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Roger Goodell writes op-ed about labor peace

The NFL is at a crossroads, folks, with players wanting to pull in one direction and owners trying to go the other. The NFL is threatening to uproot the labor peace that has marked the game since 1987.

And as we get closer to that March 4 moment when a path is chosen and an enormous problem ensues for fans because they might lose the game they love, watch and ultimately pay for, you are about to see the start of a public relations storm from both sides.

The first bolt in that storm comes from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell who has written an op-ed piece that will appear in newspapers (yeah, we still matter) across the country.

I would estimate it will take the NFLPA about two hours to craft a response. It is on the clock.

Meanwhile, Goodell's piece:

By Roger Goodell

One of the best NFL seasons in history is now over. We salute NFL players for their extraordinary talent and we deeply appreciate the tremendous support of the fans.

The hard work to secure the next NFL season must now accelerate in earnest. We are just weeks from the expiration of our collective bargaining agreement. There has been enough rhetoric, litigation and other efforts beyond the negotiating table. It is time for serious negotiations.

The current agreement expires on March 4, and I cannot emphasize enough the importance of reaching agreement by then. If we as a league — the teams and players’ union — fail to fulfill our shared responsibility to the fans and game, everyone will be worse off — players, teams and fans — starting in March.

This is an opportunity to create a better future for the NFL, to improve the game for our fans, and to expand the economic benefits for the players and teams.

Staying with the status quo is not an option. The world has changed for everyone, including the NFL and our fans. We must get better in everything we do.

The union has repeatedly said that it hasn’t asked for anything more and literally wants to continue playing under the existing agreement. That clearly indicates the deal has moved too far in favor of one side. Even the union’s president knows this — as he said on national radio on January 27: “I think what really happened is in 2006 we got such a great deal. I mean, the players got a good deal and the owners felt they got it handed to them.”

We need an agreement that both sides can live with and obtain what they need, not simply what they want.

Today’s collective bargain agreement does not work as it should from the standpoint of the teams. If needed adjustments are made, the NFL will be better for everyone. The first step is making sure a new collective bargaining agreement is more balanced and supports innovation and growth.

The NFL clubs want to move forward, improve the system, and secure the future of the game for the benefit of players, fans and teams.

The status quo means no rookie wage scale and the continuation of outrageous sums paid to many unproven rookies. In 2009, for example, NFL clubs contracted $1.2 billion to 256 drafted rookies with $585 million guaranteed before they had stepped on an NFL field. Instead, we will shift significant parts of that money to proven veterans and retired players.

The status quo means 16 regular-season and four preseason games — even though fans have rejected and dismissed four preseason games at every opportunity. We need to deliver more value to our fans by giving them more of what they want at responsible prices. This can be achieved if we work together and focus on more ways to make the game safer and reduce unnecessary contact during the season and in the off-season.

The status quo means failing to recognize the many costs of financing, building, maintaining and operating stadiums. 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.

The status quo means players continuing to keep 60 percent of available revenue, in good years or bad, no matter how the national economy or the economics of the league have changed. 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.

Companies with far more revenue than the NFL have gone bankrupt because they mismanaged their costs and failed to address their problems before they became a crisis. The NFL has a track record over many decades of making good decisions that have led to unprecedented popularity. Negotiating a fair agreement will result in billions in pay and benefits to current players, improved benefits for retired players, and a sustainable business model for our teams.

The current deal does not secure the best possible future for the game, players, clubs and fans. The next few weeks must be used to negotiate with intensity and purpose so we can reach a fair agreement by March 4. If both sides compromise and give a little, everyone will get a lot, especially the fans.


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@ Kris,

I can be amazed by people trying to defend owners all i want as this is a free speech forum.

Just as you can try to attack any point I make which seems to be your disposition.

Frankly, I do not even understand your point.

You think I dont think other people should have opinions?

You think I should not be able to disagree with other people's opinions?

Are you a Koch lover?

You seem to be simply disagreeable to whatever is said.

My opinion in F the owners and F anyone who tries to defend them.
Also, IMO your reply to my post is just silly.

Like it or not I dont care.

Watching mostly illiterate thugs that couldn't otherwise make spit get millions to grunt and fight over a silly ball is for seriously bored people. Yet, those are the 'stars' people idolize.

sjbytes and DC Dolfan...
“If a small group of men were always regarded as guilty, in any clash with any other group, regardless of the issues or circumstances involved, would you call it persecution? If this group were always made to pay for the sins, errors, or failures of any other group, would you call that persecution? If this group had to live under a silent reign of terror, under special laws, from which all other people were immune, laws which the accused could not grasp or define in advance and which the accuser could interpret in any way he pleased—would you call that persecution? If this group were penalized, not for its faults, but for its virtues, not for its incompetence, but for its ability, not for its failures, but for its achievements, and the greater the achievement, the greater the penalty—would you call that persecution?
If your answer is “yes”—then ask yourself what sort of monstrous injustice you are condoning, supporting, or perpetrating. That group is the American businessmen .
Every ugly, brutal aspect of injustice toward racial or religious minorities is being practiced toward businessmen.. . . Every movement that seeks to enslave a country, every dictatorship or potential dictatorship, needs some minority group as a scapegoat which it can blame for the nation’s troubles and use as a justification of its own demands for dictatorial powers. In Soviet Russia, the scapegoat was the bourgeoisie; in Nazi Germany, it was the Jewish people; in America, it is the businessmen.
Businessmen are the one group that distinguishes capitalism and the American way of life from the totalitarian statism that is swallowing the rest of the world. All the other social groups—workers, farmers, professional men, scientists, soldiers—exist under dictatorships, even though they exist in chains, in terror, in misery, and in progressive self-destruction. But there is no such group as businessmen under a dictatorship. Their place is taken by armed thugs: by bureaucrats and commissars. Businessmen are the symbol of a free society—the symbol of America. If and when they perish, civilization will perish. But if you wish to fight for freedom, you must begin by fighting for its unrewarded, unrecognized, unacknowledged, yet best representatives—the American businessmen.” Ayn Rand

Our country is great because of businessmen. Without them, no one provides work.

Dean D. Yeah I read that too. Were you gonna plagiarize the whole thing for us- you have any thoughts of- of your own on this matter? Or do- is that your thing, you come into a bar, you read some obscure passage and then you pretend- you pawn it off as your own- your own idea just to impress some girls? Embarrass my friend?

A few seem to believe the owners just decided they had the right to end the current contract because they are unhappy with the deal.

I believe the NFLPA gave them that right, as part of the current contract.

I only post this because it appears some think the owners are not honoring the current contract.

Hey, if it gets much more expensive to buy tickets, I'll watch the games for free at home. If there is no game to watch, I'll go to South Beach. The cost of football tickets and parking alone is obscene. Top it off with $8.00 for a hamburger and $8.00 for a beer. And now, they, owners and players, want more from me. Who the f@ck do they think I am?

Simple 16 regular season games, 2 or 3 cheaper pre-season games. 50 50 split on the same pie as now and a rookie cap. Expand the playoffs to make the pie bigger. Problem solved!!!

As you are obviously uneducated, let me explain the difference between a quote and plagiarism. The placement of the original authors name at the end and the use of quotation marks indicate a quote. Plagiarism is the intentional use of someone else’s work without giving the original author the credit for his or her work. Much the same as you liberals don’t give business owners and entrepreneurs the credit for their work. You only wish to steal what you can from those who produce. You give nothing back to society. You are a parasite.

"Parasite"...not a lepercaun - although possibly close - but a leech.

As the Soprano say in the heat of the moment, "freakin bloodsuckers!"

Mando, click on my name (below) and see my translation of what Goodell really meant in this letter.

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