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Djfan
05-20-2011, 11:18 PM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11140/1147887-87-0.stm


Ron Cook
Cook: Goodell offers propaganda instead of honest answers
Friday, May 20, 2011
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The NFL owners are doing it for you. The lockout of their players? The fight over more than $9 billion in annual revenues? The threat of no professional football in the fall? It's all for you.

So says NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

"We can't continue to have the rising costs of operating the league and shifting it to our fans."

Please.

Like the owners will order an immediate 10 percent decrease in ticket prices once they get a new, favorable (for them) collective bargaining agreement with the players and promise not to raise those ticket prices for five years.

Sure, they will.

Does Goodell really think the fans are idiots?

Listen, I have nothing against greed. I don't think anyone does. It's the American way, right? We'd all take more if we could get it. I mean, are we stupid?

But couldn't Goodell at least be honest about it?

Couldn't he have said the owners are tired of the cost of the players' salaries and benefits eating away at their enormous profits?

Now that would have made Goodell's interactive teleconference with Steelers season ticket holders Thursday interesting.

Goodell took 16 questions in 30 minutes during what was billed as an "NFL Fan Forum," the 17th such Q-and-A he has done since the lockout began. Sure, it was self-serving for the commissioner and the owners, strictly propaganda, if you will. But everybody knew that going in. And I shouldn't say it wasn't interesting. Mixed in among the predictable questions about the possibility of an 18-game regular season, Super Bowl ticket allocation and the inconsistent way the league dealt with on-field disciplinary issues last season and seemed to target Steelers linebacker James Harrison were a couple of gems.

No, nobody asked Goodell how he could suspend Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for four games when he wasn't charged with a crime.

I wish somebody had.

But the two questions still were good.

Goodell danced around one.

He completely ignored the other.

Somebody from Oakmont asked why fans had to have all of their season-ticket money to the Steelers by May 2 when the lockout is ongoing and there is no guarantee of football in 2011. "We want to be prepared for a full season, and we want our fans to be prepared for a full season," Goodell said.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

What the heck?

I'm not sure why the fans can't get prepared for the season after the lockout is over and a new deal between the owners and players is in place. I do know what the owners really want -- the interest off the fans' hard-earned dollars.

I'm sure they need it to prepare for a full season.

Let me repeat: Please.

Goodell did add that there would be a league-wide reimbursement policy for fans in the event any games aren't played because of the lockout.

That's mighty generous of 'em, if you ask me.

Another man asked a follow-up question about the owners' goal to go from a four-game exhibition season and 16-game regular season to a two-game exhibition schedule and 18 regular-season games. To paraphrase: If the owners believe most fans don't want to see four exhibition games at regular-season prices because they're not getting value for their money and if the players don't want an increase from 16 to 18 regular-season games because of their fear of more injuries, why not just keep the schedule the way it is and lower the prices for the exhibition games?

Goodell must have misunderstood the question, although it seemed fairly straightforward to me.

The commish never answered it,

"Clearly, we don't need four preseason games to do [player] evaluations," he said.

Again, are you with me?

What the heck?

Now tell me the truth.

Please, I need to hear the whole truth and nothing but the truth after spending 30 minutes of my life listening to Goodell.

Aren't you glad the owners have your back?
Ron Cook: rcook@post-gazette.com. Ron Cook can be heard on the "Vinnie and Cook" show weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 93.7 The Fan. More articles by this author
First published on May 20, 2011 at 12:00 am

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11140/11 ... z1MxAZeVek (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11140/1147887-87-0.stm#ixzz1MxAZeVek)

steelblood
05-21-2011, 08:10 AM
Lowering the price for preseason games is the only way to go. It is a crime that season ticket holders HAVE to pay for 4 exhibition games. Talk about greed. Maybe the fans needs to lock the NFL out (of our wallets and living rooms).

RuthlessBurgher
05-21-2011, 10:57 AM
Lowering the price for preseason games is the only way to go. It is a crime that season ticket holders HAVE to pay for 4 exhibition games. Talk about greed. Maybe the fans needs to lock the NFL out (of our wallets and living rooms).

Well, we only have to pay for 2 exhibition games (since the other 2 are on the road), but your sentiment is correct. If playoffs tickets cost more (and they do) because the stakes are higher, then preseason tickets should cost less since the stakes are lower.

flippy
05-21-2011, 11:07 AM
Considering the wait list for the Steelers, they could raise prices significantly.

I vote to double all ticket prices and knock some folks out of their seats to the benefit of others.

I end up paying a fortune to go to any game anyways. Make the season ticket holders suffer the prices I do :)

hawaiiansteel
05-21-2011, 02:58 PM
DeMaurice Smith is just as big of a dumba$$ as Goodell is...



Updated: May 19, 2011

DeMaurice Smith talks at Maryland

Associated Press

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- DeMaurice Smith had barely settled behind the podium when University of Maryland students started chanting: "We want football."

Smith's response: "I want football, too."

And I've got to tell you, it's vastly different from something as simple as 'shut up and play.' That's not the decision that we made. We made the decision to fight for who we were going to be and who we are.

-- DeMaurice Smith, in his speech to Maryland graduates

The executive director of the NFL Players Association then gave a graduation speech that compared the players' lockout fight against the owners to the detractors the students will face in their future lives. For his final bit of advice, he turned on his own recording of Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll (Part 2)" and encouraged everyone to clap while shouting the mild profanity that Maryland fans insert into the song at basketball games.

"To anybody who thinks for one minute that passion is something that is cheap and futile, I have two words for them: You suck," Smith said. "And for anybody who would ever think that it is the wrong thing to do to care so much that you're willing to risk everything because it is right, reserve those two words for them."

It was an awkward moment, in part because Smith's recording of the song wasn't very loud. Many of the thousands who packed the Comcast Center -- especially the families and friends -- didn't play along.

After the speech, Smith was asked how those two words might work around a negotiating table.

"All I can do is tell you what I told my 6-year-old daughter when she heard it for the first time," he said diplomatically. "It's all about love."

Smith said no one should be "reading anything into anything" about his use of the song, other than the passion it evokes at Maryland basketball games. Passion was the theme of his speech, and he invoked it when he said the lockout shouldn't be reduced to a catchphrase like "Shut up and play."

"Do we care enough about who we are and who we want to be?" Smith said. "The decision to pursue and if necessary fight for what is fair was a decision those players made two years ago. And I've got to tell you, it's vastly different from something as simple as 'shut up and play.' That's not the decision that we made. We made the decision to fight for who we were going to be and who we are."

Smith, who attended classes at Maryland in 1985 and 1986, declined to comment on any specifics of the NFL's labor situation, including the recent court ruling in St. Louis that set back the players' hopes for an early end to the lockout.

"We believe as a group that it is important to fight for fairness," he said. "And I'm proud of the players who have stepped up to be leaders."

Later Thursday, New York Giants co-owner John Mara had an essay posted on nfl.com and giants.com in which he warned that any victory in the courts by the players could cause chaos throughout the sport.

"The likely changes would be great for NFLPA lawyers, but not for players, teams, or, most importantly, fans," Mara wrote. "For example, there could be no league-wide minimum player salaries, with many players making less than they do today, or no minimum team player costs, with many clubs cutting payrolls the way some teams do in other sports. Other bedrock components of the NFL's competitiveness, such as the draft, would be called into question and assailed as antitrust violations. ...

"There could be varying player benefit plans from team to team, and limits on the ability to enforce other league-wide rules that benefit players, especially rank-and-file players that do not go to the Pro Bowl," he wrote.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6566569

RuthlessBurgher
05-21-2011, 04:49 PM
Wow...Dee Smith was keynote speaker at a major university commencement ceremony, and he played a song performed by a convicted pedophile and encouraged the student body to chant "You suck!"

You stay classy, Maryland.

hawaiiansteel
05-24-2011, 01:47 AM
Madden: NFL is as arrogant as it's wealthy

Posted: Sunday, May 22, 2011
Mark Madden Times Columnist


Life without pro football?

Bring it on. Please.

A year without the NFL would be useful in shrinking the game's self-importance. Behold the caterwauling about unprepared teams, cut-down playbooks and inferior play - all because of the sacrifice of OTAs and mini-camps.

Is football so complicated that year-round practice and preparation is not only preferred, but required? If that's true, why does the game have far more borderline illiterates than Rhodes scholars? Does the 24/7/365 approach shorten careers? How about lives?

These are questions I wouldn't mind having an entire year to debate. It's a more intriguing discussion than arguing how to divide $9 billion.

The current negotiation/mediation/court process is about ego-measuring, nothing more. Either side could get royally screwed by the final result, yet still have more money than any human would know what to do with. The possibility of the owners or players getting legitimately and significantly cheated does not exist.

The things that should matter most - player safety, no 18-game schedule - are being minimized in the pursuit of more cash.

In the end, the players will buckle. They always do. They always settle. They're too loyal to the sport, to their teams, to their teammates and to right now. You can't get those games back, or those paychecks. Something is better than nothing, and too many NFL players spend it as soon as they get it, leveraging themselves into mad debt.

The players would miss the game. That's why the players will tap.

I wouldn't miss the game. Not one bit.

Admit it, even the most gridiron-crazy among you would benefit mentally and emotionally from the cycle being broken.

One solid fall/winter without tailgating, fantasy leagues, gambling and wall-to-wall pro football every Sunday (with too-generous dollops every Monday and the occasional Thursday and Saturday) - it would be cleansing, and would make the game's return a year later (or whenever) that much more appreciated. It would do your mind, liver and wallet considerable good.

Who knows? Perhaps die-hards could find solace in college football, high school football, grade-school football, Canadian football, arena football, women's football, flag football, touch football, Australian rules football, electric football, APBA football or English Premier League football.

Or maybe they could reconnect with family and friends. Long shot, I know.

Ray Lewis said, "Watch how much crime picks up, if you take away our game." I was prepared to wholeheartedly agree until realizing the Baltimore linebacker was talking about the fans, the "people that live through us." I thought Lewis meant the NFL's participants. Given the players' track records - including Lewis' - they seem far more cause for concern. God forbid, too, that Antonio Cromartie has more time to reproduce.
When asked to elaborate on why crime would rise with no NFL, Lewis said, "There's nothing else to do."

Narcissism, thy name is pro football.

Eventually, the dispute will be settled. The players will play. The owners will own. The cycle will perpetuate. Until next time.

Can't wait ‘til next time.

http://www.timesonline.com/sports/steel ... 6ef70.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/steelers/madden-nfl-is-as-arrogant-as-it-s-wealthy/article_4f2d858b-a5e3-58db-80b6-0641abc6ef70.html)

Ben210
05-24-2011, 04:19 PM
It would do your mind, liver and wallet considerable good.

I can't argue that.

fordfixer
05-24-2011, 08:00 PM
Tue May 24 11:22am EDT
NFL slashes more employee salaries, raises replica jersey prices

By Doug Farrar
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdo ... nfl-wp2150 (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/NFL-slashes-more-employee-salaries-raises-repli;_ylt=AvDTID0axwePJ0sxD62fP1JDubYF?urn=nfl-wp2150)

When the history of the 2011 NFL lockout is written (though we're not sure just who on Earth would want to read it), the date May 24 will not go down as one in which the league won the hearts and minds of the football-loving populace. While multiple owners talk up the labor war in luxury hotels in Indianapolis for the most recent owners' meetings, it was revealed that the Baltimore Ravens are the latest team to slash employee salaries — in this case by 25 percent — as a supposed counter measure to the ongoing loss of revenue related to the current work stoppage.

According to Pro Football Talk, the Ravens are now one of seven teams to cut employee salaries or put employees on non-paid furloughs. We commend the six teams that have made the commitment to avoid cutting the salaries of the lowest-paid workers and hope more teams will follow suit.

Some teams are cutting pay with the proviso that if no games are missed, the pay will be returned, but that's hardly appropriate when teams are taking orders for season tickets right now without incurring the costs of preseason training camps or rookie salaries. And with no obligation to pay players during the lockout, it could be argued that at this point, the only non-administrative/non-employee expenses the owners are incurring right now are the legal fees brought about by a lockout that they instigated.

The NFL has come up with another way to offset the supposed terrible loss of revenue that hasn't actually happened yet — they're raising the prices of replica jerseys by five dollars per -- even the rookie jerseys that haven't been made yet. You see, when the rookies aren't signed, they haven't been assigned numbers, and there are no jerseys to sell. The NFL's online store is taking advance orders, though, and the alleged jersey for first overall pick Cam Newton(notes) comes with an interesting disclaimer:

Cam Newton's number is subject to change and the jersey will ship in 5-7 business days after the official number has been assigned by the team.

In other words, when you buy an official replica Cam Newton jersey, you're investing in the future of an organization that is claiming poverty in about 12 different directions, but has no trouble borrowing against rookie talent it hasn't yet signed, paid, or assigned numbers to. It's an embarrassment of fairly sizeable proportions, but what would you expect from a company freezing out the low people on the totem pole, seeking deregulation wherever it can be found, and hoarding money like it's going out of style?

If the biopic of the infamous Enron execs hadn't already been titled as such, the history of this lockout might well be served with "The Smartest Guys in the Room." And for many of the same reasons.

hawaiiansteel
05-30-2011, 03:39 AM
Rex Ryan’s book raises questions about Goodell’s role regarding Holmes

Posted by Mike Florio on May 29, 2011

http://nbcprofootballtalk.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/rexandsantoniogetty.jpg?w=250

With Memorial Day weekend representing the news flow low point in the locked out NFL offseason, Jets coach Rex Ryan’s book has given us all a small gift, with the help of Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe.

Bedard points out, at page 174 of Play Like You Mean It, Ryan brags about the con he pulled on receiver Santonio Holmes after Holmes was traded to the Jets in April 2010. Specifically, Ryan asked Commissioner Roger Goodell to meet with the two men — and to rip Ryan in front of Holmes before ripping Holmes in front of Ryan. The coach’s goal was “to bring Holmes closer to me,” by allowing the two men to commiserate after enduring a mutual ass-chewing from the Commish.

Bedard calls Goodell’s decision to comply with Ryan’s request “problematic.” Bedard explains that he tried to interview Goodell about the situation during the recent ownership meetings in Indianapolis, a request which ultimately was granted in the form of a “71-second walk and talk.” Though Goodell defended his involvement as something that “does help a player and does help a coach,” Bedard continues to believe that the gesture by the man who once worked for the Jets gave the Jets a competitive advantage.

“I don’t look at it that way,’’ Goodell told Bedard. “I look at is as I was asked to try to help a young man who I like very much, and we’re going to continue to try to do whatever we can to make sure that he’s in the best position to continue his career and do the right things on and off the field.’’

Goodell denied that Holmes was misled by the manner in which the meeting was engineered.

“That’s not true,’’ Goodell said. “Rex had had an issue publicly, and so did Santonio. And he asked me to make sure I addressed both of them, which I did. That’s what the personal conduct policy is about. It applies to everybody.’’

Apart from the question of whether Goodell crossed a line that, in all fairness, is vague and fuzzy at best, Ryan’s candor could now hurt his relationship with Holmes, if Holmes now reflects on that meeting and concludes that he had been duped by his coach.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... ing-holme/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/05/29/rex-ryans-book-raises-questions-aboout-goodells-role-regarding-holme/)

Oviedo
05-30-2011, 09:20 AM
Wow...Dee Smith was keynote speaker at a major university commencement ceremony, and he played a song performed by a convicted pedophile and encouraged the student body to chant "You suck!"

You stay classy, Maryland.

Pretty well confirms all I have said about Smith from Day 1. He is in this to establish his labor leader credentials and could care less about the long term viability of the NFL. This is about him which is why HE walked away from mediation and took this into the court system.