Roger Goodell was asked today if there were any damages from the NFL lockout that need to be repaired. He said:
“Well, I would say from the Commissioner’s perspective, we know what we did to frustrate our fans over the last several months. They want football and our job is to give them football. We think that through a 10-year agreement here, we’ve secured the future of the game to ensure that pledge to bring great football to our fans. I think we have some work to do though to make sure they understand that we are sorry for the frustration we put them through over the last six months, but our commitment is to bring them better football going forward. I think we ought to make sure that we understand that our bond with our fans is probably the primary issue that all of us have to keep focused on, whether you’re a player, or you’re an owner or you’re the Commissioner.”
While Goodell was giving this beautifully crafted and politically correct answer, here’s what he was really thinking:
“Hell no there aren’t any damages! Are you freakin’ kidding me?! We’re the NFL, not the NBA, MLB or NHL. Twitter literally melted into a pile of social networking goo once the lockout ended? ESPN basically threw a party live on the air. The NFL Network is covering this news conference like someone just brokered a peace deal in the Middle East. Fans are more excited for the upcoming football season than for any other season in our league’s history.
And do you know why? Because this lockout forced everyone to skip the boring parts of the offseason. How great is it that we didn’t have to endure a summer of free-agent speculation or BS stories from minicamps about how this player or that player looks really good running around in shorts and a tank top? Wasn’t it nice not having to read about how Albert Haynesworth or some other criminal in shoulder pads appears “focused” this year and wants to “put the past behind him?” We even managed to keep Brett Favre quiet until I gave him the go-ahead to start his unretirement rumors on Saturday night.
This lockout was a great idea. It might be the best thing I ever do as commissioner. Demand for our product skyrocketed. People couldn’t imagine going through Sundays without our games. Nobody wanted to spend an October Monday night watching a five-hour Yankees-Red Sox playoff game. Men shuddered at the possibility of having to endure actual conversations with their in-laws on Thanksgiving instead of watching the Lions get their asses kicked.
Do you realize how much money we’re going to rake in over the next 10 years? I just got off the phone with Obama and told him to not worry if Congress doesn’t raise the nation’s debt ceiling. The NFL will cover it.
This lockout turned out so great I’m actually considering trying to pull a fast one on my new buddy DeSmith and scribbling out the zero in the 10-year agreement before I officially sign the new CBA. That way we can have a lockout every summer and people will love the NFL even more! As long as we don’t miss any regular season games, we’re good to go.
Fans love the NFL. Fans want the NFL. Fans need the NFL. And the NFL loves, wants and needs its fans. Neither one of us is perfect, but we have a pretty good thing going. It’s going to take a lot more than missed OTAs and the threat of lost preseason games to cause any real damages.”