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Report: Goodell, Smith have “very jovial dinner” after talks


The ice apparently is thawing between the two men at the heart of the NFL’s ongoing labor dispute.

Though there’s no reason to believe the report that the lockout is “almost over,” it appears that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith finally have commenced the kind of relationship necessary for getting a deal done.

According to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post, via SportsBusiness Daily, Goodell and Smith had a “very jovial dinner” that lasted nearly two hours on Wednesday night, at a restaurant in Midtown Manhattan.

With the typical breathless hyperbole that appears in every Post article ever written, the report describes the dinner as a “secret and highly unusual sit-down.”  Actually, Goodell and Smith had lunch last month during a mediation session in Minnesota.

So maybe it was the second “secret and highly unusual sit-down” in a month.

Still, to the extent that Goodell and Smith are developing the kind of relationship that allows them to let their guard and/or hair down and have a good time, it means that they’re building the kind of trust that gets multi-billion-dollar deals done.

It’s another reason for cautious optimism as one of the most critical and significant and secret and highly unusual months in NFL history unfolds.

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42 Responses to “Report: Goodell, Smith have “very jovial dinner” after talks”
  1. hobartbaker says: Jun 9, 2011 6:32 PM

    Especially when they locked eyes and tugged on the wishbone together.

  2. duanethomas says: Jun 9, 2011 6:35 PM

    Goodell paid for dinner.

  3. schmitty2 says: Jun 9, 2011 6:39 PM

    I’m going to blow up that picture and throw darts at it

  4. berniemadoffsides says: Jun 9, 2011 6:42 PM

    “Ebony and Ivory” playing in the background, a little dancing…

  5. vtboarder says: Jun 9, 2011 6:46 PM

    Did they meet at the Hungarian Pastry Shop?

    Ask Philip for the special…it works for every sticky bun.

  6. thephantomstranger says: Jun 9, 2011 6:48 PM

    Is it possible to have a “secret” dinner at a restaurant in midtown Manhattan? Why does everything around these negotiations have to be called “secret”? They obviously didn’t care who saw them, so how is it a secret?

  7. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Jun 9, 2011 6:55 PM

    I’d kill to be at that table. I bet they have some funny jokes and do great impressions.

  8. jc1958cool says: Jun 9, 2011 6:57 PM

    smith had to foot the bill!! roger is only making a dollar right now!

  9. stairwayto7 says: Jun 9, 2011 7:03 PM

    Goodell: Hey D, dinners great and I love my baseball fantasy team!
    D Smith: Mine sucks, Uggla is killing me!
    Goodell: I guess we can get a new deal done after baseball right?
    D Smith: Yeah thats what I am thinking, who needs football anyhow! LOL LOL LOL LOL
    Goodell: LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL.. More Don Perion please!

  10. hsteacher says: Jun 9, 2011 7:11 PM

    hobartbaker says:

    Especially when they locked eyes and tugged on the wishbone together.

    Unfortunataly, Smith got 59.9% of the wishbone AGAIN!!!

  11. commandercornpone says: Jun 9, 2011 7:11 PM

    sounds like a laugh riot. they should go on tour together as ralph kramden and the kingfish.

  12. ravenator says: Jun 9, 2011 7:16 PM

    That pic looks like they are both conjuring how they can screw the other party first

  13. iamthorny says: Jun 9, 2011 7:19 PM

    I feel sorry for the restaurant. It probably took “2 hours” for them to decide what percentage each of them should pay for the bill.

  14. willycents says: Jun 9, 2011 7:23 PM

    If that pic is of them eating, I don’t want to eat at that place. The look on their faces says the food must suck. 🙂

  15. lowleadman says: Jun 9, 2011 7:29 PM

    Look at the picture. They are both touching their lips with their hands. I wonder what that could signify?

  16. gregski79 says: Jun 9, 2011 7:31 PM

    Thumbs up if you think a deal is reached by June 17th.

  17. straitalk says: Jun 9, 2011 7:36 PM

    DeSmith: ‘Let’s split the bill.’
    Goodell: ‘We can split it 50-50, but you pay the tip off the top for this and all future lunches, and as the bills grow, so does your percentage of the charge’
    DeSmith: ‘Thats not fair, these hats are expensive, and I gotta eat!’
    Goodell: ‘Too bad, if you dont like that we wont eat at this restaurant together again, and all the folks (Fans) who want to see our silly antics while eating will be saddened; there!’
    DeSmith: ‘I know you made a deal with the owners of the restaurant to eat for free the next year anyway! I refuse to pay that much’
    Goodell: ‘Yeah, well I am doing this for the people who want to watch us eat today and in the future! Its them I’m thinking of, you understand’
    DeSmith: Listen, I take this doggie bag home to all my rich kids (Players), some who are pretty fat from all they eat. They need more!’
    Goodell: My doggie bag is for wife (owners); the old lady is busting outta everything she ever wore, but still she needs more. I heard she even asked the restaurant folks (Fans) to build us a bigger house for her to fit in!’
    DeSmith: Bastards!
    Goodell: Bitch!
    Both : Cheers!

  18. football2011 says: Jun 9, 2011 7:36 PM

    Maybe Kenny Britt stopped by to get the party started?

  19. bensstinkyfingers says: Jun 9, 2011 7:40 PM

    Brings to mind the scene from “The Lady and the Tramp” sharing a plate of Spaghetti and DeMoron gently nudges the last meatball to Godell with his nose. Romantic story nonetheless, now get the deal done lovebirds!!

  20. daboltfan says: Jun 9, 2011 7:40 PM

    its not hard to believe that the dinner could be about the completion or bear completion of a deal is it.

  21. valman61 says: Jun 9, 2011 7:41 PM

    Not to be overly optimistic. I would like to disclaim this post as wishful thinking.

    Maybe they agreed in principal and celebrated with a jovial two hour dinner? Maybe the small mass paper isn’t full of hot air? Probably not, but one plus one equals two and it’s not a leap in logic to think maybe the dinner was jovial because it was in fact a celebration? A man can still wish right?

  22. ftblfan9 says: Jun 9, 2011 7:44 PM

    They are still there. Couldn’t agree on how to split the bill.

  23. stubbyjones says: Jun 9, 2011 7:51 PM

    …..then they walked down the road, holding hands, singing “Kumbaya”…

  24. Kave Krew says: Jun 9, 2011 7:51 PM

    As The Church Lady would say………Isn’t that special……

  25. footballfanatic3431 says: Jun 9, 2011 8:06 PM

    While the dinner has been described as “jovial”, it did not start that way.

    Goodell wanted to eat at Sizzler while Smith wanted to eat at Fridays.

    After a long, frankly ridiculous back and forth conversation with both sides threatening to leave and have dinner on their own, Smith gave in and decided to eat at Sizzler, but the caveat was that Goodell had to pay and they had to go to Fridays the next 5 times.

  26. bigdan7885 says: Jun 9, 2011 8:09 PM

    The sexual tension is palpable.

  27. goeagles55 says: Jun 9, 2011 8:16 PM

    Goodell and Smith each finished their meal in 20 minutes. After agreeing that they should each pay for their own main course, neither side could agree who would pay for the appetizer.

    They argued for a few minutes, then Smith said he didn’t even eat any of it. After hours of no discussion, the two sides finally agreed to talk minutes before the restaurant closed.

    Ending TBD.

  28. laeaglefan says: Jun 9, 2011 8:34 PM

    You’ll know that a deal is close when Kevin Kolb starts packing his bags and starts checking the Internet for flights to Phoenix.

  29. upperdecker19 says: Jun 9, 2011 9:02 PM

    “Goodell and Smith had a “very jovial dinner” that lasted nearly two hours on Wednesday night, at a restaurant in Midtown Manhattan.”

    Didn’t know that they had a Costco food court in that part of town

  30. paulieorkid says: Jun 9, 2011 9:06 PM

    How often do two people who each are on $1/year salaries dine together at a posh mid-Manhatten restaurant?

  31. 2011to2020lions says: Jun 9, 2011 9:17 PM

    D Smith – Hey Rodg so when are you going to come off with the cash

    Goodell – Loo I have talked to the owners and I think I can make this work for all of us

    D Smith Really? how you going to do that?

    Goodell – Well if you will get your players to take more money with a lower percent, I will get my owners to raise the percent we first gave you.

    D Smith – that could work if the percent is high enough, see we have to look good to the players and I am a lawyer so percents are all I know how to sell to my clients.

    Goodell Bull crap lawyers only worry about dollars!!

    D Smith – you know what you may be on to something here, maybe we can have a deal by the end of the month. I just have to reprogram the players to believe that more money is good, and the percent really isn’t that important as long as we all win here and the NFL grows,

    Goodell – so do you think you can do it?

    D Smith – I don’t know but we will all know around July, if not see you in court. Hey by the way you are buying dinner right? I haven’t been paid yet, this is one massive bill though when I do get paid.

    Goodell – Well I only made a dollar this year, I will split it 50/50 with ya

  32. easyeddie says: Jun 9, 2011 9:19 PM

    stairwayto7 says:
    Jun 9, 2011 7:03 PM
    Goodell: Hey D, dinners great and I love my baseball fantasy team!
    D Smith: Mine sucks, Uggla is killing me!
    Goodell: I guess we can get a new deal done after baseball right?
    D Smith: Yeah thats what I am thinking, who needs football anyhow! LOL LOL LOL LOL
    Goodell: LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL.. More Don Perion please!


    Who the hell is Don Perion?

  33. WingT says: Jun 9, 2011 9:29 PM

    Thank goodness the two little fellows got them something to eat. I was really worried about their eating habits through this ordeal.

    I bet those two pudgy little fellows can really ring up an impressive tab, lol

  34. packerswambulance says: Jun 9, 2011 9:32 PM

    “jovial” is a word that should not be used anymore. Forever…

  35. rcali says: Jun 9, 2011 9:58 PM

    I bet they spent the whole night making jokes about all the NFL and team employees getting screwed in the middle of all this.

  36. clintonrb says: Jun 10, 2011 12:48 AM

    They both began meatgazing one another and locked hands singing Princes Purple Rain

  37. evrybdyhas1 says: Jun 10, 2011 3:55 AM

    It will take one lunch and three dinners before anyone puts out.

  38. jdbaker1860 says: Jun 10, 2011 6:18 AM

    I hate the eagles.

  39. skins359 says: Jun 10, 2011 7:55 AM

    This is a nice change of pace. A good commissioner-NFLPA head relationship is a big part of the reason the league had the longest standing labor peace that other leagues were jealous of before this year.

    Both have been annoying with Goodell at times going to far outside the box with suggestion (18 games, 3 point stance, etc) and Smith on his quest for leverage.

  40. rgwhodey says: Jun 10, 2011 7:58 AM


    I think he was reaching and thought he knew a name of an expensive champagne, ha…

    i.e. dom perignon

  41. lucky5934 says: Jun 10, 2011 8:40 AM

    So of course we as fans are so desperate for any good news, that we make a big deal out of this. An equivalent situation might be a high school girl getting excited because the boy she likes casually said hello to her as he walked by. I am assuming they are just laughing at who’s wife has to pay for this meal since between the both of them they are making a combined $1.00 on the year in salaray.

  42. laeaglefan says: Jun 10, 2011 6:56 PM

    What do you mean Costco food court? They went around and took 2nd and 3rd helpings of the samples that Costco gives out.

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