Roger Goodell’s letter to fans: Your passion for the game drives us all

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is appealing directly to NFL fans this evening, penning an open letter regarding the NFL Players’ Association’s decision to decertify and take the ongoing labor battle to court.

“While we are disappointed with the union’s actions, we remain steadfastly committed to reaching an agreement that serves the best interest of NFL players, clubs and fans, and thank you for your continued support of our league,” Goodell wrote. “First and foremost it is your passion for the game that drives us all, and we will not lose sight of this as we continue to work for a deal that works for everyone.”

But the truth is, both sides’ actions suggest that they don’t much care about the fans’ passion for the game. They’ve decided to fight rather than come to an agreement, which is obviously what the fans wanted.

Goodell, however, is telling fans that what he wants is to sit down and work out an agreement.

“We remain committed to collective bargaining and the federal mediation process until an agreement is reached, and call on the union to return to negotiations immediately,” Goodell writes. “NFL players, clubs, and fans want an agreement. The only place it can be reached is at the bargaining table.”

84 responses to “Roger Goodell’s letter to fans: Your passion for the game drives us all

  1. It’s OK to think you’re smart…just don’t treat everyone else like they’re stupid.

    Are you serious with this nonsense? He’s talking to us like you used to talk to that dork on the floor who had a car when you were a freshman in college.

    Talk to us like adults, please.

  2. GO RAIDERS!!!! Roger maybe it’s time for the NFL to ask Al to help out once again to get a deal done.
    Let’s get real…is Robert Kraft a closer?

  3. I mean, who wrote that…it sounds like it was lifted from a “Care Bears” direct-to-video feature.


    Empty. Suit.

    Failed in the negotiations, devolving into a sappy sentimentalist.

  4. Your sh!t is looking weak and ragged, Roger, but we understand you serve at the pleasure of the owners.

  5. Didn’t Goodell say he’ll drop his salary to $1 if there’s a lockout? Homeboy’s gonna be eating off the Wendy’s Dollar Menu real soon.

  6. Translation. Union Sit your a** back down and work this out like men. Don’t be a B*tch and run to the Courts.

    Fans- We will say this so we can get the union back together and then lock them out

  7. “First and foremost it is your passion for the game that drives us all, and we will not lose sight of this as we continue to work for a deal that works for everyone.”

    *cough* BULLSH!T *cough*

  8. Goodell, Pash and De Smith…. take those three out of the negotiations and there may be an agreement.

  9. Blah…blah….blah….blah…blah – He’s part of the problem and he needs to be replaced! He’s bad for the game. Say goodnight Gracie.

  10. Only if you replace the word “fans” with the word “owners” and the word “football” with the word “money” would Goodell be speaking the truth. Which he never does.

  11. “Fans..we are having trouble splitting this 9 Billion..Soooooo we’re gonna need you to fork over some more money. If we get to an even 10 billion, then we’ll have a deal done in bend over and let me and De prison rape you just a little bit more…thanks again”

  12. UPDATE:

    Goodell released a news statement:

    “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride to make it easier. Let the children’s laughter, remind us how we used to be. I decided long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadow. If I fail, if I succeed, something something I believe. No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity. (PAUSE) Because the greatest love of all is happening to me. I’ve found the greatest love of all inside of me.”

    That would have been more appropriate, and less sappy, for a man facing down a dude (D Smith) who is DROOLING to face him in court.

    Unless Tom Brady goes all Colonel Jessup on the stand – and, granted he very well may – the NFL owners are going to have their work cut out for them in this case.

  13. College football on Saturdays and Sundays, the MLB playoffs will get me through October, and College Football will tide me over until NHL and the NBA starts. There, my fall is set without the NFL.

  14. Well that nice letter makes it all better that there will be no football next year. Jackass. Are you really going to make me start watching the NBA?!?! Work it out, kindergartners even know how to share.

  15. “First and foremost it is your passion for the game that drives us to maximize our profits, and we will not lose sight of this as we continue to work for a deal that works in our own best interests.”

  16. Hey Roger – Take tour “letter” and shove it up your A$$….Give the fans what what we really want…..quit!

    You idiots had a CBA with 2 years left on it and you decided to cancel it… you are paying for it…..You dont care about the fans.

  17. OH NO!!!!!!! Whatever are these millionaires going to do now? It’s so sad that now, chad johnson wont be able to afford that gold plated shark tank. Now he’s going to have to cut back and get the silver plated one. What a freakin Travesty!!! Give me an effin break. Seriously, I hope they screw this season up, go ahead, because I for one will not watch a single game of football, or spend any money on these overpriced babies if they so much as miss a single day of training camp.

  18. Dear Commissioner Goodell …

    The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. In the past year, you’ve preached the importance of following the rules only to rewrite rules to suit your own PR purposes. You’ve preached the importance of personal conduct among all players but penalized only those whose names drew headlines. You’ve talked about safety while pursuing unsafe policies because of their profit potential. You’ve talked about listening to fans while pursuing policies fans almost universally disapprove. You’ve talked about integrity while making absolutely no effort to improve glaring problems in officiating.

    Sir, I don’t believe a word you say.

  19. Great work Opie Goodell. Not only did you make a mockery of this past season (changing rules in middle of season, inconsistent fines, and a disasterous SB hosted by Dallas), you have now managed to be the leader of a $9 BILLION that is crashing down because the idiots can’t agree how to split up the money.

    Bye bye NFL. I’m done.

  20. Whatever. MLS starts in 4 days. No need to spend my money on a dying business model. Good luck NFL/NBA. Joe Public not going to subsidize this crap anymore.

    Go find real jobs.

  21. Its time for some outside help, perhaps a class room of 5th graders could get this done quicker and fairly.

  22. It is becoming abundantly clear that Goodell has either lost touch with reality .. or he thinks we are stupid. He continues to feed us b.s. … does he really think we believe him???

  23. Big Money Rodger Goodell. He is all about the chedder, so are the players. Blue collar guys like me can’t afford this game anymore. I hope they hire replacments again and I can go to a game. I like top notch play but if there is a guy in a uniform with my team colors I’ll watch!

  24. this was a good deal that the players should have taken. now we all lose and especially the players when its done.
    Wait till they have to sell the bling to pay for the mortgage. They will come back crawling

  25. Goodell needs to be fired immediately for the following reasons:

    (1) The labor situation should not have been allowed to reach this point. If he was doing his job it would not have reached this point.

    (2) He claimed the NFL fans were clamoring for an 18 game season. Every poll I saw said just the opposite. Just a scam to get more money out of the fans.

    (3) He suspended several Saints and Vikings players for using a substance that was NOT on the banned substances list and did not list the banned ingredient on its package. This is fair?

    (4) He fined and/or suspended players for LEGAL hits because he said they were too rough. Ridiculus and unfair.

    (5) He claims he will make the NFL an international sport. NFL Europe barely hung on for 20+years and was finally cancelled. Football is an American and Canadien sport. Soccer is a world sport. A bad warmed over idea that was proven wrong years ago.

    (6) He changed the Draft from a weekend event to this bizarre 3 day event mostly at night. Most fans I know hate it.

    (7) This condescending, cynical letter to the fans is the final straw.

    He is incompetant and a cynical parody of a real leader.

    The NFL needs to hire a real leader who listens to the fans and respects the players. Things will come together very quickly if this happens.

  26. The fans have no say, even though we’re the ONLY reason these owners and players can even call themselves billionaires and millionaires. These pigs are arguing over the right to make $49M over 5 years instead of $46M and their owners are concerned about whether or not they can buy two private jets instead of one next year. It’s a shame. I wish myself and the millions of other fans had the balls to boycott the league for a year so they could see who’s really responsible for making them all rich, but I love watching football so much that I wouldn’t be able to.

  27. How the eff are you gonna come out and say this to people who make less than a fraction of what the people in this whole conglomerate make?

    Child please.

  28. Roger,
    You’re an idiot. You put the owners first because a few of them were the ones that have put you in office. You have made a MOCKERY of the NFL. Your dealings within the moving to Europe and going with the 18 games schedule, not to mention the continued new DRAFT format. That last one is a joke, the way you position it is laughable. For someone that has been in the league office for the last 15 plus years such as you have. I’ve never seen anyone so disconnected. You are truly a disgrace and are putting your own legacy first instead what is good for the NFL, the players and the FANS. We are the ones that pay your salary and you are oblivious to that fact. It’s nice to see you have ruined what was one of Americas greatest pastimes. Nice job, I believe you could even screw up a McDonald’s drive thru. You are truly over-matched.

    Your truly,

  29. You know what drives me? A car.

    And I’m starting to wish someone would hit Roger Goodell with theirs.

  30. The end of the NFL as I know it.

    What a sorry state of affairs. With 20% of people out of work in this country, with the USA in financial trouble with talk of ending Medicare and Social Security we are all focused on whether there will be football this year? What the f.

    I have been an NFL fan for many years but this makes me sick enough to say screw it – I will find better things to do with my time and money.

    The fans are what makes the NFL – So the owners and players better get their priorities in order. You stand to loose millions of loyal fans along with all the money you make ON US.

    You all better fix this before it’s too late – like now!

    PS: I will still be fishing with you Pete and John this spring.

  31. F-U. Both sides.

    Players – If you want to open the books as partners, buy in. Own a team. Take the risk. Own the business. Split the cost of stadium upgrades. Take some headache. Otherwise, negotiate your best deal as an employee of the team and shut the hell up. Play football. Do good, make more. Do bad, make less. That’s how all the rest of us have to handle our business.

    Owners – Rookie wage scale is only right. And I’ll take 16 reg season games with guys who are 2 games healthier as opposed to 18 reg season games of scrubs. Just leave it alone. Yeah, as a season tix owner, preseason suck to pay for. But it’s just part of the deal. Want fewer preseason games? Give up the revenue on 1 of your 2 preseason home games. Have 2 preseason and 16 reg. Done and done.

  32. @moochzillla:

    Post of the freakin year.

    Both of them.

    Fetus Head Manning as Jessup:

    You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at fantasy drafts, you want me in that Oreos commercial, you need me in that Oreos commercial.

    I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a league that makes millions off my face, as horribly misshapen as it is, being on TV every 30 seconds, who lives off the revenue I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it.

  33. Goodell’s speech sounded just like John Mara’s speech to the Giant fans in which he said ” We built the stadium for you, our fans ” what a crock !!!

    Why don’t you guys smell what your shoveling !!!!

  34. what so we can give you another 9 billion dollars for you mutha f&@*as to disagree on?! obviously im being bitter because of possible outcomes of all this nonsense but dont talk to us like we are your main focus with nothing but $$$$ in your eyes…

  35. Hey!! I just got Rodgers letter in my inbox!! And here i thought it was just one of those public service announcements…Thank you Rodger for taking the time to write me…but your still not getting anymore of my damn money

  36. Letter from the fans to Roger Goodell:

    “it’s our passion for the game that leads us to go friggin nuts when you try to destroy it.”

    There is a plus to the end of negotiations; I don’t have to see Mini-oddJob Demaurice Smith and those hats anymore this spring. De-Mo, if you want to look taller, don’t wear hats, wear platforms. Seriously.

  37. The sad truth, in addition to the greed that drives this sport (that I admittedly love), is that the fans do have a bargaining chip in all of this. Most fans are following and hating this to some degree, and whether you support the owners or the players is not important. If the fans organized on a large enough scale and agreed to boycott something as minor as merchandise purchases or as major as buying tickets, this dispute would wrap up rather quickly and painlessly. But the owners and players know that will not happen, so it is no bother to them what the fans think (despite pleas to the contrary). We will show up to the games if they fix this tomorrow or if it takes until 2012. PSL’s will be bought, $8 beers will be guzzled, and jerseys both real and fake will be worn with abandon. And we will forget about the time when the owners wanted an extra billion, and the players wanted to see P & L statements.

  38. As fans, our recourse is pretty simple. The $9 Billion they’re fighting over is OURS. If it’s not there anymore, there’s nothing to fight over.

    So, just like with your kids. Unhappy with their behavior? Take something away.

    Stage 1: Starting NOW, don’t buy a single piece of NFL gear. Not a shirt, a coozie, a pen. NOTHING with a shield.

    Stage 2: Don’t renew season tix. Make sure the dude from the team who calls to hump your leg knows that you’ll renew when the labor dispute ends. Not before.

    Stage 3: Boycott the major TV sponsors of the NFL. Any company that says, “Official ___ of the NFL.” Don’t buy it.

    Those are the 3 primary places OUR $9 Billion comes from. Like they do with terrorists — follow the money.

  39. UPDATE:

    Goodell dictates that NFL logo now includes unicorn, rainbow, picture of cuddly kitten.

    Bud Selig is Teddy Roosevelt compared to this dude.

  40. Who’s the secretary who wrote that up? The words don’t have any feeling or meaning to the fans, because we’ve seen what’s been going on in the past months. This past football season for hell’s sake!

    Unions are greedy. Always remember. They’re currently screwing up my living quarters of WI, and they’re currently screwing up the number one sport in the nation.



  41. Dear Roger,

    Our “passion” for the game is quickly being overtaken by our disgust for the way both sides have been so greedy through all these sham negotiations.

    You, the owners, the players, and every damn lawyer you all employ, can go F–K yourselves from here on. We stopped caring anymore, and go ask the NHL how that worked for THEM.

    BOTH sides suck here.

    Footbal Fans

  42. roger goodell needs fired. this guy is destroying the game of football. trying to impose a 18 game schedule so he wants no hitting in football all he basically wants is a glorified two hand touch football so the filthy rich owners can get there hands on even more money. it will backfire on him the nfl needs to fire this guy now. i know im getting rid of my season tickets no more money for these rich owners.

  43. Commissioner Goodell, this contract impasse is the crowning achievement to your atrocious management of the NFL this year. All you are is a mouthpiece for the NFL owners. More worried about appearance than substance. While you shouldn’t receive all the blame for the current circumstances, you are ill equipped to improve things.

  44. I am going to start a list of all of the screen names of all of the people here who are currently claiming that they won’t watch the NFL when it comes back.

    You’re all liars, and when you start posting on here about games you allegedly aren’t watching anymore, I will call you out.

  45. Dear Roger,

    As committed as you and the owners are to collective bargining, the simple fact is that you must have some one to bargin with.

    There is no union any more. Congrats, you guys busted it. So live with the consequences.

  46. I still say NFL FANS UNITE. Stop watching NFL channel, don’t visit their website and don’t buy any nfl products. WE are the NFL and its time we let them both know we are not happy!!!

  47. life is too short to take this BS anymore…. come sept, when week 1 stadiums are empty…. forget about it…. this fan will find something else to do, to spend what little money is leftover after paying bills,,to spend it on…..he reminds me of an old boss who thought her S**T didn’t stink… somebody go dig up goodell’s dead father & show him what his son is trying to do to this business,….oops sport….

  48. saintswintaintedwin: While a lockout blows, beating it on Sundays, will unfortunatelt be more of a priority. That being said….SHAUN ROGERS BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. Well, I accept good ole Rodger’s apology for being a friggin’ dofus. What is with the grandstanding? Why does “the fans opinion” matter? Why should it? A lot of these morons can’t wrap their mind around the idea the players won’t play for 7.50 an hour… Others criticize the players wealth, but the billionaires get a free pass? Yeah, like the owners are going to lower prices… How stupid! The real thing that determines prices here is the demand – and demand is high and so are the prices chump.

    First it’s these dofuses (owners and players) and now it’s the fans… I’m never watching again! I’m never buying anything again with the NFL logo… Get real!

    Yeah, right… Geez, it’s just a game I happen to love. It generates a lot of loot and these guys can’t figure out how to divide it. How does this even involve us fans? I guess that hurts a bit, but the way so many people act like children…

    Open the books, stop the lying, come to a compromise, and act like adults. Just doesn’t seem that difficult, but boy does money change people.

    Some folks here are crying for billionaire owners that inherited a team and claim, we’re bleeding money? Then don’t take a TV contract for less but guarantees you free money without a product. And what risk did they take? Heck, there’s been no risk in buying a franchise for 50 years! And the NFL has to approve you…

    And the players? Don’t get me started, a collection for rookies that made 300 thou minimum knowing there was no CBA? They came out in droves last draft to beat the rookie cap and knew there was a strike looming. Help me out here, you couldn’t have saved a little of that? Exactly how sorry should I feel for these guys?

    And yet, folks are able to pick sides! It’s like Reservoir Dogs and that movie didn’t end well and there were no good guys. Just a bunch of dopey criminals, with dumb ideas, and nobody willing to give in because of the “big score”.

  50. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. In the past year, you’ve preached the importance of following the rules only to rewrite rules to suit your own PR purposes. You’ve preached the importance of personal conduct among all players but penalized only those whose names drew headlines. You’ve talked about safety while pursuing unsafe policies because of their profit potential. You’ve talked about listening to fans while pursuing policies fans almost universally disapprove. You’ve talked about integrity while making absolutely no effort to improve glaring problems in officiating.

    Sir, I don’t believe a word you say.

  51. I still say NFL FANS UNITE. Stop watching NFL channel, don’t visit their website and don’t buy any nfl products. WE are the NFL and its time we let them both know we are not happy!!!
    I’mwith you 100% but talk is cheap in March. Let’s talk again in the fall. I think everybody should walk away but what are the odds of that remotely happening?

  52. @woods546

    This says it all. The owners and players know that they have a captive audience and they don’t give a damn about what we think. They’ll make their billions and millions and we’ll be lined up at the stadium and in front of the TV to watch a bunch of rich folks playing a game that made fools of us all.

    We’ll have hundreds show up for a Super Bowl and have no seats, and they will pooh pooh it as an honest mistake.

    What would be cool is if we could have a rolling boycott of 2 games a week where nobody would show up for a game. I mean NOBODY. Hit each stadium once over the year.

    Yeah, they would already have the season ticket income, but the loss of concession money would hurt even a little bit. Boycott each team, once per year…..we can do it. Don’t even watch on TV.

    And Roger…… your ear~

  53. I have to ask, does the fact that there is no union anymore put D.(DOUCHE-BAG) Smith out of a job? Or is he now just acting as the lawyer from the spoiled kids.

  54. what a fraud

    cover up the videotapers in new england

    tells us the fans our his concern

    what a joke?

    just let us know when both sides get done whinning over billins and millions

    we dont care about your next millon $ check

    we just want to see the next game

  55. @mikerol124

    As James Carville said in old school to Will Ferrell “we have no response… That was perfect”

  56. don’t worry, once Jerry jones is able to buy out Microsoft, OPEC and the US presidency everything will be ok

  57. Billionare owners and millionaire players are hurting those who have made them their money. They did tis in the baseball strike and I have not watched another game since. I am crying that my favorite sport will go the same way, but not enough not to hope ALL the fans will see it the same way and quit supporting the game until ALL players and owners who supported this action are out of the business or dead. In baseball most of them are….maybe it’s time to go back.
    Shame on all of you!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!