Battling Billionaires: NFL Owners Squabble Over the Jolly Roger
Oh NFL---you guys just can't help yourselves. Little things like inconsistent suspensions, minor ratings drops and generally bad public relations work and now you all start squabbling like a bunch of Real Housewives......
The latest headline hijacking battle---features a 3-way dance, Dallas Cowboys billionaire Jerry Jones vs. Atlanta Falcons billionaire Arthur Blank vs. NFL Commish and way overpaid Roger Goodell.
It's a battle quite honestly which shouldn't be grabbing headlines---yet it is.
Here's a quick synopsis: Jones---who's pissed off about the suspension of his star RB Ezekiel Elliot who got in trouble for--but never charged with domestic violence allegations. Police investigated but never did anything for the incident.
Goodell decided the investigation was enough to warrant suspending Elliot. For 6 games---nearly 1/2 the season. Elliot fought the case and got appeal after appeal agreed to...until the NFL found a court that agreed with them.
But there's more.....
Jones raised the hackles of his obnoxiously rich brethren who are in the midst of trying to determine if they want to extend Goodell's contract by questioning the procedure being used to decide the Jolly Roger's fate. Even though he agreed to it when the rich guy's club was trying to determine how to decide this issue.
Jones managed to slide his way onto the committee in charge of said decision---a committee lead by Blank. And the committee did their work and had a tentative agreement to extend Goodell.
Until Jones changed his mind.
Nobody is really sure if the Elliot issue triggered it (likely) or it was just the obscene amount of money the filthy rich men decided to pay Goodell who has been....um, spotty at best in handling high profile issues.
Or if it was a combination of Elliot and Papa John's gate....which was one of the most ridiculously stupid things I've ever heard. Papa John Schlater goes public and says the NFL's declining TV ratings are causing him to lose money. Not the crap-ass, shitty pizza Schlater serves but the NFL---like every single other TV dependent business losing ratings.
Maybe it was all of that plus the players kneeling for the National Anthem--an issue that began as social protest to bring attention to the issue of social inequality. An issue that somewhere down the line got hijacked by a certain Cable News/Government Propaganda outlet which convinced a certain segment of the public players were disrespecting America.
Any way you slice it--add all those incidents up with the "Deflate-Gate" fiasco and the botched Ray Rice investigation along with the dramatic "Over-Saturation" of games watering down the product---it's a toxic and bad mix.
One that needs to be addressed.
Jones may be right about some things. Goodell has proven--at least publicly the past few years he does not handle public scandal very well. The league itself has turned a deaf ear to fans who clearly don't want Thursday night games, plus Sunday morning London games, combined with Sunday afternoon games and Sunday and Monday night games. All of those make for less and less "Appointment Viewing" which is what made the NFL a TV Ratings juggernaut. Plus the movement of teams from one town to another by way of holding cities hostage and forcing them to pay for new stadiums does nothing for your PR....
And it still is a juggernaut. There's nothing else currently on TV drawing the ratings the league still does. But the TV audience as a whole is waning. For everyone. Not just live sports---viewing habits are dramatically changing.
It's all of this and more. Jones needs to stop acting like a spoiled brat rich guy by threatening lawsuits and calling out fellow billionaire Arthur Blank in public. The two were on the same field Sunday when the Cowboys came to Atlanta and were pounded by the Falcons. And much like two school girls---they eschewed the traditional owner handshake and kept their distance from each other. Even in plain sight.
Oh, before we wrap up---Sunday night didn't stop the public feuding. Someone floated to Pro Football Talk publisher Mike Florio the NFL owners were considering using a "Nuclear Option"---by trying to take the Cowboys away from Jones by stating he engaged in "Conduct Detrimental to the League".....
You want some bad publicity---try doing that....