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guy makes $50mil for playing a game criticizes $20mil/year to guy who helps it happen

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I expected him to do it because he's incompetent.

Now how should he have done it?

First of all you need to divorce yourself from the notion he has to do what his bosses want. He's the commissioner and isn't a CEO. It's his job to listen to 31 owners and try to figure out what's best for all of them.

The second thing you need to realize is that not all owners wanted a lock out. Not even close. The owners aren't some single minded entity. they all exist in different financial and strategic realities. I don't want to belabor this point, so I'll just give a quick example. Bob Kraft has investments (awful ones quite frequently) that make more money than his NFL franchise. He can afford not to have a season. Compare that with the Glazers, for example, who literally have angry Manchester United fans at the gates, and who wouldn't be able to run their pet franchise without revenue sharing.

There is a serious split in the ownership group, or power blocs, as you'd imagine. This is shown by goodell originally only getting like 12 of 30 votes to be commissioner. there were three run off elections, with him finally buying enough votes to get the job.

Now, let's imagine for a second that he is actually justified in locking out the players. That

1. a lockout was the only option (it wasn't)

2. that it was unavoidable (it wasn't.)

3. that they hadn't planned it (they had. just look at the details of the last labor agreement, which was about a whole different issue related to the Maras specifically, that Ralph Wilson had refused to sign because it was bullpoo)

If you assume all those wrong things and accept that he was justified in doing it, then you plan how to do it.

First of all, you don't put yourself in a situation where the union can simply decertify and blow out your anti trust exemption, taking away any legal footing. This wasn't a surprise. In fact, I predicted it would happen months before it did, as many people here can probably attest. That of course happened.

Second of all, you don't claim financial hardship, then refuse to open your books. To bring this close to home, George Shinn tried to do this and was laughed out of the city.

third of all, you don't bank of television revenue that no one actually though they'd be allowed to keep. The owners for some reason thought they'd still get their TV money if the whole season was locked out, which predictably the courts declined.

fourth, you don't demand an 18 game schedule. Almost no fans are in favor of this for obvious reasons that I don't think I need to go into.

fifth, you recognize that DeMaurice Smith is a former fed who probably has a damn good idea how the proceedings are going to go.

He bungled it from the start, and after it immediately went south, the owners began to break up. This is just now starting to come out, but there are numerous stories about Jerry Jones making snide remarks at owners like Paul Brown, since what they wanted out of it was completely different than what say Paul Allen wanted.

He was the one that pushed for the lockout as the best means to move forward, unlike the last time the CBA was slated to expire, which was solved without denying players medical access.

The only real thing that happened, aside from some different practice scheduling (which honestly probably needed to happen) was the rookie salary cap, which the players union was tacitly in favor of anyway. He took a hard stance and got embarrassed.

Now maybe on some meta level he did it to keep the interest in the NFL during the offseason, as I've heard people mention, but I doubt that was true.

1. For the first point, yeah he doesn't need to do what the owners want him to do, but if he doesn't, he won't get much support from him after the fact. This is evidenced by him getting a contract extension around four months after he signed the deal for a new CBA.

2. Agreed, not all the owners wanted a lockout. However, some could have lived with one if it had happened. So Goodell has to hear the owners who say "No lockout under any cirumstances" and others who say "Get us what we want". Now, I had previously said I don't think Goodell would have ever let it get to losing a season. He's too much of a businessman to do that, but he was trying to push for whatever leverage he could get.

In terms of your argument of him 'buying off' the election, I would think that it was more of the owners, including the Panthers own Jerry Richardson who were really the people who stepped up for him.

Now I agree with most of your points that the owners were not smart about the lockout. But I think they were betting that the players would fold before they would. Again, speculation, but that's what I think was happening behind the scenes. In terms of the 18 game season, I think that was pure leverage for the league to say 'we won't put a 18 game season into place, but you have to give us this issue'. I don't think this was ever going to be a true option. If it was, it was moronic.

If you noticed during the lockout, Goodell was very diplomatic to the fans in terms of trying to convince them that football was going to happen. Most of the stupid comments that were going across the media were from the owners, who should have shut up, and DeMaurice Smith, who also should have shut up. Unfortunately neither did, which widened the gap.

Even after this, though, no football was missed, so the entire lockout scenario is a moot point. Even if Goodell did handle it wrong, which I don't think is the case, as it was mostly a few of the owners who wanted more money, he still made sure that football was going to be played this season.

So besides the lockout situation, and the argument that football is softer under his regime, what are some of your other big problems with him? I had already said that I don't like a few of his rules, but I think alot of people are exaggerating the type of job he has done as a commissioner.

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i feel like the way Goodell was portrayed by most of the sports media as a mediator between the two sides clouded peoples' awareness of how he really participated in the dispute

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Fiz loves these types of threads.

they're fun to start.

light fuse, walk away, enjoy the show.

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