Report: Some owners say playoff expansion wasn’t addressed last week


Adding further fuel to the notion that Wednesday’s revelation from Commissioner Roger Goodell regarding an expanded playoff field was the equivalent of the Wizard of Oz saying, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain,” ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that some owners say that the topic of playoff expansion wasn’t discussed during the meetings that preceded Goodell’s press conference.

Here’s what Goodell specifically said in his opening remarks, before any questions were taken:  “Of course, something that we discussed in the past is expanded playoffs.  That is something that we teed up today.  We will probably be looking at it with the [Competition] Committee over the next several months.”

While the truth may reside in a Clintonesque parsing of what “teed up” means, the fact that some owners were surprised to hear Goodell say that a topic that wasn’t addressed actually was addressed (or, at a minimum, “teed up”) strengthens the perception that Goodell was trying to change the subject, one day after a 22-page bounty-case rebuke from his former boss, Paul Tagliabue.

In fairness, Mort points out that Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay previously sent out a memo that mentions playoff expansion as a possible topic for the annual offseason consideration of rule changes.  Still, that’s a far cry from the subject being “teed up” on Wednesday.

Regardless of whether it was a legitimate topic of conversation or a shrewd P.R. move, it worked.  The subject was changed.

And, at least for a moment on Sunday, the subject will be whether the league office simply was trying to change the subject.

UPDATE 12:36 p.m. ET:  The NFL disputes Mortensen’s report, pointing out that the topics was mentioned in a pre-meeting binder and during the meeting by Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay.

20 responses to “Report: Some owners say playoff expansion wasn’t addressed last week

  1. I thought this was the NFL not the NHL. It’s becoming flag football, now everyone gets in .
    Roger Waters was right Money is the root of all evil today.

  2. Expansion???????? If anything we need a contraction! We have enough sorry teams getting into the playoffs as it is. If you want to make the playoffs better, only let in the teams with the best records regardless of conference or division.

  3. I wouldn’t mind having a one game win in for the last two wildcard spots in each conference.
    So top half of the standings make the playoffs, all the division winners get a bye.

  4. Poor idea to expand playoffs! teams will not play as hard during the season and then decide to play just hard enough to get the weakest playoff spot..the league is getting softer and softer under Goodell..just leave the game alone Goodell, Geez.

  5. Now owners are contradicting their commissioner? It’s time to start compiling a list of replacements. Roger has no credibility. IMO.

  6. Nobody wants to pay the same thing for an inferior product seeing how the NFL is a business and all. The consumers aren’t stupid.

  7. catfanatic1979v1 says:
    Dec 16, 2012 11:15 AM
    Expansion???????? If anything we need a contraction! We have enough sorry teams getting into the playoffs as it is. If you want to make the playoffs better, only let in the teams with the best records regardless of conference or division.
    I like the current format. I think a team should make the playoffs if they win there division no matter how weak it may seem. Teams build themselves to beat there division rivals. Sometimes it doesn’t match up well against the rest of the league. The Jets are bad but I bet New England fans wouldn’t want to see them in the playoffs.

  8. Hmmmm, seems lately Goodell is more fond of ‘truthiness’ than actual truth.

    Claims Joe Vitt contributed funds to bounty program then has to retract that claim.

    Claims Anthony Hargrove was source of ‘Pay me my money’ sideline audio, later has to admit it wasn’t Hargrove’s voice (which Hargrove claims he told the NFL all along).

    Now even some of his owners had to set the record straight as to whether there was discussion about expanded playoffs.

    You think when he sat at that press conference and made that ‘truthy’ claim that he imagined some of his owners would come out and contradict him?

    Add in the rebuke from Tags and I think Goodell is reeling at the moment.

  9. The problem is he still probably thinks it’s a good idea. I don’t think he would try to hide a black eye by making himself look like an idiot.

    Like, I’m a Saints fan, we’re 5-8 and playing the 6-7 Bucs today. Does ANYONE want to live in a universe where that’s advertised as a game between with “playoff implications”(and with 8 teams/conference it would)? Because I sure don’t.

  10. The NFL’s problem these days is they’ve just been too successful for their own good. Goodell simply can’t fathom that anything can go wrong. The stupid London idea… all the phantom “illegal” hits constantly being called and fined… eliminating kickoffs… now expanding the playoffs… All these are born from the same hubris that any crazy idea that enters Roger’s head is destined to be a winner.

  11. The NFL is beginning to look a lot like politics. Leak one story to downplay another.. Spin it right for awhile, then spin it back to the left when the direction of the wind changes..

Leave a Reply

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