Saturday, February 11, 2012

Imagine being an intern at a job and never leave the place and now making $10 Million as the boss each year! Well, that is what Mr. Goodell earns each year as the National Football League Commissioner. He is in charge of one of only two institutions in this country that has limitless power to make as much money as he wants. His institution is the National Football League the other is The Federal Reserve. Rodger Goodell is having a much better season than our government money.
We are in the middle of an economic slump where it seems most American businesses are struggling, the NFL’s revenues are soaring and the TV ratings are at an all time high. More people watched this year’s Superbowl than any other show ever. So, the NFL has earned the title of being the most successful entertainment enterprise in the country. Really? Football?
It is a $10 Billion dollar a year business where the most powerful asset is the game. Goodell gets paid so much because he is the one to tell the owner of the teams who are rich and powerful people too, what is best for them. He is the one who can suspend a player for an infraction. The NFL is comprised of 32 teams and most of the big decisions have to be based on 24 votes. He feels that he can be compared to The Speaker of the House convincing the 24 to make a good decision.
Goodell has been Commissioner for the past 6 years and is on such good terms with the team owners that they have extended his job contract to the year 2019. Unlike the failures of the Basketball Association, he is tight with his Football Association. Last July after months of negotiations, Goodell and the Player’s Association signed a unheard of before Collective bargaining agreement that will bring a decade of labor peace and prosperty for both sides.
He hasn’t stopped there either. He signed a record shattering 9 year deal with the Television Netwrks in which the owners and the players will split nearly 6 Billion dolars revenue each year following a season in which nearly all the top rated TV shows were NFL games. He managed to wring out more money from the deal than most people thought was possible.
At age 52 he has spent his entire career in the NFL starting out as an intern. His Father was the late Congressman and Senator Charles Goodell. He is a regular visitor to tailgating parties around the league. A quarter of the League’s revenues about 2.4 Billion dollars still come from ticket sales with another 2.5 Billion dollars coming from licensing fees on everything from T-Shirts to Footballs.
Bud Light is spending a Billion dollars over 6 years to just be the official beer of the NFL. But the real key to the Leagues success is its unorthodox business model. Under League rules, the teams are required to share most of their revenue with each other. It seems to be a form of Socalism.
It is not just Socialism , it seems to be a cartel as well thanks to a limited exemption from antitrust laws granted by Congress more than 50 years ago. They got 32 competiting teams but they share 80% of the revenues. They operate a draft for the players, they have salary caps, he depends on tax money to fund his stadiums. He is most proud that in the last nine years he has had at least one team go from last place to first place.
The result is a financially engineered equality that allows a small town like Green Bay , Wisconsin to compete with the big city of New York. It produced a lot of close games and drama on the field. He is most responsible for making decisions on things like personal conduct in and out of uniform,.
A lot of things like penalities for excessive touchdown celebrations, multigame suspensions for unsporstsmen like conduct and illegal helmet to helmet tackel. This guy can control their lives off and on the field. He responds by saying being part of the NFL is a priviledge not a right.

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