BEING ROGER GOODELL: If I was Commissioner for a day

Roger Goodell

Today the Ravens are back at it for the next round of OTA’s. We’ll be sharing our thoughts and insights from today’s practice and post-practice comments from Jim Caldwell and Dean Pees.

Until then, and with the relative dearth of news from One Winning Drive, I thought I’d play the role of NFL Commissioner for a morning. Clearly my last name screams NFL, right? Although admittedly, when my last name was screamed during those formidable years it usually meant I was in trouble.

Be that as it may and since I’ve bumped Roger Goodell aside for the morning, here are a few changes I’d make to the National Football League.

1. SAFETY ~ Instead of wasting all of that money trying to make Europeans believers in the NFL, why not amp up the spending to improve the effectiveness of protective equipment? Instead of sissifying the rules, invest in technology.

Just the other night I watched a program on Discovery Channel about battering rams (video below) and how they have this protective layer beneath their antlers that protects their brains. Let’s find out what that protective layer consists of and let’s develop a synthetic version to put in helmets.

Meanwhile, see ya Wembley Stadium.

2. THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL ~ How many times last season did you forget that there was even a game on Thursday night unless the Ravens played or you happened to be in a sports pub? If you weren’t a Ravens fan would you have watched that rain soaked game in September last year against the lowly Browns? How many woke up on a Friday last season and said, “Damn, I missed that Cardinals at Rams game!”

Goodbye Thursday Night Football!

3. 53 MAN ROSTER ~ If you pay all 53 why can’t you dress them up on game day? If you want to talk about safety, maybe the additional 8 players can help with situational substitutions and take reps away from tired or slightly injured players and then possibly prevent more serious injuries. This also rewards the teams that have deeper rosters and have done a better job of scouting, coaching and managing their cap. And this is an issue why?

4. ONE NATIONAL ANTHEM ~ “God Bless the USA” is a poignant song and a very nice tribute. But we already have a great National Anthem. Let’s not diminish its value with an “opening act.” How about we just go with The Star Spangled Banner?

5. FULL-TIME OFFICIALS ~ More rules, more penalties, more delays, worse product. That’s the result of an over-officiated NFL. So if these zebras mean so much to the game and given the boatloads of Benjamins that the league rakes in at an alarming pace, why can’t they employ these guys full-time? And while we’re at it, how about they lap off the officials who should be happily collecting Social Security?

6. BOOTH OFFICIAL ~ And since we’re on the topic of officiating, let’s man the booth with an official who can rule on a call based upon the technology at his disposal. No more of these dramatic referee peep shows. Try to see it my way! C’mon, we can work it out!

7. NFL NETWORK ~ Look guys and girls, you work for me today! Irvin, Sanders, Sapp, Dukes and Blockhead…er I mean Heath Evans…into my office. And bring your playbook! Am I the only one tired of these blowhards?

8. PRESEASON GAMES AT 50% ~ If you are going to only put out 50%, fans shouldn’t be asked to pay any more than that. If the NFL continues to push the envelope on exorbitant prices, more folks will stay home because the viewing experience from home is improving at a much faster rate than that at the stadium.

9. WI-FI ~ Speaking of which, how hard would it be to provide free wi-fi to paying customers at the stadium on a network fully capable of handling 70,000 users at the same time? Doing so might help the stadium experience keep pace with the at-home experience of absorbing NFL content.

So what do you think? Did I do ok?

If you were Commissioner for a day, what would you do?

Which of the following would you do if you were the NFL Commissioner for a day?
Cut Preseason Ticket Prices in half (28%)
Employ full-time officials (13%)
Improve the equipment and stop over-officiating (47%)
Do away with Thursday Night Football (12%)
This poll has completed. Thank you for voting.


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About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

16 Raves on “BEING ROGER GOODELL: If I was Commissioner for a day

  1. Ravenwoman on said:

    Tony, I agree with all of your comments except one. I really do love Thursday Night football only because television in general these days is horrible and the only thing I watch is news and sports. NFL network needs to recycle its player analysts and definitely get rid of Heath Evans, the number one Ravens hater in the entire country.

  2. Steven on said:

    Disagree completely about Thursday Night Football. I love it. No you won’t regret not watching a Rams v Cardinals game, but would you watch it on Sunday anyways? No. But I love having 3 nights of football a week, I don’t care who’s playing, I just want to watch some football.

    • Melvin on said:

      I think Thursday night football is bad for the sport. Sure I enjoy having something to do on Thursdays, but the turn around for players is too short.

      The league claims to be focused on safety, but doesn’t give the players enough time to heal between games.

  3. Jack on said:

    Agree with all your changes and feel they are commom sense moves. By the way if you need an enforcer especially one to get rid of the knuckleheads from the NFL Network I am there for you. These guys have to go!

    • Mill on said:

      You don’t have to get rid of NFL Network, just give it a make over and get rid of the blowhards like Evans and Dukes. Being a former player does not make you an expert.

  4. Your English Teacher on said:

    Good ideas. I have long advocated for an empowered replay official in the booth. It’s ridiculous that we have to watch the referee jog over to the side of the field. However, I realize that the elimination of extended replay reviews would take away some excellent opportunities for the networks to run show us some commercials that we’ve already seen 17 times during the same game, so there is that.

    • Mill on said:

      I also think the NFL LIKES some of the attention that getting it wrong stirs up. How many times did people around the world debate that Touchdown/ Interception at the end of the Seahawks-Packers game this year? Think about some of the most memorable plays in NFL history, almost all of them are controversial for one reason or another, ie. the “immaculate reception” or the tuck rule. Stuff like that draws attention to the game and brings in an audience that you might not otherwise get.

  5. Mista T on said:

    Disagree with everything except the comments about officiating and cutting preseason prices.

    Expansion to Europe will indirectly benefit American season ticket holders because the NFL’s prices are on the edge of driving customers away, and new sources of revenue (TV across the Atlantic) will diffuse the trend of the exorbitant price increases. The increases in empty seats is no longer be blamed on the crash of 2008.

    Thursday Night Football can great when you are otherwise bored. Anyway, set the DVR, look at the final score, then decide to watch or not on Friday or Saturday.

    “God Bless the USA” serves up the National Anthem quite well. We have a great 20 minute pregame presentation. No need to change anything!

    Activating all 53 means 8 more players exposed to injury.

    WiFi? Just watch the game: real, live, 3D action. Pay attention to the game and leave the electronic toys at home!

  6. Ravcolt on said:

    Hire this man!

    And while you are at TL, for one pre-season game let’s go back to 1968 rules and also eliminate replays from TV and the field. We who pay good money for a worthless game should at least be able to see football the way it was meant to be played.

  7. Duncan Macsween on said:

    As a massive NFL fan living in Scotland I find your flippant attitude towards the NFL trying to expand its influence and create more interest in the game in the UK highly irritating and small minded. I attended the Wembley game last year and loved the feeling of being at a real NFL game and bring surrounded by other fans of the game. Your arrogance comes through in a number of articles and comments on this site and unfortunately on this issue you simply prove it again. It’s enough to make me read Joe’s articles! Ok, maybe not that bad actually!
    I am not a fan of trying to “relocate” the Jags to London and I’m not sure forcing the same franchise down the UK markets throat is the best plan as I would love to see different teams coming over but to flippantly suggest that the NFL should just cut all ties with London and the Wembley game/games is insulting, irritating and selfish.

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      Duncan, try being a life-long season ticket holder of a team and then tell me how you might feel if one of your team’s games is snatched away and given to London. If you really want a game, take a preseason game. How’s that for a compromise?

      Small-minded? I seem to recall that NFL Europe was a flop. Do you?

  8. Duncan Macsween on said:

    I’m not advocating London having a franchise, I don’t think it would work for a number of reasons, primarily that alot of British fans already have allegiances to other teams so NFL Europe comparisons aren’t an issue for me.
    As far as offering a preseason game,again this is an arrogant and flippant proposal as we all know preseason games are a waste of time in terms of spectator value and certainly wouldn’t galvanise the British public!!
    I can see from a season ticket holders point if view that it would be frustrating but clearly, in this case, the Jaguars have their reasons for wanting to take a game overseas and so its not like London is “snatching” a game! The teams are clearly willing to go over!
    One game a year in London is hardly much to ask for supporters over here who care about the NFL and their teams just as much and as passionately as those lucky enough to be able to attend numerous games a year

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