Thursday, March 10, 2011

11 comments Yeah, Roger Goodell Should Resign If An Agreement Can't Be- - -Wait, What?

Gene Wojciechowski. I think you've done it this time. Gene has now written a column saying if Roger Goodell can't reach an agreement with the player's union by the end of this week, then he should resign. What a dedicated, noble, and completely idiotic decision that would be. If you forced me to choose the villains during this NFL lockout, I would choose the owners. They seem to be more greedy and willing to use the NFL players for their own monetary gain, while asking the players to play more games and share more of the pie. Of course, most of the NFL players are pretty wealthy regardless and they have chosen to play the game of football knowing it is a violent sport. This isn't about that really. It's is about the complete leap in logic to go from "the owners and the union can't reach an agreement" to "the commissioner should resign because the owners and union can't reach an agreement." What would Goodell resigning even do? Unfortunately for us, Gene has an answer.

Roger Goodell has a decision to make this week. Does he want to be a $10 million mouthpiece for NFL owners, or a difference-maker who rescues his employers from themselves?

Those are his only two options. Choose wisely Mr. Goodell or prepare to die. Don't be a douche and force the owners into making an agreement they don't want to make to help set up a labor problem down the road nor continue to represent the owners the way they want to be represented in this negotiation. There is no in-between.

The entire logic of saying, "Roger Goodell should resign if an agreement can't be reached by the end of this week blows my mind." Let's compare this to other situations to show just how stupid this premise truly is.

"President Obama should resign from office if Congress can't agree upon a budget by the end of this week."

"This attorney should retire if he can't convince his client to plead guilty in this case."

"That judge should not run for re-election if he can't get both sides to agree upon a settlement in this case."

"ESPN should disband their family of networks if Gene Wojciechowski can't write a year's worth of columns that I enjoy."

I could go on and on, but to say Goodell should resign if an agreement can't be reached makes very little sense to me.

It's one or the other.

No, it's not.

Goodell has a single job as commissioner of the world's most profitable sports league: Make the NFL trains run on time. If he can't do that, then it's time to find another conductor.

First off, it's March. It is a bit too early to hit the panic button. There may or may not be a lockout. Personally, I get the feeling we are ahead of the expected curve right now. At least some things are being agreed upon. In this case, making the NFL trains run on time involves assistance from the player's union as well as the owners. Should DeMaurice Smith resign with Roger Goodell if an agreement isn't reached?

Second, Goodell has done a great job of making the NFL trains run on time. This lockout is mostly owner-created. Yes, Goodell works for them, but I have a feeling Roger Goodell does not care to see a lockout.

That's right, Goodell should resign immediately if this owners-created labor dispute becomes a living, breathing lockout by the end of Friday's federally mediated negotiating deadline. Once the owners press the nuclear lockout button, then Goodell must go.

"Federally mandated negotiating deadline." I like how Gene writes this like Roger Goodell was breaking a federal law if an agreement isn't reached. I'm surprised Gene doesn't suggest Goodell should go to prison for not having an agreement reached by the end of this week.

The NFL isn't broken. Or broke. It is a $9 billion industry that continues to grow as if it has an overactive pituitary gland. Other leagues put their heads on their pillows each night and dream of becoming the NFL.

So naturally, the guy who is responsible for some of that should resign because the player's union and the owners can't come to an agreement. Nothing would make the negotiations go so much smoother than for the owner's principle to resign in the middle of negotiations. That'll show 'em!

It just makes sense to do this...as long as you aren't thinking too hard about it. Goodell is by many accounts a great commissioner. It really isn't completely his fault the NFL is in this situation and he is just representing the owners the way they want to be represented. There is a labor battle going on. Consistent leadership at the head of both the player's union and the owners is absolutely crucial. So why break up that consistency? What kind of reasoning would a person use to believe this would help the negotiations go more smoothly?

Of course, Goodell and the owners want you to believe that the league's future is dangerously fragile, that a reconfigured collective bargaining agreement (conveniently reconfigured to the owners' specifications) is preventative medicine -- necessary and good for the health of the league.

They are assholes and they are trying to negotiate. What the hell do you expect them to do? Say, "We don't need any more money and the league will continue to thrive without a new CBA. We just want the players to play more games to endanger their health and we just want more money for ourselves to spend on really expensive shit and that's why we want the players to give us more of the pie. Oh yeah, we are going to murder a kitten for everyday the agreement isn't reached."

But what if they're wrong?

But what if they're right?

What if 2012 really brings the end of the world and this agreement means nothing and there won't be a Super Bowl in New Jersey where it is too cold anyway and the Super Bowl should never be played there and what about Tiki Barber unretiring isn't he like Brett Favre and I know he only unretired because he needs money because he has affairs with women and his ex-wife knows about it so that's why he is unretiring for more money to pay her but what if he doesn't get to play very long because the world is ending in 2012 do we have a contingency plan if the Mayan calendar is correct we probably don't so it doesn't matter if an agreement is reached so we just need to see as much football as possible before the worldwide flooding starts.

Goodell has been a master of repeating the company line … even though the company line has more holes in it than a mesh game jersey.

Gene does know who Goodell works for, right? Roger Goodell can't announce that he thinks this is all bullshit and he sees the players point of view. That would be sort of contrary to what is job actually is. The owners may be wrong, but Goodell shouldn't retire if an agreement isn't reached. That's just stupid.

Here's the bottom line: The NFL generates more annual revenue than the NBA and NHL combined (with about $2 billion to spare). The NFL, which owns almost every meaningful record for most-watched television programming, can fall out of bed and get a 33 share.

And again, Gene thinks change at the top is the best thing for the NFL in the long run. Sort of dumb isn't? We are halfway through this article and STILL Gene hasn't said why Goodell resigning is a good idea...he just says it needs to happen because Goodell has presided over the NFL becoming the most popular sport in the United States. Success like this can only lead to a resignation when there is a disagreement, because despite all that success the mere idea of a lockout means Roger Goodell isn't doing his job. Let's ignore the owners are the ones driving this lockout along with Roger Goodell.

This is no mom-and-pop business, unless Pop is Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the business is worth $1.65 billion. And, as The Wall Street Journal noted several months ago, the least valuable NFL franchise (the Oakland Raiders) is worth more than the Chicago Cubs or the Los Angeles Lakers.

And this is why Roger Goodell should resign? The NFL has done so well, he alone and with none of the owners help, is preventing an agreement from being reached? It's bullshit.

Gene can't really believe the owners aren't dictating the terms to Goodell can he? Of course Goodell wants there to be an agreement reached so the NFL can continue to make a shitload of money and he looks like a genius for preventing a lockout. Unfortunately the owners and the union can't reach an agreement at this point.

The players didn't create this crisis; the owners did. They're the ones who signed off on the last CBA in 2006. (Goodell, by the way, played a role in those negotiations.)

So now the negotiations in 2006 when Roger Goodell wasn't even the commissioner are partially his fault as well? As well documented by Peter King, that deal was Paul Tagliabue's baby. He knew at the time the owners would opt-out of it. I'm not defending the owners, and it seems like they signed off on a deal that they knew wasn't the best possible deal, but they would have created a very similar crisis to what is happening today in 2006 by not agreeing to the CBA. Essentially, my understanding is this lockout would have happened at some point anyway, whether it be 2006 or 2011.

I'm not sure what Gene expected Goodell to do since he wasn't the commissioner and the owners signed off on the 2006 CBA. Tell them labor peace is a bad idea and make sure a deal doesn't get done? If he actually did that, then perhaps he should resign then.

At the time, Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney gushed to The Associated Press, "We've got the best labor deal in sports."

But now they want a mulligan?

Yeah, they want more money. Shocking for that to happen isn't it?

Anyway, whose fault is it if a franchise drafts poorly, plans poorly and spends poorly?

I'm not sure how this is relevant.

The owners want to make more money. Can't blame them for that. But until the owners can actually prove there's an electrical fire in the league's revenue wiring, then you can't blame the players for squeezing their wallets shut.

No, you can't blame them. No one is blaming them for this, but this has nothing to do with Roger Goodell resigning. It is all a part of the negotiation process. Gene has not even addressed what this entire article is supposed to be about. It is supposed to be about why Roger Goodell should resign if an agreement is not reached by the end of this week. I don't think anyone disagrees the owners are greedy (except the owners), but what does this have to do with Roger Goodell doing such a poor job he should resign?

Goodell says no new stadiums have been built since 2006 -- the message being that owners can't afford the cost of new construction. But 21 new stadium projects were initiated and/or completed during the 17-year reign of Goodell's predecessor, Paul Tagliabue.

So Goodell's statement is actually correct, regardless of whether the stadiums need to be built or not? You can disagree with Goodell on this issue, but he isn't be dishonest or doing anything that would cause him to need to resign in making this statement.

Something has to give, preferably the stubbornness of the owners. That's where Goodell comes in -- or should.

Because the owners are stubborn, Goodell should resign!

Goodell is the son of a politician, so he was raised on the importance of compromise and consensus building. One way or the other, he has to herd 32 very rich and very entrenched cats through these negotiations.

Try to get 32 people to agree on something. Now try to get 32 people who are wealthy and used to getting their way to agree on something. It isn't as easy as Gene wants it to be and the fact Goodell has been raised on the importance of compromise and consensus building may indicate he is a good person to herd them through the negotiations...which means he shouldn't resign if an agreement isn't reached by the end of this week.

He has to convince them (and perhaps himself) that a lockout would be the dumbest idea since showing up for a Wonderlic test without a No. 2 pencil.

No one really thinks a lockout is a good idea. Let's be clear on that. Both sides are playing a game of "chicken" right now pretending they are willing to go through a lockout. The owners want to fill their stadiums with fans in Fall of 2011 and the players need their money so they continue to live the lifestyle they have been living.

The last thing these negotiations need is an owners' lap dog who yaps at all the wrong times and for all the wrong reasons.

So let me get this straight: Gene is criticizing Goodell for being a part of the 2006 CBA negotiations where Paul Tagliabue got the owners to accept an agreement they now seem to regret and for being a part of the team that wasn't the owner's lap dog that got the deal done? Gene is also criticizing Goodell for being a part of the 2011 CBA negotiations where the owners are taking a hard stance and refuse to accept an agreement they don't like like they did in 2006?

So by getting the owners to compromise on an agreement they don't like, Goodell screwed up in 2006. By not getting the owners to agree to another agreement they don't like, Goodell is currently screwing up. The common theme is the owners aren't happy and are greedy. That's where the blame should lie, not on Goodell.

We know Goodell can hand down discipline and fines, but can he lead? Can he solve?

He's done a pretty damn good job leading and solving problems since taking for Tagliabue. I don't favor every decision he has made of course, but he's done a good job. Gene should take notice of all the positive things he said about how the NFL is doing earlier in this same column. That's partially Roger Goodell's doing.

Years from now, nobody will particularly care how Goodell dealt with Spygate, Michael Vick, Ben Roethlisberger, helmet-to-helmet contact, Ines Sainz, Philadelphia snowstorms or Brett Favre. But everybody will remember whether he contributed to a lockout or prevented one.

This is a clear pro-player stance that Gene is taking. I don't hate his stance, but using the same logic of contributing to a lockout or preventing one as whether Goodell should resign or not, shouldn't the same thing go for DeMaurice Smith? Isn't he responsible also for contributing or preventing a lockout.

The owners suck. Good luck to anyone, including Roger Goodell, to convince them to take a deal they don't like. Gene Wojciechowski clearly was up against a deadline and needed to write something. So he wrote that Roger Goodell should retire if an agreement isn't reached by the end of this week, which fails on so many levels of logic it actually amazes me.

11 comments:

ivn said...

...the message being that owners can't afford the cost of new construction.

but the owners really only foot about half the bill on new stadiums, if that. maybe the reason no new stadiums have been built is because the economy has gone completely down the shitter in 2006 and cities no longer want to invest hundreds of millions of dollars on an "investment" that they see very little returns on?

I actually kind of side with Gene Wochziaoiegnwski here (emphasis on kind of). Goodell was handed the reigns to one of the biggest cash cows in the country and he hasn't really been doing a great job; it also appears as though both the owners and the NFLPA have little respect for him. resigning in the event of a lockout might not be a bad idea.

Martin said...

There really aren't any new stadiums to build, except in California, and the state and local governments have told the NFL to go F itself about a dozen times when it shows up with it's hand out.

They want 1.8 billion a year for stadium and other expenses? WTF? Gold plated toilet seats? They couldn't even get the temporary seats for their biggest game of the year built on time and to code.

In the end, I have to place this on Richardson and Kraft and their boys. Roger can only do so much arm twisting.

Also, um, wasn't Cowboy Stadium finished two years ago? Meaning well after 2006?

Bengoodfella said...

Ivn, the economy is a key factor as to why stadiums haven't been built. I don't think the lockout is primarily really about that, though the owners will do anything to act like they are so poor and need help.

I don't think resigning in the event of a lockout would serve much purpose. I think the owners have respect for him, I just think they are so money-hungry and greedy they will pretty run over whoever they have to in order to get what they want. I think Goodell has done a fairly good job. He has made the NFL even more popular and the product is still good. I think a lockout would show the greed of the owners more than anything else.

Martin, that's so true about the building for the Super Bowl this year. I know the NFL will come to California, I just don't know when and how it will go over. Like you said, all indications are that the government can't help build a stadium and with the financial problems of California it isn't a high priority.

I agree. I think Goodell doesn't want a lockout b/c it affects his legacy. He wants everyone to agree, but the owners are hell-bent and I think Goodell resigning would do nothing but delay the process.

I didn't get that 2006 figure either. I thought the new Giants/Jets stadium was built recently too.

matthew said...

"Goodell says no new stadiums have been built since 2006"

other than the new Meadowlands, Cowboys Stadium, etc.

these new stadiums have been funded my multiple sources, but the bulk of the money comes from BANKS. the same banks that have been known to use "creative" financing to make more money for themselves.

is it possible, or even likely, that some of the debt that teams have from stadium deals was structured poorly (for them)? what if their costs have skyrocketed over the past year or two as this debt has become toxic?

that's just speculation, of course. maybe the owners are just super greedy sonofabitches. or maybe they really NEED more money.

Bengoodfella said...

Matthew, if we assume the stadium funding may have come together with some fuzzy funding, I don't know who exactly to place that on. If the costs skyrocket I want to say that is the cost of doing business. Yet, I also realize it could also potentially not be the entire fault of the owners. I know absolutely nothing, but I would doubt the stadiums were built with shaky financing, but then you never know.

I don't know if the owners really need more money, but they are pretty adamant in their need to have the players take more of the pie. Part of me wonders if there is something going on (in regard to the owners) that we haven't heard about which has made the owners super aggressive. Maybe they are just assholes.

Martin said...

If the owners have some type of toxic assets problem with some of the stadium financing, then they need to show it to the players. Open the books, let them see why you need an extra $800 million a year off the top. The owners refuse to, and as such, not s single person believes them when they say they need the money.

Do the owners realize that jsut about anybody can do simple math and go "Hmm, 1.8 billion a year. That would let them build the brand new Cowboy Stadium, EVERY YEAR, in total! Debt free! What kind of expenses can they possibly have that would need 1.8 billion??"

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, that is what makes me think they don't have toxic assets they need to get rid of. If they did, then I think they would open the books and say, "look, we are poor." They haven't done that. I wouldn't rule out maybe there is a financing problem, but there isn't any proof at this point.

I think the owners just want money and that's the bottom line. They feel like the players get too much of the money and want to change that.

Arjun Chandrasekhar said...

gene never fails to provide good comedy. ever. roger goodell should resign because at bunch of greedy money whores acted like greedy money whores. priceless. i actually do like your suggestion that ESPN disbands itself if it can't get gene to start writing columns that are above the writing level of a 3-year old. kill two birds with one stone.

Bengoodfella said...

Arjun, I just thought this article was ridiculous personally. I blame the owners but I don't see how Goodell resigning and taking him out of the equation makes an agreement more likely nor do I see how this would mean Goodell failed...at least at this point.

Gene would be right if at some point down the line Goodell is holding up the negotiations, but he doesn't want a lockout either.

Anonymous said...

lol goodell works for the owners moron. Why would he resign because a deal can't be met?

The owners are (at least) half the reason there's no deal.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, exactly. I could have cut my post down to just that.

That's my basic point. Goodell works for the owners. They don't want to back down and so they won't. He can't force them to either. It's not like he would want a lockout. Resigning is dumb in my mind.