Is Goodell the Gordon Gekko of the NFL?

Lombardi's Way Is Goodell the Gordon Gekko of the NFL?

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There was a day when I really liked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. I liked the way he entered the league, talked softly while wielding a big stick. He dealt swiftly with things that undermined the league’s integrity and dished out penalties as if to say, “There’s a new sheriff in town.”

He was a welcomed replacement for the guy who told Baltimore to build a museum instead of a football stadium.

Now I see Goodell as nothing more than Gordon Gekko in disguise and personally I’d rather have Gekko as commissioner because at least with him, you know you are dealing with a shark.

Goodell will give you charm and gentlemanly smooth talk until your gullible heart is content just to win your support. He’ll do it in a way that makes you believe he has YOUR best interests in mind. But then it isn’t long before you realize that you were merely a pawn in the master plan of achieving HIS best interests.

A perfect example is his campaign for an 18 game season. He has repeatedly sounded the horn of the fans, trumpeting their alleged desire for two additional regular season games. But Goodell really heard only what he wanted to or more likely spin doctored the fans’ true desires to achieve his goal – more money for the NFL.

Gekko in the movie Wall Street didn’t try to disguise his ambition. He boasted, “Greed is good!”

“Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies.”
 

Gekko welcomed you aboard his ultra capitalistic, cut throat locomotive but at least you knew in advance what the ride would be like.

Goodell takes your ticket for his ride, a seemingly pleasant Ferris wheel but once locked in your seat, it morphs into the Zipper and he catches you with yours down.

Fans have complained for years about paying regular season prices for less than desirable preseason games. Goodell empathized and told the fans they deserved more for their money. Oh he’s a sly one that Roger dude.

Season ticket holders bought in to Goodell. Finally someone was sticking up for the fans or so the fans thought. Instead, he was really trying to stick it to you and/or to the TV networks because he’s greedy.

He’s twisted your words fans.

When you said you don’t want to pay full price without a full effort during relatively meaningless preseason games, Goodell heard, “fans support an 18 game regular season.”

Sorry, I didn’t say that and you probably didn’t either.

I ain’t buying and neither should you!

If Goodell was a waiter he’d interpret your passing up on appetizers as an opportunity to up-sell some expensive side dishes or desserts without consulting you and then present the padded check with a smile.

Let’s face it, what the league is essentially doing by adding two bone chilling weeks to the season is to taking 2 meaningless preseason football games, throwing them on to the back end of the season when many playoff spots will have been determined essentially substituting 2 meaningless games at the end of the season while charging the networks for 3 more weeks of football (assuming another bye is added).

No thanks Rog…

You know with the advances in technology  going to the games live will soon be less and less appealing unless the league does something to enhance the game day experience.

Think about this…

Two end zone seats at M&T Bank Stadium in the lower bowl cost $180.00 – TODAY; parking $40; let’s put a modest consumption for 2 fans (a dog and a couple of beers each) at another $40. That’s $260.00.

Most would say this is a very conservative estimate of game day expenses for two. Mix in pre and post game activities; tolls; gas; commuting inconveniences; disruptive fans; lines at the bathrooms; at the concessions and to get in the stadium.

And let’s not forget the threat of inclement weather!

Suddenly using that $260 plus towards a nice 32” HDTV that you can now get for $350 looks like a pretty good trade off particularly from that end zone seat where probably for half the game you are watching the jumbo scoreboard HDTV’s.

Plus for my $350 I get to keep the TV. The game day ticket only gets me a 20% discount on Ravens’ bling!

I don’t know, maybe I’m getting old.

But then again, maybe, just maybe there are others out there like me who are beginning to get to the point of diminishing returns when it comes to going to a Ravens game. It doesn’t mean we love the team any less. It just means that there are more economical and convenient ways to take in a game.

Do I really have to go to every home game?

Am I not more comfortable in my living room or a friendly pub in December watching the game where I don’t have to dig through layers of clothing just to use the facilities?

The league keeps pushing more costs upon its customers – aka the fans and soon the fans will start to push back. Just ask MLB.

You see Rog, Gordon was wrong. Greed is not good.

Keep pushing and soon you might have to start building smaller stadiums just to avoid local blackouts.

 

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and CBS Sports 1300. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, Guinness, Orange Crushes and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi

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