Commissioner: No competitive advantage for teams that can have fans present this year

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In dealing with the inherent competitive advantage that comes from teams having fans present when other teams, due to the pandemic, cannot, there are two ways for the NFL to handle it. First, the NFL could acknowledge that there’s a competitive edge, but explain that the realities of the COVID-19 outbreak require certain irregularities. Second, the NFL could say there’s no competitive edge.

The NFL has chosen Door No. 2.

In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, Commissioner Roger Goodell said that there’s no competitive advantage from some teams having fans present while others cannot. Goodell explained that he and the Competition Committee came to that conclusion after discussing the issue.

“We do not believe it’s a competitive advantage,” Goodell said. “We discussed it very early on with our Competition Committee and with our clubs. We do not see that. We obviously have varying capacities across the league, and from our standpoint, we want to invite our fans in if we can do it safely and we can do it with the full support of local officials. We think our fans want to come to the stadium.”

Of course there’s a competitive advantage. Why deny it? It’s an odd look for the league to claim with a straight face that there’s no edge to having fans present when other teams can’t. While it’s not likely to be as stark as some teams having a full house and others having no fans at all, the general, bright-line distinction between fans and no fans is obvious.

The far better approach would be to simply acknowledge that the 2020 season will present plenty of actual and perceived inequities. And that’s fine; a season of football that is unfair at times is better than no football at all.

46 responses to “Commissioner: No competitive advantage for teams that can have fans present this year

  1. No advantage? Well this the same guy that believe that nature could cause Colts’ footballs to deflate but only a hum could cause Patriots’ footballs to deflate

  2. Yes, there’s an obvious competitive advantage. I guess Goodell simply thinks that we’re all bunch of dummies.

    With that said, it is what it is. Im a Giants fan and my team wont have their fans at their home games. Oh well…..suck it up and play to win.

  3. If this is true, why did he punish Minny, Washington and Atlanta and not Indy for pumping in crowd noise?

    This guy is not only the world’s greatest liar, but a walking contradiction.

  4. So a stadium with 10,000 people cheering for the home team is the same advantage/disadvantage as a team with 0 people and 80 db of crowd noise played over the stadium speakers for both teams? Sure I see the logic in that answer.

  5. I can only imagine the depth of that discussion. Probably took all of 10 seconds.

    Rog: Everyone OK with some teams having fans and others having none?
    Competition Committee: Yup. What are we doing for lunch?

  6. I’m not overly concerned with this issue but who the hell does he think he’s kidding? Does the Competition Committee think we’re all idiots? Of course there’s an advantage.

    Life isn’t fair so it is what it is but this is borderline insulting.

  7. Its comments like this that prove the Comish has no clue. What a joke of a man I’d he thinks fans in stands doesn’t give you an edge. Hmmm, Seattle, home team victories, playoff disadvantage for road teams.

  8. It would certainly be an advantage if a few home teams could have a ‘packed stadium’ vs. no one in the stadium for most of the other teams, but that’s not the case at all. Most teams will be limited to 7500 – 10,000 fans, and even if that doubles or triples, that’s nowhere the 70,000 that the Chiefs or Seahawks get and the disruption won’t be the same or anywhere near it.

    Now, the fairness the NFL is using also assumes that the home teams keeps the piped in music and other noise down to a reported 75-80db and at an equal level throughout the game.

  9. I suppose the commissioner would say that the competitive advantage is a hoax… Geez sounds like someone else we’ve heard before 😂

  10. So how many audibles can the quarterback’s visiting teams make in Seattle or New Orleans on third downs? Not many, when you compare it to other outdoor teams that don’t have a 12th man. I’ve seen lots of offensive linemen jump on a manageable 3rd down with the crowd screaming it’s head off.

  11. As Charlie Weis sarcastically joked on NFL Radio, we might as well skip the regular season and announce the Dolphins are the AFC Champions because… well, they had 13,000 fans in the stands.

    “You have more fans at a Bon Jovi concert. Are you serious?”

  12. Every team has the option of having fans. If a liberal governor of your state doesn’t allow it then why should another team be penalized? Or if your team doesn’t think it’s a financial gain then so be it. The bigger issue is getting fans back at venues. It can be done safely at some capacity. Let’s take the steps to return lives back to normal.

  13. This has become so common now to blatantly say something that isn’t true but keep repeating it as if it is. This goes far beyond this foolish statement. God help us all of what has become of our country(world).

  14. That’s fine I’ll just stop going to games all together because according to this logic the players are not responsive to my cheering for them. (This is the stupidest damn statement I have ever heard but coming from Roger Goodell I’m not the least bit surprised he would say something so asinine.)

  15. Not true.

    This will greatly change the Chiefs home field advantage when the Chiefs travel to play the LA Chargers & LV Raiders.

  16. ceedee88 says:
    September 1, 2020 at 4:03 pm
    Every team has the option of having fans. If a liberal governor of your state doesn’t allow it then why should another team be penalized? Or if your team doesn’t think it’s a financial gain then so be it. The bigger issue is getting fans back at venues. It can be done safely at some capacity. Let’s take the steps to return lives back to normal.
    ————————————————————–
    You’re missing the point. It’s fine for the league to say we want fans in the stadiums whenever/wherever possible and that it will inevitably lead to some competitive advantages. But to say there’s no competitive advantage is insulting to anyone with a half a brain and it should be embarrasing for the league.

  17. I guess 10-15,000 fans is a slight advantage. Who cares? Why are they pumping in noise to empty stadiums? I guess they don’t want us to hear the players.

  18. voddyt says:
    September 1, 2020 at 4:24 pm
    ceedee88 says:
    September 1, 2020 at 4:03 pm
    Every team has the option of having fans. If a liberal governor of your state doesn’t allow it then why should another team be penalized? Or if your team doesn’t think it’s a financial gain then so be it. The bigger issue is getting fans back at venues. It can be done safely at some capacity. Let’s take the steps to return lives back to normal.
    ————————————————————–
    You’re missing the point. It’s fine for the league to say we want fans in the stadiums whenever/wherever possible and that it will inevitably lead to some competitive advantages. But to say there’s no competitive advantage is insulting to anyone with a half a brain and it should be embarrasing for the league.

    7 0 Rate This

    ————————

    It also means it is now legal for teams to pump in noise since Goodell just said noise has no advantage.

  19. touchback6 says:
    September 1, 2020 at 3:38 pm
    If this is true, why did he punish Minny, Washington and Atlanta and not Indy for pumping in crowd noise?

    This guy is not only the world’s greatest liar, but a walking contradiction

    I can think of one other guy who tops Roger.

  20. This is so disrespectful to fans that attend the games and pay $10 for a 12 ounce beer and buy $5 hot dogs and pay a fee (seat license) just to have the honor of then purchasing your season tickets and parking and on and on. THIS IS A SLAP IN THE FACE. This whole thing boils down to the NFL doesn’t care about we fans, BUT OUR $$$$ does. We don’t mean anything to them because they just told us so. If anything with all the showboating after a TD or a big play the modern players need more fan acceptance then ever before and now we are being told we are wasting our time screaming and yelling and cheering on our teams because it really doesn’t have an impact on the game. So be it. I can’t wait to see how the NFL walks this statement back and if they don’t it just proves my point that they don’t care about us.

  21. Commissioner Goodell just made the stupidest statement (Lie) ever. He deserves a place in the NFL Hall of Shame for that whopper…

    Credibility = zero

  22. There is no more competitive advantage/disadvantage related to crowd noise in 2020 as there is any other year.

    In a normal year, there are stadiums that are notoriously far more difficult to play in due to crowd noise. We can all rattle off the cities. Seattle and Kansas City are at or near the top of that list. We can prove that by showing the statistics on how must more often these teams win at home versus away.

    I don’t agree with Goodell on much, but that’s the point he is making. Not literally that there is no competitive advantage whatsoever, but that there is no incremental competitive advantage above what we see any other year. And he is 100% right about that. This is a non-issue.

  23. Totally agree with Goodell. 15,000 fans in a 75,000 seat capacity Stadium is nothing!! A Lot of people need to quit crying about this. Unprecedented times people. Go cry to your Governor.

  24. He’s not that stupid is he? Or he has no respect for the fans and thinks we are all just a bunch of idiots

    SKOL

  25. The comments to any Goodell story are always a hoot. Guys act as if he runs the league when the reality is that he just speaks for the 32 people who *are* the league.

  26. Wow – Goodell just made a liar out of a lot of Hall of Famers who said otherwise during their careers. If fans’ noise doesn’t affect the game, what are the warnings and penalties regarding too much noise about. Goodell looks very bad with his simplistic statement.

  27. Goodell is a lawyer. Let’s define competitive advantage. A condition or circumstance that puts a company in a favorable or superior business position. Now when the commissioner says every team can have fans what happens after that is not a competitive advantage. It’s just business. Whine about it however you want. Now if he hand picked teams that could have fans it’s a competitive advantage. A team like Buffalo could get 6 feet of snow compared to LA that’s bright and sunny and that’s just part of the game. The league set up 0 constraints so no competitive advantage is had.

  28. Realize for a moment that Roger is just the dummy that we get mad at when owners make a decision.

  29. I’m calling bs on this. Good fan bases lift the home team and make it difficult for visiting teams to communicate.

  30. There is a financial disadvantage to having no fans, and that is driving This, most ridiculous, statement. The billionaires club doesn’t want to lose out on any opportunity to gouge the fans whenever possible. So even if everyone can’t capture this revenue, let’s make sure those that can, do. There was a great little article here a while back talking about how you might lose money admitting small numbers of fans. The math and logic makes sense but trust me, this group doesn’t do things that lose money. Even if it creates a competitive disadvantage. There will be fans wherever possible and the NFL will see more issues. It’s how big business is done.

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