Back in the Wild West days of PFT, we had no relationship whatsoever with the league office. That changed the first time NFL spokesman Greg Aiello called.
I can’t remember what it was about, but I remember thinking, “Holy crap, they’re actually paying attention to what we write.” I also can’t remember whether it was a complaint, but he had more than a few of them over the years in his former role as the league’s primary spokesman.
And I was fine with that. It was his job to spread the message that the league wanted to be spread, and it led from time to time to spirited exchanges, often via email, with two strong-willed individuals trading diplomatically-worded (mostly) barbs and, most of the time, coming to a respectful consensus before moving on.
Aiello is now moving on from the league office.
“It’s a voluntary incentive program to support some of us who have dedicated our lives to the NFL but are ready to move on and do other things,” Aiello told Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal via email. “To sum it up, it’s been a wild 39-year ride.”
Other longer-term employees are leaving under the program, which typically provides the employee with a sizable severance package. Per Kaplan, an unnamed source said that not a large number of employees will be leaving pursuant to the program.
Aiello worked for the Cowboys from 1979 through 1990 before joining the NFL. Earlier this decade, he shifted to an internal communications role with the league office.
Best wishes, Greg. And thanks for your help over the years, even on those occasions where you would have preferred to help me into a vat of boiling acid.