Does Roger Goodell care more about the fans, or their money?

I started to reply to JasonB's links post that included this article about eventually putting an NFL franchise in Europe, but I started getting fired up about Roger Goodell's many other fan-unfriendly tendencies, got on a roll, and realized I had more than enough for a fanpost.  I know I'm missing a few, but here are 5 examples of Goodell putting the lure of the dollar ahead of the good of the game...


-  Why is Roger Goddell so obsessed with Europe?  The Super Bowl in Europe thing was a joke, but putting a franchise there?  Are you kidding?  The logistics of it alone pretty much make it impossible.  The West coast teams already complain about traveling to the East coast (just a 3 hour time difference, and still a valid complaint) for 1pm starts, and now you're going to ask them to travel to London (AN 8 HOUR DIFFERENCE) for the same thing?  In case any of you don't know, there are a lot of people in Europe, and if there's more money to be had...

-  Goodell ruined the draft.  Well, I might be getting ahead of myself there since we haven't actually seen the Thursday night version yet.  However, the draft weekend was probably my favorite weekend of the year, as it was for so many other diehard football fans.  That's over.  Goodell shamefully moved the first round to Thursday night for more advertising dollars.  Fans on the East coast will have to stay up until after midnight to see the entire first round, West cost folks that work typical 9-5 jobs will miss the first few picks, and as for Goodell's beloved Europeans that follow the game - The draft would start at 1am over there.  Why ruin a great thing?  If there's money to be had...

-  The exclusivity agreement the NFL has with DirecTV for the NFL Sunday Ticket (which would allow a fan to see all the games) is a joke.  For starters, there are a great number of people that can't have a satellite dish, or don't want one bolted to their houses, or simply don't want to agree to DirecTV's ridiculous terms.  But DirecTV pays the NFL an ASTRONOMICAL sum of money for that exclusivity, so if you're hoping to get your hands on the NFL Sunday Ticket without signing a horrible contract with DirecTV, you'll have to wait until at least 2014... but if there's money to be had...

-  The NFL and other various cable providers can't seem to resolve their pissing contest and make the NFL Network available to its diehard fans.  As a result, many cable providers don't carry the NFL Network, and ultimately it's the fans that suffer.  It would take me a couple hours to outline the issues there, but to crudely sum it up, the NFL is trying to bleed as much money as they can from the cable providers for the rights to broadcast the NFL Network, and if there's money to be had...

-  The 18 game schedule idea is incredibly dumb.  With 2 extra games, you're pretty much turning the NFL into a league where the healthiest (not the best) team wins.  Does he think the players will go for this?  I'm 32 years old, and I'm not sure I could play 18 flag football games.  And the thing here is... I see no evidence that the FANS want an extra 2 games, and that's basically Goodell's explanation for expanding the length of the season - the fans.  An extra 2 weeks of football means an extra 2 weeks of advertising dollars, ticket sales, etc etc, and if there's more money to had...

-  Bonus Goodell gripe - Is there any rhyme or reason to his disciplinary actions?  Can we please get an explanation for each suspension?  For example, why give Michael Vick a TWO game suspension?  The guy went to jail for 2 years, comes back, and now he gets suspended for TWO games?  Why the arbitrary number?  I'd almost be OK with it if it were a full season, but TWO games?  One theory I heard was that the Week 1 hype was all about the returns of Tom Brady and the debut of Brett Favre in Minnesota, Week 2 was all about the opening of the Cowboys' new stadium, and there was a void Week 3... so let's make Vick's Eagles debut occur Week 3.  TWO game suspension!  Not sure I buy that, but it certainly is an interesting theory.

Notice a trend here?

By trade, I'm a businessman, and I'm all for maximizing your profitability.  But when you're putting the quality of your product in jeopardy to make a few extra bucks, that's where I draw the line.  I am absolutely SCARED TO DEATH of the potential of a lockout.  Make no mistake - Roger Goodell will only have the league's profitability in mind during those upcoming negotiations.  He has ONE thing on his mind, and ONE thing only... and it isn't the fans.

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