If you had told NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a few months ago that when he gave his Annual “State of the League” press conference before the Super Bowl he wouldn’t have been peppered with questions about Ray Rice and domestic violence, he surely would have been shocked — and surely would have breathed a sigh of relief.
But at Goodell’s press conference today, domestic violence was not the primary focus — or even a focus of the questions at all, as questions regarding Deflategate and franchise relocation dominated the discussion.
We’ll have plenty to say here at PFT about Goodell’s answers to various questions, but right now let’s take a look at the questions themselves. Here are the 26 questions Goodell took, grouped into their topics:
Bob Kravitz, WTHR in Indianapolis: Robert Kraft said you owe his team an apology if nothing comes of Deflategate. What are your thoughts?
Howard Eskin, Fox 29 TV: Will you hold Bill Belichick to the same standards in Deflategate as you held Sean Payton to in Bountygate? And why aren’t you available to the media every week, as Richard Sherman suggested?
Mike Reiss, ESPN: Has the NFL ever tested the air pressure of footballs in the middle of a game, and how important is that as a frame of reference in this investigation?
Heather Yako, NBC News 11 in Arizona: Why was Arizona chosen to host the Super Bowl and has Deflategate detracted from the game?
Bart Hubbuch, New York Post: Richard Sherman suggested that you may show favoritism to some owners, including Robert Kraft. How do you react to that?
Jason Cole, Bleacher Report: How is throwing a deflated ball drastically different from throwing a spitball in baseball?
Mark Maske, Washington Post: Will the standards you laid out after Spygate for teams complying with rules continue to apply in Deflategate?
Franchise relocation and ownership issues
Jim Thomas, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: What is the league’s level of commitment to keeping a team in St. Louis and have the Rams’ owners followed the league’s relocation guidelines?
Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times: 2015 marks the 20th year without a franchise in the nation’s largest market. Rams owner Stan Kroenke has the resources to move a team to Los Angeles. What criteria will the league use to determine whether a team moves to Los Angeles and what if an owner goes rogue and moves without the NFL’s blessing?
Amber Dixon, NBC Las Vegas: Las Vegas has long expressed interest in having a pro sports team. Could Las Vegas sustain a professional team?
Vic Carucci, Buffalo News: In light of the new ownership in Buffalo, what’s your perspective on the need for a new stadium?
Kevin Acee, San Diego Union-Tribune: Can you speak to the fans in San Diego about whether they need a new stadium and has Dean Spanos done enough to demonstrate that he’s tried to work things out locally?
Jeff Duncan, New Orleans Times-Picayune: A lawsuit has been filed in New Orleans questioning Saints owner Tom Benson’s ability to run the team. In your opinion, is Benson mentally and physically capable of running the team?
John Sutcliffe, ESPN: It’s been since 2005 since the league has had a regular-season game in Mexico City and the fans don’t understand why. Can you explain why?
Neil Reynolds, Sky Sports: Why have earlier kickoff times been used for London games?
Ian Walker, London Evening Standard: What more does London need to do to grow the game and have a franchise there?
Goodell’s job performance
Barry Wilner, Associated Press: What do you plan to do, specifically, to restore face in the league and in the quote-unquote, Shield?
Darren McKee KKFN, Denver: A lot of people who had a job like yours would probably resign. Can you imagine any circumstances that would lead you to resign?
Rachel Nichols, CNN: A lot of issues have had a conflict of interest. When you hire an outside investigator like Ted Wells, you’re still paying him and Robert Kraft is still paying you. What steps can you take to mitigate some of those conflict of interest issues?
Ron Mott, NBC News: How would you describe your relationship with the players and how will you improve that relationship going forward?
Ken Belson, New York Times: Do you believe you deserve a pay cut for your performance?
Dan Kaplan, Sports Business Journal: Do you think you’ll reach your goal of growing to the point where the NFL will have $25 billion in revenue?
NFL’s youth football and Play 60 initiatives
Jason Winik, Dallas Sports Source: What can you do to get more participation in youth football?
Bobby Sena, NFL Play 60 Super Kid: “Play 60 is an important part of my life, but how do you play 60? I told you it was a tough question.”
Dave Briggs, CNBC: The average ticket is more than $10,000. Is that a concern that the league has looked into?
Mike Garafolo, FOX Sports 1: Marshawn Lynch’s cooperation or lack thereof with the media has become a big story. What’s your take on how he handled the media this week and will he be fined?