The Commissioner of the National Football League Rodger Goodell had his annual State of the NFL address yesterday. Rodger Goodell spoke on many NFL topics during his 47 minute address. He commented on the upcoming Super Bowl, his unique relationship with the Patriots, and Thursday Night Football.
Super Bowl LI
Super Bowl LI will take place this weekend in Houston. As has been heavily publicized, the New England Patriots will take on the Atlanta Falcons. The Super Bowl is obviously the biggest game of the year for the NFL. Rodger Goodell says he will not let any of the other noise around the NFL distract him or the league from putting on the best product that they can this weekend.
Goodell knows the importance of the Super Bowl for the image of the NFL and the NFL’s bottom line. Last year’s Super Bowl brought in 375 million dollars in advertising and broadcast revenue, 145 million from licensing, and 88 million from tickets and concessions. Goodell knows it is important to have a great amount of hype around the game. However, the game itself needs to live up to the expectations. Rodger Goodell doesn’t believe this will be an issue this weekend as the two best teams in the NFL will be squaring off.
Goodell and the Patriots
One point of contention that many fans and members of the media have been buzzing about since the Super Bowl matchup was set is the “awkward” relationship between Goodell and New England. This issue stems from the seemingly never ending issue of “DeflateGate” between the NFL and Tom Brady. Because of this issue that cropped up during the 2015 AFC Championship Game, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was suspended for the first four games of this season. A season that has now been titled by New England fans as Tom Brady’s “Revenge Tour” against the NFL.
Rodger Goodell addressed questions on if it would be awkward for him if the Patriots won the Super Bowl this year after all the drama surrounding the Patriots. Goodell said although the Patriots and him differ on what they believe occurred, if the Patriots win the Super Bowl this weekend it would not be awkward for him.
Thursday Night Football
Thursday Night Football was another hot button issue that Goodell had to address during his statements yesterday. Many fans and media outlets feel that Thursday Night football is not safe or good for the sport. Critics claim Thursday night games often are not exciting due to poor quality. They cite that the quick turnaround from Sunday leads to this issue and to more injuries.
Goodell does not agree. Goodell said he is sticking behind Thursday Night Football games. The commissioner cites high ratings and collective positive responses from fans as major reasons to keep Thursday Night Football going.
Overall, Goodell seems content with the current state of the NFL. He understands as the man in charge not everyone will agree with his decisions. This type of disagreement comes with the job. Goodell looks to keep building the NFL’s brand with expansion into other countries and a continued growth in the States.