Saturday, January 08, 2011
But here's what I take away from it:
(1) the media was quick to put out information, and sometimes it hadn't been vetted. But facts are facts and sources are sources - I find those more reliable than an owner who has an agenda
(2) Cap'n Firepants (Ross) was mincing words, and playing semantics games, but probably stopped short of outright lying.
(3) the other two stooges hemmed and hawed there way through "working it out"
(4) they all sang koom-buy-ya (phoentic for emphasis) and will all work together to make this team better.
Then it moved on to how to make the team more explosive!
Yippee. [sarcasm=high] They really sold me that its all worked out [/sarcasm]
They have invited exactly (2) people from each "accredited media outlet" and it would seem they want to totally control the flow of the session, so it comes off the way they want it to.
And it will not be brodcast/simulcast/aired in any way. I wouldn't be surprised if they ban mp3/video recorders, so they can twist it after the story comes out.
Trust me on this one: carefully orchestrated press events are always just that. The orchestration is to ensure that certain things are not discovered, or certain questions are not asked ("What is your name? What is your quest? What is your favorite color?).
They want to show a unified front...but just what are they hiding?
Except of course, it was about Warren Buffet and was an article about investing.
...He came down from New York City, took him 2 hours on a plane. Bought some tickets, and fell in love with the Dolphins,so he purchased them from Wayne....can't you see 'em circling Stevie, can't you see 'em schooing around? You got coaches to the left, players to the right, you're the laughing stock in town!
Friday, January 07, 2011
Its a perfect competitive opportunity; one of the legendary franchises in all of football.
I can feel the enthusiasm coursing through my veins right now. I accept this competitive challenge willingly.
I knew in my heart and my gut the right decision was with the San Francisco 49ers.
It's the process of building a team, being part of a team and leading a team, and working at it.
[Money] wasn't the factor. I like a buck just like the next guy, but I love coaching and I love winning and I love football. The factor that dictated my being here was that Trent and Jed and the 49er organization wanted me to be here and I wanted to be here as much or more than they wanted me. Here I am.
Losing is not an option
Harbaugh has long admired Walsh and how he made the successful leap from Stanford to the 49ers. Harbaugh knew the man nicknamed "The Genius" for 18 years and once received footwork tips from the coach while playing for the Bears.
While Harbaugh said he had all but made up his mind to accept the 49ers' offer following a meeting of more than six hours that went into Wednesday evening, he took a couple of days to hear out his other suitors and do his "homework" -- and "do some soul searching" as new 49ers general manager Trent Baalke put it.
"I met this man six or seven years ago at a college All-Star game and I fell in love with his energy," Baalke said. "This is the start of a new generation. ... What we have to do is bring back the culture of winning. He's a guy who can lead the 49ers franchise back to where it rightfully belongs."
Harbaugh likely will be grooming a new quarterback in the coming months. Alex Smith, the 2005 No. 1 overall draft pick out of Utah, becomes a free agent. So, finding a QB is high on the team's to-do list heading into what should be a busy offseason.
"Let me tell you guys out in San Francisco, you got a great one," [brother] John Harbaugh said. "I'm very happy he's not in the AFC. We'll see him once every four years and Super Bowls -- hopefully we could get a couple of those. ... I got a feeling you'll see two pretty similarly built football teams."
So, in other words, he knew all along that he was going to the 49ers, and was just stringing the Dolphins along. I think the Broncos (and others) were smart enough to realize that, but not Cap'n Izzy. Nope, he had the man crush and wanted him. So much so that he didn't bother to consider what would happen if he said no.
And the wanker that is Harbaugh used the Fins to drive up his own value - and prove to himself that he really wanted to stay in the Bay area.
Man this really does keep getting better!
And by the way, when the Fins hired Nick Saban, the 49ers hired a guy I thought was *much* better in Mike Nolan. And where is Nolan these days? Oh yeah, he's still with the Fins. Why not give him a shot?
Jeff Ireland = Furious Enigma
And for good measure:
Chad Henne = Bro Montana [edit: Schmoe Montana]
This is becoming more fun all the time. 'Cause they are all bozos, on this bus.
Press conference tomorrow to sort this all out. Its a roundtable, we're told. Calliope music optional.
Okay so Cap'n Izzy Firepants decided that he might, maybe be keeping Sparano. Except that he told friends and associates, but not Tony. And at some point today (we think), they had a talk. And (we think) Tony laid out his desire to, well, be paid more like the offer that they made to Harbaugh. So (we think) they set about settling that issue, and (we know) called a press conference for this afternoon.
Then, put off the presser, and then cancelled it.
In the meantime, we hear the (previously good) relationship between Tony and Jeff Ireland has soured. How could it not? Carl Peterson is now officially involved in this (in spite of Cap'n Izzy's insistence that he would never be - ha!), and Jeff used to work for Carl. And of course Jeff was on the recruiting trip yesterday...
So, Tony appears to be making things harder for Cap'n Izzy. We think.
And then there was another nugget that came out. Cap'n Izzy also contact Eric Man-genius about "consulting" with the team. What the frick does that mean?
Why do I keep saying we think? Because its all based on stories from people inside who give us the occasional nugget. Do we hear ANY of this from Cap'n Izzy Firepants? Of course not. Why tell the fans or the media anything? Everything is a big secret!
And that leads me to believe that they're actually concealing a bigger secret out there at the Dolphins facility. Maybe the Sorcerers Stone, or Jimmy Hoffa, or the missing Zabruder film. Who knows? It has to be something, otherwise why would a football team play these stupid games?
I expect to see a clown car any day now pulling up to the team facility - its all a circus anyway. And that practice bubble is the tent!
- The Robbie family fights over control, and frankly Tim doesn't quite have the "will" that his father had. They sell a portion of the team to H Wayne
- Sammie Smith is drafted (need I say more?)
- They lose to Buffalo in the playoffs (to end the '90 campaign)
- They agree to play an exhibition in Tokyo. They do beat the Raiders in that game, but its the longest road trip ever
- Miami loses to the Jets on a last-second field goal and misses out on the playoffs
- Charley Winner retires as Miami's pro personnel director (this was key. He was Shula's right-hand man)
- Hurricane Andrew devastates, though you couldn't call that a Dolphins mistake.
- The fins host the AFC East championship to end the 92 campaign, but lose to the Bills (again)
- The Fins opened their current training facility. While it is a good thing, there was a certain austerity about the old facility that made it special. Now they have a palace.
- Marino suffers the achillies injury
- Miami loses to New England during the last week of the season and is eliminated from the playoff contention
- H Wayne buys out the Robbies
- Rick Weaver (*the* voice of the Dolphins) retires
- The Fins lose in the playoffs to close out the 94 season; its a loss to the Chargers on a missed field goal
- Shula decides he'd rather not draft. Oh wait. He drafted a bunch of guys who amounted to nothing (Billy Milner ring any bells?)
- Miami again loses a game in Buffalo in the playoffs
- Don Shula "retires"
- Jimmy Johnson takes over
- H Wayne signs the deal to name JOE ROBBIE STADIUM "Pro Player Park"
- There's contention over the broadcast rights, but it gets worked out.
- At 8-8, they go nowhere
- Gary Stevens is yelled at on a team flight by JJ and fired.
- The new logo is unveiled. Unfortunately, they didn't select mine (Flipper with rabies as I called it)
- TD (the mascot) is introduced (on second thought, maybe this is where it all went downhill)
- The Dolphins lose to the Patriots to close out the season, and have to travel to New England to play the Patriots as a wildcard. Any guesses what happened on that day?
- They hire a new offensive coordinator
- This was a quiet year. Miami beat the Bills in a playoff game, then went on to get hammered by the Broncos
- They hire a new offensive coordinator
- JJ quits, then unquits
- The Fins hire Wannstache at JJs request
- The Fins change offensive coordinators again
- All hell breaks loose as the Dolphins get - well routed is even a strong enough word - annihilated/embarrassed by the Jaguars 62-7
- Jimmy quits
- Dave is promoted
- Rick Spielman is hired
- Dan Marino is helped to find the retirement village
- Hey whaddya know, they hire a new offensive coordinator!
- H Wayne does something "odd" when he "explores strategic alternatives regarding the financial structure of the Dolphins". I think this was when it truly turned into a business
- Jay Fielder?!
- Miracle in the Meadowlands
- The Fins make the playoffs, and beat the Colts...
- ...only to get clobbered by the Raiders the next week
- Things are quiet for most of the season. After all, focus was on the 9/11 and recovery, and sports provides a nice outlet
- At the end of the '01 campaign, the fins make the playoffs. But the stadium is only half full, and they lose to the Ravens.
- A new OC is hired!
- They trade for Ricky. Two firsts and a second! Wow!
- There's more contention on the radio front.
- The Dolphins lose to the Patriots on the last week of the season, and miss the playoffs
- The Dolphins wear those awful orange jerseys for the first time (I don't like 'em!)
- They miss the playoffs again, and the "December swoon" is now being talked about
- H Wayne chooses to restructure his football operation and there will be a GM and coach
- Rick Spielman gets the job as GM
- There's shuffling of OCs, as one guy gets it, and someone else quits, and someone else takes over. Now you have a guy who's never really done this job before
- Marino spends 21 days as the senior VP in charge of nothing.
- They trade for a QB
- Ricky Williams quits
- There's an oddity with Mare hurting himself in warmups, and the Fins having to go to Wes Welker for PATs.
- Wannstache quits
- "Master" Jim Bates takes over
- The Fins miss the playoffs
- But H Wayne has a plan to bring a big-name to the team. He flies to the home of Nick Saban and "talks him into" coming to the Fins.
- On the business side, H Wayne restructures to, well, make more money
- Joe Bailey joins the organization (remember him? Yeah, I didn't think so!)
- We get another OC!
- Another QB is brought in
- Another flap about radio rights
- Randy Mueller is hired as GM
- The Fins open the "Gallery of Legends" which is very nice, but based on how bad they've been for the last little while, legends seems long, long before
- Nick tells everyone what they want to hear publicly, and derides everyone privately. We don't know it yet, but he's a horse's ass.
- Of course, they miss the playoffs
- Another year, another offensive system
- Nickie has a choice between trading for Daunte Culpepper or signing Drew Brees. Its obvious how this one would go.
- But we also get another QB in a trade (Harrington, yipee!)
- Ricky comes back
- Another change to the operations, re-aligning the stadium in some way - making it a destination of some sort
- Nick really doesn't like coaching the pros. His wife is unhappy, and says as much just after they leave. He wants to be worshipped, lauded, praised. Instead, he's a head coach in the pros and is chastised. He tells us he's not going to Alabama, and then goes to Alabama.
- Need I mention that there was another miss of the playoffs.
- Its time for the epic "Wayne's world tour. He won't stop until he gets a coach!"
- He interviews a dozen or so candidates - many of whom have success later in other cities - but decides on Cam
- He and Mueller are joined at the hip in making decisions or some such nonsense
- Cam tells us he's gonna fail forward fast
- And he does
- He gets Trent Green and Cleo Lemon
- He gets called out by J Peasy
- He goes 1-15, and it seems like, well, he doesn't care
- And there's another radio rights dilemma
- Cam is fired, Randy Mueller is fired
- Bill Parcells is hired. Is this... a ray of hope?
- Parcells hires "his guys" in Tony Sparano and Jeff Ireland. And then, he doesn't voluntarily say another word for the remainder of his tenure in Miami.
- But fans are stoked!
- They draft an actual QB. Something that hadn't been done since Marino retired a decade before...and it was someone who was tabbed to start at some point, which hadn't been done since 1983.
- They trade JT
- The Fins get Chad Pennington
- They unveil the wildcat
- They go 11-5, which is great. And lose to the Ravens, which isn't so great
- Side note: I now understand that the reason they went 11-5 instead of 7-9 is because of Pennington.
- But things are on the upswing, right?
- Stephen Ross buys a stake in the team
- The Dolphins lose Pennington to injury, and in comes Henne
- JT comes back
- Stephen Ross buys 95% of the team
- Parcells is offered an out clause
- It becomes celebrity city, with all the minority owners, and all the hype.
- Jimmy Buffet gets involved and re-writes a pretty good song into a stupid one.
- There's a crappy auto-tunes song written
- It suddenly becomes not-at-all about football. And all about hype.
- The team struggles to 7-9, and is going nowhere
- They overuse the wildcat
- But we still have Bill, and its going to get better! Right?
- JT leaves to go to the Jets
- A new defense is installed (what? not a new offense?)
- They lose on successive night games to the Jets and Patriots in cover-your-eyes awful games
- The special teams coach gets sacked
- Somewhere in here, we're told that Parcells is now a "consultant" for the team rather than the VP and he's "upstairs watching film"
- Only it was a ruse. The guy quit, and no one wanted to tell us
- He calls out Henne on national radio - "helllo?"
- The OC starts playing it really safe, and fans call for his head
- Chad Henne looks lost, and can't motivate the team
- Sparano has become a coach that settles for field goals - OMG he's using Wannstache's mustache!
- The season plods along and you know it won't end well.
- 7-9 is the final tally.
- And here we are. Lockout looming. A coaching search that was a disaster. Sparano and Ireland are still here. Players calling out coaches
- It is ugly, and now I think quite funny
For today, we will simply call him a wanker!!!
Wow, the way the last 4 days have gone certainly makes him at least that.
[editors note: pictured with Ross are the great peeps from DolfansNYC who are most definitely NOT wankers]
Thursday, January 06, 2011
He walked toward the reporters chomping on gum and said nothing.
I heard an interesting rumor that Ross is working a deal to get sparano another job, possibly in Michigan.
But what's happening to him really isn't fair. Yes he's highly paid and this in some ways comes with the job. But to leave him dangling? Come on!
Now we turn to Jim Harbaugh. Maybe he's the next great thing. Maybe he returns this team to greatness. And maybe not. No one knows. But for him to listen to overtures from the dolphins doesn't feel right. It feels wanker-ish. He's essentially interviewing to take someones job.
No as for the owner, well this is the second off-season in a row where there's been behavior that silly. Last year it was JT and Parcells. Now it's this. Mr Ross was the owner in both cases. I have to wonder.
Plus there's this "pesky" Rooney rule that has to be met. Ross has to interview a minority candidate before he can make a hire. Has he done that? Will he?
We are the talk of the NFL and a bit of a laughing stock. Why can't it be about whether we will win in the divisional round next weekend??!!
And one more thing. With Harbaugh - a Michigan guy - and Ross - also a Michigan guy - coupled with the delay to free agency and possibly the draft .... Could that mean that Chad Henne - from michigan! - will (gulp!) be given another shot ?
Gawd I hope not!!!
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
The Miami Dolphins want Broward County to share its tourism tax revenue to help pay for a $225 million renovation to its stadium in Miami-Dade.
Dolphins CEO Mike Dee has been meeting with area hoteliers, business executives and tourism officials to pitch the idea of rewriting state law to allow Broward to spend its tax money outside the county. The Dolphins argue that Broward has benefited heavily from past Super Bowls at the Miami-Dade venue and that a new stadium would help ensure their return in the future.
A bumble here or a tackle there, and either of the teams was 5-11.
So, I took a look at the personnel, and came to the conclusion that while there are 5 players that were on both teams, otherwise the current incarnation is not head and shoulders better than that one. I would argue that you could look at specific plays and wouldn't know which team you were watching.
And that gives me pause. Sparano may be a better motivator, and that's all good, but now his players are calling him out to some degree; and I would wager that *if* he were fired, there'd be a lot more that would say something about him. He has a tendency to back up his thinking with stats "well ya know 80% of the time when teams are in that situation, it ends in whatever so I chose to do whatever..." I can see players getting glassy-eyed over that one when it happens all the time.
And in talking with fans, they want a scapegoat. If Ross tells us Sparano and Ireland will be back, my sense is that they won't be happy. Even with a new OC, QB, and special teams coach. Unless there's a flashy name thrown out there, fans are going to be reluctant to purchase tickets until they see what happens.
Now, I've heard the rumors too: they contacted Bill Cowher, and he wants total control. Then phhhhhffffft. I don't want him. They've contacted Jim Harbuagh - he's the current college coach / sexy pick. Its an intriguing option, and his team just won a big bowl game. But reality says he won exactly one more game as a college coach than Randy Shannon (at the U), and we just ran him out of town! Gruden is not a candidate (thank god!). And there *may* be others.
What does any of this say about Sparano? He's the fall-back guy? You don't have confidence in him? He's your second (or third, or fourth) choice? That doesn't give me a warm fuzzy. And I wonder how it makes him feel. Say your boss just came to you to evaluate your performance and then you heard he was looking for someone to replace you. Would you ever feel the same? Would you work as hard?
How can this end well? I'm not convinced it can.
BTW, here's the flash I did when Wayne hired Cam. :)
apparently talks with Jeff Ireland, and spends some time sitting with
That was on Monday. Ross doesn't say a word. Sparano declines to
comment, other than to say something like "you'll know soon enough."
And that fuels speculation. Will he stay or go? Will his coaching
staff be retained? Is Ross courting another coach?
Who the heck knows?
And isn't that the way its been around here since Parcells took over? Everything is secret. Everything is a surprise.
We just don't know jack. And I suppose that's fine, but I think we
need *something* after two straight of 7-9. We deserve more. The
team went 1-7 at home, and I hear fans grumbling that they don't want
to renew tickets. But maybe there's a ray of hope out there. Or not.
Wouldn't it be nice if Ross just came out and said something like "I
have talked with Ireland and Sparano and it was productive. I'm not
prepared to comment on anything at this time, but I want to be sure
that you, the loyal fans of this team, know that I want what's best
for this team. I want us to win on the field."
That certainly would make me feel a little better.
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
end-of-year report card.
There is no MVP on this team. No rookies of note. And why bother
telling you who the best offensive and defensive players are (heck
just assume its the guys who went to the probowl).
I have no best game. There are too many to choose from for worst.
So they're 7-9 and need a lot of help.
That says it all.
Typically, the free agency period starts as the new league year starts - right around March 1st. But because there is no CBA, there is no new league year. Everything goes on hold as of March 4th. The CBA dictates who is a free agent, whether a player is eligible to become a free agent after his 4th, 5th, or 6th year in the league, who is restricted, what the "franchise" tag means, and so on.
So it may turn out that Paul Soliai is not an impending free-agent, or maybe he is. But that's up to the CBA, which hasn't been written yet.
And Ronnie and Ricky won't have anywhere to go right now, because no team can sign a player to a contract without a CBA in place.
In theory, that would mean that the free-agency period would have to happen after the CBA is ratified. And it seems unlikely that this will happen before the draft. So (again theoretically) that would mean that the draft would be held first.
Now, as I've detailed previously the NFL plans to hold the draft, regardless of whether there's a CBA. But there is always the chance that a rogue owner could break ranks, and wind up 'selecting' a player out of order, or a player could seek a court remedy to go where they want to go.
And the same could likely be said of the end of the league year. If a player is not under contract with team A, why couldn't the owner of team B go ahead and sign a personal services contract with the player? And what's to stop a player from suing to be able to move, under a restraint of trade or something?
So Miami's options for change at QB - or anywhere else - will be limited. I stand by my belief that the team you see now is more or less the one you will see take the field on opening day - whenever that may be. And that's because there won't be a draft or free agency until a deal gets done. And a deal won't get done until around the time the next season starts.
I guess we'll see...
I think there are three groups of teams in the NFL.
Some teams are at the top of their game, and manage to stay there for long periods of time because they build a culture of winning, have good coaching, and good QB play, and often have a little luck go their way.
Some teams are just plain bad, and lose a lot. But they have the luxury of a few early draft picks, often have some cap space and can lure some free agents, and coaching changes happen. And sometimes that's enough to propel them to another group.
And last is the mediocre group. These are the teams that go 7-9, 8-8, or 9-7 year after year. They don't get the big name draft picks. They overspend in free agency. They don't usually get coaching changes - and when they do new coaches tend to want to rebuild. Luck never quite seems to go their way. And that culture of winning seems nearby but is surprisingly elusive. You'll hear comments like "if only we had x happen in this game, we might have made the playoffs."
The problem is that once you enter the mediocre group its tough to get out. Teams spend decades there wallowing until they get one break that changes their fortunes. It may be for the better, or could be for the worse.
Look around the league. Miami was in the elite group for many years. Now they're in the mediocre group. Its going to take some lucky break to free them. I don't have a clue what that will be, but it has to happen sometime...you hope.
Some have come close, but no one has ever done it. Not Shula, Parcells, JJ, or anyone else.
So when you feel the desire to bring in a Jon Gruden or a Bill Cowher because "they've had a history of winning" remember that history has a way of repeating itself in the NFL, and they are unlikely to have success here or anywhere.
Plus this: when you hire an uber coach, you cede power to him. He buys the groceries and cooks the meal. He's the GM and coach, and therefore he has control. The current NFL makes that really hard, and there's no one there to help balance the equation. Its all about ego, and its hard to have success that way.
Monday, January 03, 2011
morning, 9am, my office and bring me your plan.
Tell me what you plan to do to bring fans back. Tell me your plans
for the QB, for the coaching staff, for free agency and the draft.
And then take a look at it. If its not written down, or its on a
cocktail napkin, then hit the button on their seat (like Dr Evil) to
dump them out of the room. If it looks comprehensive and well thought
out, tell them you want to study it; and then review it with a friend
in the biz. If it is decent, they get another shot. If not, they're
I think a couple of things are important. Changes are needed in the
coaching staff. There has to be a plan for the QB. And the franchise
has to be more public. Football is about the game, and yet its not.
Its about the hype, and Miami has none of that on the field. Players
don't talk usually. Assistant coaches only talk occasionally. There
needs to be more press conferences with a little hooplah. There needs
to be less secrecy and closed door kind of stuff. I don't think it
needs to go to a Rex Ryan extreme, but there needs to feel like
there's some accountability by the players, and it needs to look like
everyone is having some fun, and not just towing the line.
If Sparano and Ireland are okay with that, then fine. If not, buh-bye.
travelling in Europe. And I think he missed about 4 games this year
(all road games, I think ?)
So, if he doesn't show up for that debacle, how can he evaluate
Sparano's performance in it? And more importantly, if he doesn't come
to his own team's games, why should you or I?
Heck, he gets in for free, has food provided and doesn't have to stand
in line to pee.
but plays like #2....he's Chad Henne!
My problem with Chad is that he doesn't behave like a leader. I was
watching "the Replacements" the other day. A somewhat silly movie to
be sure, but there's a scene where coach Gene Hackman sends in a play
for QB Keanu Reeves to win a game; Reeves' character checks off, and
they wind up losing. Hackman says something to him like "great
leaders want the ball in their hands and win the game!"
And while its trite, it sends the right message. You, Chad, have to
win games, and not lose them.
Okay so maybe he's coached to check down, and to not throw it long.
But he's supposed to be the leader on the field. You ignore that and
try to actually win the game. Always. Can you imagine Tom Brady,
Peyton Manning, or really any great QB listening to a coach telling
him to check down?
And then there's the lack of "hustle"....how many times did we see a
2-minute drill where he non-challantly walked up to the line and took
his time. Where was the urgency?
And overall where was the fire? You see Peyton on the sidelines
yelling at people. You see Brady with a fire in his eyes. You see
Brees out there inspiring everyone and leading the huddle and the
chant before the game. You don't see any of that with Henne.
So that, coupled with his play, and you can make the case for him
being wanker of the year.
Sure, the playcalling was bad. Who would have EVER thought that when
you have Ricky and Ronnie in the backfield that you'd have the QB
attempt more passes than Dan Marino in a single game - several times?
Ugh. So Chad, you are my wanker of the year. You can pick up your
award at the bus station - along with your ticket out of town.
Goodbye and good luck.
I got a note from the commish which I wanted to share
Begin forwarded message:
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With one of the most exciting regular seasons now completed and the playoffs about to begin, let me first thank you and all NFL fans for your incredible support. Many fans have been asking me where we stand on signing a new collective bargaining agreement with the players union. Let me update you and be clear at the outset:
I know we can and will reach an agreement.
My goal as Commissioner now is to help our teams and players find a solution that is fair to everyone and ensures that football becomes more popular, accessible, and fun. We want the next decade to be the best yet for our fans, and I'm ready to work day and night to make that happen.
We've come a long way. Compare where we are today with 10 years ago. From player accountability to player safety, more and better television coverage, upgrading the in-stadium experience, innovations like the RedZone channel, the Draft in prime time and playing the Pro Bowl before the Super Bowl, we are focused on doing what's best for the players, teams, and fans. My priority is and always will be the game and the fans who love our game.
The NFL is great because fans care deeply about it. Economic conditions, however, have changed dramatically inside and outside the NFL since 2006 when we negotiated the last CBA. A 10 percent unemployment rate hurts us all. Fans have limited budgets and rightly want the most for their money. I get it.
Yes, NFL players deserve to be paid well. Unfortunately, economic realities are forcing everyone to make tough choices and the NFL is no different.
These are not easy negotiations, but the outcome can be positive. If both sides give a little, everyone, including fans, will get a lot and the game will improve through innovation.
Even in difficult economic times, a new CBA presents us with the opportunity to secure the future of our game. You may ask how will the NFL look under this vision?
A significant change would be to resolve fan complaints about preseason by modifying our 20-game format. Fans tell us they don't like the quality of the preseason games, and we're listening. An enhanced season of 18 regular season and two preseason games would not add a single game for the players collectively, but would give fans more meaningful, high-quality football.
Our emphasis on player health and safety is absolutely essential to the future of our game. We are strictly enforcing rules that protect players from unnecessarily dangerous play, especially involving hits to the head. We are changing the "play through it" culture to a "player-first" culture to ensure that if a player has a head injury, he doesn't play again until his health is certain. We are also addressing the potential wear-and-tear on players in the way they train in-season and off-season.
It's not just the health of players that concerns us. We must ensure the health of the league. That includes a new system that properly compensates proven veterans and retired players by shifting some of the outrageous sums paid to many unproven rookies. Earlier this year, Sports Illustrated published a list of the 50 highest-paid American athletes that included five 2009 NFL rookies. Every other athlete on the list was a proven veteran. In 2009, NFL clubs contracted $1.2 billion to 256 drafted rookies with $585 million guaranteed before they had stepped on an NFL field.
Don't get me wrong: top draft choices will continue to be highly paid. All we're asking for is a return to common sense in paying our rookies. Other leagues have done this and we can too.
These improvements and more will lead to better football, plain and simple. A forward looking CBA that is fair to players and clubs will lead to a great future for the NFL and our fans.
My job is to represent the game — the fans, teams, players, coaches and business partners. Protecting the integrity of the game and ensuring it thrives is a responsibility I take very seriously.
This is about more than a labor agreement. It's about the future of the NFL. We have to improve and will be relentless in our quest. The commitment to our fans is to make the NFL experience even better in the years ahead. With a responsible CBA, we will fulfill that vision.
Happy New Year and enjoy the playoffs.
– Roger Goodell
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Sunday, January 02, 2011
record, lets consider what might have happened if this were a seeded
tournament. The 12-team field would look like this:
(1) Pats 14-2
(2) Falcons 13-3
and the Bucs (I assume) would just miss out, also at 10-6
The top 4 would get the byes, meaning this weekend, we'd have:
[They are] fair weather fans. Real fans keep cheering. I saw fans keep cheering…. That’s their decision, but it’s silly. They are fair weather fans. If you cheer when times are going good and boo when times are going bad we don’t really need you as fans any way. They get mad and want to get their point across. But booing a player out there trying his best? I try not to curse, but it is what it is.We got to win more games at home when you’re in front of your fans. We want to win. It’s not like we’re going out there saying let us not win at home. But it is what it is.”
Uhhh, yeah 1-7 at home will do that to people. I don't boo, but after a couple of those lousy performances, I've encouraged it.
"We had some opportunities this year to get it done and we didn't do that. I guess we have to evaluate what we've done this year and see where we can improve and see if we can become good before we can become great."
He also declined to say much about Dan Henning "I don't make those decisions" and said of Tony Sparano: "Awesome"...then added "I don't care if there's one guy on me or two guys on me. There's no excuse for that. Just got to take advantage of what I'm blessed with, my body and my ability."
"It’s here at last. After six days of speculation and analysis, the Patriots finally play football today in a game that means . . . absolutely nothing.If you were at Gillette Stadium for Patriots-Rams on Thursday night, Aug. 26, you’ll probably be in Foxborough again today. Just because.
Bill Belichick is obligated, of course, to talk about how this is a “division game.’’ He can say that with a straight face because Miami is in the AFC East and that makes this a division game.
But we all know the object of today’s game is “do not get hurt.’’ And that makes for little drama. It’s Aug. 26 all over again.?"