Could the players and their agents and lawyers actually kill the NFL? That is what Commissioner Roger Goodell argues in today’s Wall Street Journal.
I am no fan of Goodell’s because of his handling of Rush Limbaugh’s bid to buy into an ownership group in the fall of 2009. PC reflexiveness isn’t a good sign in a leader, and perhaps the failure to quickly bring the negotiations to a close is another example of that flawed leadership.
But Goodell’s arguments are sound. If the NFL evolves towards the NBA model which allows for players to control the league’s competitiveness, then I and I suspect many others will be done with the league. I don’t watch professional wrestling and I don’t watch the NBA because both have become “exhibitions,” controlled by the monied interests of a small group, in the latter case the handful of superstar players who rearrange themselves in groups according to their own visions of glory. I was a Cavs fan. Now I just don’t care. The fix is in, even if the fixers don’t deliver.
That could happen with the NFL as well. I am a seat license and season ticket holder for, believe it or not, the Cleveland Browns. Four on the 50, high up and waiting…since 1964. Looking forward to Thursday night and the addition of Patrick Peterson, A.J. Greene, Von Miller or Julio Jones to the new Browns. Looking forward to thumpin’ the Steelers on 1/1/12 on the way to the first post-season in a long time.
But after last year and the Cavs fiasco, I realize that even the NFL can kill a life-long fan. The Commish is so right. The players could kill the league, if not dead, for millions and millions who would realize that the game no longer rewards teams put together by savvy execs and supported by communities.
Could they really be that stupid?