Roger Goodell: I don’t think there’s a better time to be an NFL fan

AP

There were a variety of topics up for discussion when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with the media at the completion of Wednesday’s owners meeting, but the message Goodell wanted to lead the day was pretty clear.

Goodell said that the NFL is experiencing “historic highs” in terms of the quality of the games, the closeness of the scores and offensive play through the first six weeks of the season. He noted the growth in ratings and development of “so many good young players” as further signs that the state of the league is strong.

“I will leave you with something that I have said to the owners many times. I don’t think there has been a better time to be an NFL fan,” Goodell said. “The quality of the games and the enjoyment that comes with that, I hear it from the fans all the time — that is number one for them. Number two, is the access to the games and the way that fans are able to engage with the NFL. There are more platforms and more opportunities to do that. The experience is better because of technology. All of that creates a much better opportunity for our fans to enjoy football and NFL football. From our standpoint, we look at this as a great moment for us — the tremendous growth and the tremendous popularity of our game.”

The last couple of years have seen plenty of discussion about things that have been going poorly for the league. The causes of those discussions haven’t gone away and, in some cases, are unlikely to ever go away, but the opening weeks of this season have been quieter on that front and Goodell took that as a chance to puff out his chest a bit on Wednesday.

147 responses to “Roger Goodell: I don’t think there’s a better time to be an NFL fan

  1. “I hear it from the fans all the time…”

    This is the metric we are using? Goodell hearing it all the time?

    Can we get some data on fan satisfaction? Some real research?

    (I know I thought the league was more enjoyable in the 90s. A lots of people I know feel the same way. I hear it all the time.)

  2. Funny, I can’t think of a worse time… Thanks to the holy trinity of wimp quarterbacks who got the rules changed and destroyed the game we loved: Brady, Manning, Rodgers. I never like Arena Football.

  3. Are you kidding ?….Incessant flags thrown after every play, referees determining game results with calls that no two refs would agree upon, Defense completely taken away from the game and players afraid to tackle opponents for fear of penalty infractions and fines,commercials after every play, all time high prices for stadium tickets, vending and parking , not to mention anthem protests and PSL.s ! A fan since 1956…I will take 50-80’s gameplay over this travesty we now have to put up! I watch a fraction of the games I did in the past !

  4. I love when people blame QBs for the rule changes. Never once did I see Brady, Manning, Rodgers lobby for rule changes like the ones we are seeing. That is purely the NFL. Stop the hating on the players, blame the league.

  5. Wow is he out of touch. The whole NFL is so insulated from reality. Don’t get me wrong. I love watching the NFL. But they have no clue what the world thinks of them.

  6. Heck he’s right. You can go to a game and spread out on the seats next to you and put your feet up on the empty seats in front of you. No one is going to kick the back of your seat either because there is no one there to do it.

  7. Rules changes are ridiculous, refs are horrendous and can’t consistanly call penalties, unless it’s roughing the passer. Defenses are handicapped, QBs are playing at a video game rate. It’s a joke of a game compared to a couple decades ago when men played, now it might as well be flag football.
    Hockey is now the game with fast action, guys can lay punishing hits and fighting is legal. The NFL in it’s present form has pushed me away towards hockey and other sports. Sorry Goodeell, just because you say it’s good, doesn’t make it that way, You ruined this game under your watch due to the greed of the owners and the shield.

  8. “This might be the year I finally switch to college football for good”

    ==========

    You think you have to choose either or?

    You are missing out son. We all enjoy both!

  9. Well, it probably was more fun to be an NFL fan back in the 80s and 90s when you were able to smack the sweat off a player and it was ok… but I get it. I don’t want someone to be a vegetable at the age of 45 simply so I can be entertained.

  10. Access to the games? Is this a joke? If I want to watch baseball, I can download the app, pay $89 and watch every game for my favorite team. Same for the NHL, at $110. Same for the NBA, at $120.

    For the NFL? I need to have DirectTV, and then I have to buy Sunday Ticket package at around $300. If you’re not a DirectTV customer, go away, your money is no good to us.

  11. Never seen a person with less self-awareness. Fans are completely fed-up. Literally screaming that he’s killing the game. He won’t listen. The Owners won’t listen. The only chance that football has to survive is if they fire him and blame all the problems on him. Unnecessary rule changes, bungling suspensions, relocating teams to the wrong markets. Total disaster. FIRE ROGER GOODELL!

  12. Fans anger with Goodell is so misplaced that its funny. You can get rid of Goodell but that won’t change anything. The next commissioner will get his marching orders from the same owners and the same things will happen with the league. Goodell has been perfect for the owners as he gets all the blame for their messes and no one points the blame in the direction it should be.

  13. Translation: We are only going to make the rules more and more conducive to the passing game. Within 5 years, hitting a QB will be completely illegal. All it will take is another elite QB getting injured despite current rules.

  14. jimcofer says:
    October 17, 2018 at 4:05 pm
    He’s lost his mind. This might be the year I finally switch to college football for good.

    ————

    Last year was my transition year, I barely watch any NFL at all anymore and when I do it’s because I’m in the company of someone else that does at their place. I’ve watched one game all season.

  15. 49erfan44 says:
    October 17, 2018 at 4:10 pm
    I hope Roger stretched before reaching to pat himself on the back so hard.

    ———–

    Probably not, but hopefully he pulled his tongue so hard that he’ll be out for the rest of the season and next offseason.

  16. Doug L says:
    October 17, 2018 at 4:16 pm
    I love when people blame QBs for the rule changes. Never once did I see Brady, Manning, Rodgers lobby for rule changes like the ones we are seeing. That is purely the NFL. Stop the hating on the players, blame the league.
    —————–
    Rodgers, his coach, and teammates, including Clay Matthews, said repeatedly that Barr’s hit should have been illegal. Look it up. it wasn’t an illegal hit last year. and now it is. I don’t know what more evidence you need than that to see that Rodgers and the Packers had a direct influence on the rule change this year.

  17. “The quality of the games and the enjoyment that comes with that, I hear it from the fans all the time.

    Then he hears about as well as my 12 year old when I ask her if she finished her homework.
    I wonder what was going through his mind as he got booed every time he headed to the podium during draft day. If he didn’t notice that then it’s time to get his hearing checked out asap. As others have said, delusional is a good way to describe him.

  18. Rules changes are ridiculous, refs are horrendous and can’t consistanly call penalties, unless it’s roughing the passer. Defenses are handicapped, QBs are playing at a video game rate. It’s a joke of a game compared to a couple decades ago when men played, now it might as well be flag football.
    Hockey is now the game with fast action, guys can lay punishing hits and fighting is legal. The NFL in it’s present form has pushed me away towards hockey and other sports. Sorry Goodeell, just because you say it’s good, doesn’t make it that way, You ruined this game under your watch due to the greed of the owners and the shield.

  19. It’s not…who wants to watch flag football with basketball scores and continues stream of penalties

  20. NFL quality has never been lower Roger. You’ve legislated the quality out of the game for maximized marketing dollars from TV sponsors. You’ve allowed ill thought out decisions to be the basis for the rule changes without actually addressing the crux of the problems. It’s infuriating to watch the great game of football be turned into a gambling video game that 7yr olds would fawn over. You’ve turned football into Star Wars Episode 1 The Phantom Menace.

  21. This guy is Delusional! Right now the game does not even resemble the game, we all knew and loved!

  22. “Fans” have already forgotten that Brady went through last year’s playoffs and SB with a torn up throwing hand, let alone that he once played a season with broken ribs and broken fingers. That they think Goodell somehow changed the rules to help him, rather than smear him at every opportunity in the name of “parity,” really says it all.

  23. I can’t stand Goodell as much as the next guy, but the blame is not on him. The owners have paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits for concussions. all these rule changes are to prevent the owners from paying out more hundreds of millions of dollars. You can’t make the game safe, so the owners want plausible deniability in the next lawsuit. It’s all about money.

  24. mogogo1 says:
    October 17, 2018 at 4:14 pm
    Did he announce his retirement? Because THAT will be the best day to be an NFL fan.

    ————————-

    Do you REALLY think the next person will be any different? Goodell is doing exactly what the owners want him to do, and so will the next commissioner.

  25. Roger Goodell was pledging transparency in 2014.

    In 2015 Roger Goodell claimed that “the integrity of the game is the most important thing”.

    Then Roger Goodell almost immediately does the opposite of both integrity and transparency when he decides to hide the PSI information which was collected during the 2015 NFL season.

    It’s now 2018 and Roger Goodell is still hiding that PSI information from football fans.

  26. 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s were all far better time to be a fan. The game has been so changed and softened to cater to the fantasy geeks and gambling that it barely resembles the NFL of 20 years ago. I don’t watch 10% of the games I used to the product is so wretched so much of the time

  27. My saturdays are glued to college game day right thru the pac 12 10:30 special. My sundays are out with other couples in a sports bar with hockey, currently baseball, basketball and football on. Can take the nfl or leave it

  28. Goodell is absolutely right. Numbers back him up.

    Only anonymous online trolls consistently bombard comment boards with fake “anger” and forever whine about 2 or 3 bad officiating calls out of 2,000 plays a week. The same trolls whine about the QB tackle rule, yet conveniently ignore the normal 12-15 QB hits every game (ie QB Pressure/knockdown stats that aren’t sacks).

  29. harrisonhits2 says: “1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s were all far better time to be a fan.”
    =======================================

    Right. Watching a game on a 28″ tv in SD glory. Fuzzy replays where you can’t even tell if it was the football in his hands or just dirt, let alone “rule” it catch or not. 3/4 of the QBs couldn’t even crack 50% completion rate and barfing up interceptions 2-3 times a game. Yuck.

  30. Unless you are (or were) a fan in St. Louis, Oakland, and San Diego.

    On behalf of all them, and with all do respect, screw you, Goodell.

  31. The league is strong. Parody is better than ever & so is the QB play. If this many of you hate the league why are you commenting on this site so much? People who think it’s suffering have no clue how popular it really is.

  32. Goodell is so out of touch it just amazes me. How the owners ever picked this clown for Commissioner is beyond crazy.

  33. The rules are so football will keep going. Parents are stopping kids from playing. You gotta have kids playing the game for the future. When the NFL started getting sued for Concussions. Mothers were pulling their children from the sport for baseball or basketball.
    Blame the older players who played by the old Rules that everyone seems to want to have back. They are the ones who keep suing the NFL.

  34. I love when people blame QBs for the rule changes. Never once did I see Brady, Manning, Rodgers lobby for rule changes like the ones we are seeing. That is purely the NFL. Stop the hating on the players, blame the league.

    ======
    I don’t know about Manning, but Rodgers is the reason for the flags this season. He whined all season last year after him bracing himself broke his collarbone. Then the rule where you can’t tackle a QB around the knees I the pocket is the Brady rule after he tore an ACL on the first drive of the 2008 season when Bernard Pollard of the Chiefs dove at his legs while on the ground.

  35. Revenues are breaking records every year. Everyone is playing Fantasy Football. Roger is right. There has never been a better time to be a football fan. I’ve been watching for 50 years, and it just keeps getting better. Good job Roger!

  36. Then the rule where you can’t tackle a QB around the knees I the pocket is the Brady rule after he tore an ACL on the first drive of the 2008 season when Bernard Pollard of the Chiefs dove at his legs while on the ground.

    Wrong!

  37. yeah, what a great league. Itll be yet another year with the Pats vs someone else in the Super Bowl. So exciting.

  38. I just went to a HS football game in Georgia last Friday, 14,000 fans. Parents aren’t letting kids play? Says who? Peter King? I don’t have any issues with the rule changes. Officials & players will need time to adjust.

  39. wizardsixthclass says:
    October 17, 2018 at 4:18 pm
    Heck he’s right. You can go to a game and spread out on the seats next to you and put your feet up on the empty seats in front of you. No one is going to kick the back of your seat either because there is no one there to do it.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Which stadium were you at? Because I was at the Viking/Cards game this past Sunday in Minnesota and there wasn’t many empty seats at all.

  40. 90 commenters repeating the same meme convincing themselves that the NFL is losing popularity, while the scientific data shows that the league is more popular than ever. Sophisticated market sampling vs. a few people with an extreme minority opinion talking among each other.

    Which one should you trust?

  41. What he really meant was it is never better time to be Commissioner. The game is verging on flag football. Look at all the empty seats, Roger.

  42. “Look at all the empty seats, Roger”.
    _______

    You people who believe and/or pass around pictures taken 30 minutes before game time are so cute. If you’re going to criticize the league, at least try to come up with legitimate facts to support your opinion.

  43. GB v SF didn’t have 1 empty seat. Watched a great game & the best QB to ever play. Ticket was $129, spent another $100 on food & drinks. I feel like I got a bargain.

  44. Yes & he says exactly what his 31 billionaire bosses tell him to say. He works for the OWNERS, only the owners.

  45. Gambling, fantasy, and DFS are propping up the NFL. Were it not for these things, I would watch one, maybe two, games per week. However, since I play fantasy and DFS, I buy Sunday Ticket, and watch to see what my guys are doing. Take away those three things, and I think many people’s interest will wane quickly. College FB is way more entertaining, at least to me.

  46. “The average fan has not once told Roger they appreciate access to multiple platforms to watch the games. This guy can’t help but make things up”

    I agree that the average fan has probably not ever told Roger that, but there is some truth to it. The only caveat is that it’s not free. It’s human nature to complain about having to pay for something when you think you should be getting it for free, but at least options exist now that didn’t exist in the past. We’re no longer limited to whatever games the local networks want us to watch. We now have the ability to watch any game that we want to watch….for a price. To some people, that has value.

  47. charlie8816 –

    While I agree with your overall opinion, are you trying to tell us that you were at a high school game in Georgia Friday night and then at the Packers/49ers game at Lambeau Monday night? That seems…unlikely.

  48. Thats a bunch of crap.
    Football way way more fun to watch 5-10 years ago.
    It may have been less safe for the players but the game was way more fun to watch.
    I loved seeing Adrian Peterson run over safetys, now thats a penalty for lowering your helmet. WRs weren’t as protected, and there wasn’t a PI/IC/PF on every 3rd play.
    QBs weren’t over protected, so you could sack them for real. Don’t want to get hit? Then throw it away. The running game and defense mattered and games weren’t 42-35, yech.

  49. Right–except for the previous 7 decades when football was football and not stopped every minute and a half for a replay.

  50. It’s not the QB’s that don’t want to be hit, Owners who pay 30 million a year for the QB is who doesn’t want QB’s getting hit.

  51. Roger is partially right. NFL football is awesome, but it has always been awesome. The reason its at an all time high with fans is because the TV coverage has changed. The video technology is so advanced, we can see everything. Plus, instant replay is awesome. Some people complain just because that’s their nature, but instant replay has made the game way better. Then there’s Fantasy Football. I’ll watch games just because I have a RB playing or something. Then there’s the Sunday Ticket. I get to sit there and watch every game, every week. Yes, NFL football has never been better, and the record revenue these teams are bringing in every year is proof. Follow the money. When they say TV ratings are down, they don’t say that TV viewing in general is way down, and that the most watched shows on TV are NFL games. So we’re kind of being lied to by the people who hate football, or the people who are mad at Roger Goodell because Tom Brady got caught cheating. Anyway, just follow the money. NFL Football is awesome.

  52. It is getting to be like arena league where the last team to score wins. I still love the NFL and so I still watch and attend the games and will next year too. But it is not as enjoyable. How about resetting the rules back about 10 years before the colts had them changed so that there is no longer any defense. Defense makes the game more challenging and competitive. I dont want to see constant scoring at will.

  53. I don’t really care for Roger Goodell, but given that a big part of his job is promote the league, it’s a little silly to get on him about painting the current situation in the best possible light.

    What is he going to say? “Right now the league sucks and it’s a terrible time to be a fan”?

    And sure, fans are going to complain about how the NFL wasn’t as good as it was in the 1980’s. I imagine fans in the 1980’s complained about how the league wasn’t as good as it was in the 1960’s, when you could clothesline people.

    And to some extent, is is true that there has never been a better time to be a fan than today. For example:

    – fans can now see any game on any Sunday; in the past you were pretty much stuck watching the local market team and then the Cowboys game.

    – because of the above, if you’re a fan of a team different from the city you live in, you can often meet with fellow fans to watch games at sports bars

    – fans generally are able to watch games on large, high definition TV screens instead of fuzzy, low-def small TV’s

    – if you’re not at home or near a TV, you can watch games on your phone

    – internet sites such as PFT allow fans more news coverage and up-to-the-minute updates

    – social media sites allow fans more interaction with their favorite players

    – fantasy football’s popularity has added another element of fun to the game

    – parity means that even the best teams are not significantly better than the worst teams, the “any given Sunday” mantra is totally true. With a few exceptions, you don’t see the same teams dominating or stinking it up year-in and year-out

    – instant replay prevents obvious bad calls from changing the course of games

    – playing surfaces at stadiums are significantly improved from the old days, leading to better quality of play and fewer turf-related injuries

    – stadiums themselves feature more amenities and better sight-lines since almost nobody is sharing a stadium with baseball teams anymore

    – websites such as Stubhub allow fans to better access the secondary ticket market without having to hope you can find a guy selling them on the street when a game is sold out

    – the internet makes it easy for fans to buy merchandise for their favorite team even if it’s on the other side of the country

    There are probably more examples. And while there certainly there are aspects of the on-field product that I’d like to see improved, I think a lot of fans here take for granted the opportunties we have to enjoy the NFL that didn’t exist even just a couple of decades ago.

  54. I grew up on The Purple People Eaters, The Steel Curtain, The Fearsome Foursome and The Doomsday Defense. Tarkenton, Staubach, Montana, Namath, Bradshaw. The NFL was incredible and kept you on the edge of your seat. The football now is a pale comparison to those days. Flags, politics and constant rule changes have really damaged the integrity of the game. I’ve gone from watching every game played by my home team and other match ups to less than half (last year) of my home teams games and watching no other games. I’m hoping the new leagues can capture what was once an awesome sport to experience.

  55. Access to the games? Is this a joke? If I want to watch baseball, I can download the app, pay $89 and watch every game for my favorite team. Same for the NHL, at $110. Same for the NBA, at $120. For the NFL? I need to have DirectTV, and then I have to buy Sunday Ticket package at around $300.
    ____________________________________

    It’s really even more absurd when you think that with the NFL Sunday Ticket you only get 16 days of games. There are only 2 time slots of games on the Ticket (1 EST and 4 EST), so you can only really watch 2 full games a day so that’s a max of 32 games a season. Yes, you can flip channels or have a man cave with several TVs, however most people stay fixed on one game at a time.

    Compared to the other league where you have games on almost every day of their season with games on at different times, etc. I have the NHL.tv package which I can stream on multiple devices at the same time and I watch it most days of the week.

    Also, the NFL Ticket app blocks you from having it up on multiple streaming devices. It’s not worth it IMO.

  56. Rog, a portion of what you said is correct when you said “I don’t think there’s a better time to be an NFL fan.”

    The only part that was correct was when you said “I don’t think…”

  57. sphinctersayshuh
    Oct 17, 2018, 6:45 PM EDT
    Then the rule where you can’t tackle a QB around the knees I the pocket is the Brady rule after he tore an ACL on the first drive of the 2008 season when Bernard Pollard of the Chiefs dove at his legs while on the ground.

    Wrong!

    Actually that rule was put in place after Carson Palmer tore his ACL in January of 2006 when he was hit low during a playoff game versus Pittsburgh This occurred prior to Brady being injured. It’s amazing how hate can effect a persons view of reality

  58. Roger Goodell is so phony! He is so out of touch with the fans that anything he says means nothing. The owners love him because they only care about money, but he’s proven over and over that he lies and is oblivious to what has happened to this sport.

  59. I’m 51….followed through NFL since I could understand what I was watching from about age 8. I would say this is the worst time for the NFL. I don’t want to watch games where defense is rendered meaningless. Where every possession leads to a score. It actually dilutes the meaning and specialness of game winning drives when any QB can do it, any time. Scoring is great, as long as it happens in the face of a defense that has a chance.

  60. dmuehlhausen says:
    October 17, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    I don’t know about Manning, but Rodgers is the reason for the flags this season. He whined all season last year after him bracing himself broke his collarbone. Then the rule where you can’t tackle a QB around the knees I the pocket is the Brady rule after he tore an ACL on the first drive of the 2008 season when Bernard Pollard of the Chiefs dove at his legs while on the ground.
    ______________________________________________________________

    Wrong. Carson Palmer was the reason for that rule change.
    Also, google Bill “we had a first round grade on Brady, just decided to not draft him” Polian and his stint on the competition committee to learn how Manning was behind rule changes.

    About the only thing you got right was that Rodgers broke his collarbone.

  61. Roger Goodell is apparently almost as skilled at completely making things up out of thin air and issuing statements that have no factual basis whatsoever as 45 is–and that’s really saying something. It’s a true talent, albeit a detrimental one. Talk about creating your own reality!

  62. What Roger can’t say or doesn’t see, is that the NFL as we know it is at a Crossroads. And he better step lightly as fans for the first time are starting to push back and take steps to stop watching and going to games.

  63. 315judman says:
    October 17, 2018 at 6:16 pm
    Uh… NO!

    Take me back to 1991 please.

    -Bills fan
    -—-—-—-—-—
    Absolutely agree!
    -Redskins fan

  64. Sort of like how now is a great time to Buy A House! Or to Sell A House! Or both! Just ask any realtor. At any time.

  65. “He must not have been a fan from the late 60’s…”.

    Wow, you must as old as the guy above listing Bradshaw, Tarkington, the Purple People Eaters, etc. Why can’t you realize that the 70’s are over. No one but a very small section of you care about what happened back then.

    The NFL is hugely more popular currently than it in the 70’s, regardless of whether you choose to believe it or not.

  66. What else is he going to say – he is a huckster and his bosses keep giving him a job because they are making money…

    Don’t ever fool yourselves into believing that RG is anything more that the Jason Garret of the NFL!

  67. BuckyBadger says:
    October 17, 2018 at 4:34 pm
    Fans anger with Goodell is so misplaced that its funny. You can get rid of Goodell but that won’t change anything. The next commissioner will get his marching orders from the same owners and the same things will happen with the league. Goodell has been perfect for the owners as he gets all the blame for their messes and no one points the blame in the direction it should be.
    ====================
    And yet no a single owner has a say over the mess they call player discipline. OR the refs trying to legislate the garbage handed down to them.

    Misplaced indeed.

  68. gregerss says:
    October 17, 2018 at 4:36 pm
    Goodell sucks, but many of you complaining will be here next year, the year after and so on. Be real lol.
    ===============
    Not likely at all.

  69. Unfortunately, he’s right. Regardless of cost, fans can watch as many of the 256 games per year as they wish by a variety of different means. You couldn’t do that before the advent of Satellite TV and the Internet. In fact, you had to deal with black outs where you couldn’t even watch your local team unless the game was sold out until a very short time ago. Excuse me while I go do the keyboard equivalent of washing my mouth out with soap now.

  70. I am pretty sure the new Rodgers rule for QB’s sucked so bad you had to talk to your incompetent refs about it after 3 games Roger.

Leave a Reply

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