Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Has Roger Goodell become the Gordon Gekko of Professional Sports?

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.


Harryos29 said...

Harry OS 29 Feb 8th 2011
Right Tony, Gordon was wrong and so is ROGER the DODGER WRONG!
..I'm trying to beat JERRY B to the punch today; but I'm sure he will be chiming in soon :-) !!!
How much more BLOOD can the NFL suck from the FANS. I listened to local talk all day today, and the consenus, that I got from our local talk show guys is that they are Favoring the Players in this dispute. ME TOO!
..When you see the likes of JERRY JONES, an EGO MANIAC, all I can see is that 31 second video of Gordon Gecko talking about GREED. Well..how is that working for you now JERRY? He has more Egg on his face than Chef Guy Viero during a cook off on the food channel.
... I sat through many a preseason game both at the Vault and back up at old MEMORIAL Stadium. It was watching PAINT DRY!
and NOW... the NFl is going to put all of the FANS through, everything that the Fans who attended the superbowl in DALLAs, experienced for the final two games of every season.
..Well.. I already have a 46 inch TV and high def, sure it costs me every month, but I can get a six pack for $7 bucks and not pay for parking or deal with loud mouth drunk fans in the stands.
.. The NFL is acting like our president with his HEALTH CARE BILL..you will get it rammed down your throat whether or not you like it. And you will pay for it too.
In closing.. I dont' have to go to the Vault to see the games: I will still watch our Ravens with great interest, but from the comfort of my own Family room, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Roger Goodell would have us all believe that it's in the fans' interest to extend the season by two more games while at the same time expressing continuing concern for player safety. Does anybody think that the players' bodies will be better protected with an 18game season? Please don't insult our intelligence! As for "protecting the players", that's more about protecting the owners' "assets" than the players who, by any measurement, will be subjected to more risk of injuries with two additional regular season games! It's all about money....always has been and always will be! By the way, Mr. Goodell earns a cool $10,000,000/year as Commissioner of the NFL!