This week, National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell was awarded with a new contract which will pay him $200 million again. The first time, it took him ten years to earn it. With his new deal (which will begin in 2019), Roger Goodell will collect $200 million in only five years.
Yes, that is $40 million per year! It will vault the NFL’s Commissioner into the lucky #13 spot on Forbes’ list of wealthiest people in sports – just ahead of the NBA’s Russell Westbrook and just below golf’s Phil Mickelson. It would also place Goodell as the 9th highest paid CEO in America, too.
For a man to earn double the annual pay of his prior contract, you would think that he must be doing a bang-up job at making the NFL more profitable and successful. Roger Goodell’s bosses (the 32 owners of NFL franchises) apparently have a great deal of confidence in the man by doubling his pay.
So, let’s get the scorecard out to validate the successes of the man who will lead professional football through 2024:
Decreasing television ratings – Sure, viewership of CBS’ telecasts of NFL football are down 17% this season, while Fox ratings have slipped 8%. Well, nearly all NFL telecasts are down this season and continue a trend which started in 2016 (some guy named Kaepernick, remember?). Oops!
Sagging attendance – While the official attendance figures at NFL games are only down 1% in 2017, cities such as Baltimore and Dallas are even seeing more and more empty seats at their stadiums (did someone mention a guy named Kaepernick again?). Less parking and concessions revenue for the NFL owners – ouch! I’m sure Roger Goodell will take care of getting that straight.
Increasingly violent hits/dangerous plays – On Monday night, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals spent the night putting hard (and, in some cases, unnecessarily dirty) hits on each other as they renewed a long-standing rivalry. During the intense game, several players were laid-out by questionable hits and carted off the field. Though football is, by nature, is a collision sport, the increasing amount of unnecessary roughness, head shots, and showboating after the fact over the downed player has likely turned off more viewers than those who were won over by those antics. I’m sure that Commissioner Goodell will do his best Deputy Barney Fife soon to “Nip it in the bud!“.
NFL Players’ agreement expires in 2021 – That seems a long way into the future, but there’s nothing like a good old fashioned players’ strike to cause further slippage in television ratings, attendance, and, sadly, the average value of the NFL franchises. No pressure, Roger!
Wait a minute, hasn’t the same Roger Goodell overseen the National Football League as all of the above issues have become worse? Why, yes he has!
So, is it really worth $40 million/year to those 32 NFL owners to pay Roger Goodell to stand there and take the heat from the fans, players, and media while quietly acting as the management puppet whose paycheck is provided by those same 32 owners? Apparently, yes it is!
With his new contract, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should be able to purchase enough fly swatters and Tums to deal all of these issues for the next seven years.
Merry Christmas, Roger!