

It won’t bother me to go back to being a radio fan.

PMC

February 16th, 2011
4:17 pm

These guys bought in when the going was good….now it’s unbelievably good…. and they are crying becuase municipalities aren’t building them free stadiums anymore.

The Falcon Avenger

February 16th, 2011
4:23 pm

Im with the players on this one. I know th owners make ton of money off the players who ARE THE PRODUCT. Besides that they agreed to this CBA from the last time this labor disagreement arose. The owners put all the info they can from how the players make monety but where is the statistical proof that they are hurting for the current CBA? Its all a Sham

Snake Doc

February 16th, 2011
4:26 pm

If a lockout occurs NFL really will stand for Not For Long – with me. I won’t watch another game or pay to go to another game. The NFL will be dead to me. As far as I’ve been concerned the NFL was already on life support with me as a fan. Too many commercials. Now more of a ballet league of panty waist sissy’s on offense, its not the NFL I grew up with. Lombardi is rolling over in his grave!

So, go ahead and have a lock out. I quit on baseball and its collection of spoiled brat millionaire players and owners, the NFL will mean nothing to me after they stage their little pity party of a lockout!

Goodell – I don’t give a flip about your league or your spoiled brat players and owners. You can all get bent if you stage a lockout!

GT Alum

February 16th, 2011
4:26 pm

Jeff, I’d find this blog a lot more valid if the players hadn’t been trying to win public support for their side for a while now. Yet I don’t think you were asking why the players’ union was making press releases but not negotiating before the Super Bowl.

As far as more negotiations at this point, the second day of scheduled negotiations was called off. The owners have filed legal action against the union. It sounds like the players have decided to blow up the whole structure of the NFL if a new agreement isn’t reached. I’d like for them to come together and avoid a lockout, but this sounds like a case of “irreconcilable differences.”

Heath

February 16th, 2011
4:27 pm

What’s really going to hurt the NFL is that other avenues of football are so prevelant on tv now that people won’t even miss it. I’m fairly sure Conference USA and the Canadian Football League will only be too happy to reschedule games on Sunday to fill the gap.

It wouldn’t hurt my feelings if the whole thing did cause four or five teams to pack it in. It would make the talent pool stronger on the remaining teams.

Do you think any of the leagues that are trying to step in like the new USFL will benefit from this as well?

joe

February 16th, 2011
4:28 pm

So if the players are locked out, will the owners allow scabs to play the season? Think I remember that happening back in the 80s…Might be the only chance Cleveland/Buffalo ever has at a Superbowl.

Heath

February 16th, 2011
4:29 pm

Snake Doc, I agree. Remember back when a linebacker could get within 5 yards of the QB before without them throwing a roughing the passer flag?

Too Legit to Quit

February 16th, 2011
4:35 pm

What drives me nuts is the proposed 18-game schedule. The League doesn’t need to switch a home pre-season game to a regular season game. They need to reduce the price of that home pre-season game, keeping the season ticket holders happy, players happy and mitigating the chance for increased injuries. Everybody’s happy. Except greedy owners. I already kinda get tired of football around mid-December. Now we’ll have to play into mid-February. It’s crazy talk.

Ted Striker

February 16th, 2011
4:46 pm

If college players ever figure out how to set up a union and take on the NCAA, the world will be their oyster. And the heads’ of college presidents will start to explode across the country, one by one.

fitzgerald

February 16th, 2011
4:48 pm

Both sides are greedy scumbags. Enough said about that. If players need health insurance, don’t they make enough money to buy their own insurance? If not, play and wait until 2014 and Obamacare will take care of them. Why not go to one year contracts for every player? Every year put players in one giant pool and every team will get the same amount of players at each position. Or, perhaps better yet, rotate players of each position to a different team every year. That way, a player could play 32 years on 32 one year contracts. Crazy? No more than what is going on now.

Realtalk

February 16th, 2011
4:51 pm

Goodell is such a Jerk. Worst Commish ever. All he has is bad ideas. He reminds me of our Political Elite in Washington. They don’t care what the PEOPLE have to say. Stay with me… Taking the NFL to Europe-BAD IDEA, Wants to take a super bowl there-BAD, Wants a 18 Games-BAD, All the TV and Play stops because of Instant Reply-BAD. Get rid of this Jerk. He is bad for the game. No one except the Owners wants this. They can care less about players safety. It is all about money and not about the fans. Why just look at what happened at the Superbowl this year….
BTW, Twitter is for morons too.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by drsports 845, Darrell From Ga, James Barber, John Bestdeal, Jeff Schultz and others. Jeff Schultz said: Roger Goodell should be negotiating, not Tweeting for clicks http://bit.ly/h2bI09 [...]

PMC

February 16th, 2011
5:01 pm

The health insurance thing is ridiculous because the poorest player in the league easily makes enough money to plunk down even very expensive single family premiums. That’s a red herring.

The issue is, there’s nothing wrong with this CBA and the owners killed it.

Sports Review

February 16th, 2011
5:02 pm

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

PMC

February 16th, 2011
5:02 pm

Ted Striker, the EA sports suit about the NCAA football video game going on currently… is very interesting.

Joe Tess Fish House

February 16th, 2011
5:07 pm

I hope Mr Blanks loks the Flacons out next session. They were horible against the Pack. How dare they enflict there poor play on us 1 more year. Go ahead and go in strike IM not goin 2 eath N E games next year.