Ask the Commissioner
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM ETCommissioner Roger Goodell
It has been a busy stretch for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. On Sunday, he hosted a Fan Forum at the Patriots Hall of Fame at Gillette Stadium before the Packers-Patriots game. On Monday night, he was at TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota for the Bears-Vikings game. And on Tuesday, Dec. 21, he was right here -- answering your questions in a live chat.
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comHello everybody. Iâ€™m back in New York after attending our primetime games on Sunday and Monday nights. It was a lot of fun to visit with so many fans in New England prior to Sunday nightâ€™s game and then again last night walking around the stadium and then sitting in the stands for the Bears-Vikings game. It was a unique evening that we will all long remember. Thanks to Athletic Director Joel Maturi and all the people at the University of Minnesota for their tremendous help in getting last nightâ€™s game played at their stadium. It was a big task that required a huge team effort from the Vikings, the university, local officials and support crews, and our league staff. We really appreciated and admired the great work.
We are coming off one of the best weekends of NFL football Iâ€™ve seen, and the good news is the best of our season is coming â€“ the final push for the playoffs and then the playoffs. I always look forward to hearing whatâ€™s on your mind, so letâ€™s go.
3:03 PM ETYour thoughts on Mike Vick's rebound and growth as an outstanding person and big time player for the Philadelphia Eagles!
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comMichael is taking his responsibilities very seriously. He continues to focus on doing the right things off the field and he's having an outstanding season on the field. He's been a great example of how you can overcome mistakes.
Matt, Milford, CT
3:04 PM ETCommissioner Goodell, Is the 2011 season really in jeopardy? If so, what can be done to resolve this issue?
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comMatt, we're going to have to have committment and engagement to address the issues so that it results in a deal that is good for the players, teams and allows the game to continue to flourish. We are not where we need to be. The fans all know that if both sides give a little, everyone will give a lot. Neither side will get everything they want, but hopefully they will get everything they need. This will get done at the negotiating table.
Craig Kittelson, Minneapolis
3:07 PM ETGood afternoon Mr Commissioner, do you think that the collapse of the Metrodomes roof will expedite the new stadium matter for the Vikings? I am just thankful that no one was hurt in the collapse!
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comCraig, the need for a new stadium in Minnesota is ongoing, long before the collapse of the Metrodome roof. It is now more urgent than ever with the Vikings' lease expiring in 2011. We also took a look inside the Dome on the way to the game last night and the damage is startling. As you said, thank goodness nobody was hurt. We will be working closely with the Vikings and the community to find a solution that works for everybody.
3:10 PM ETWhy is the Farve investigation taking so long? Isn't it true that if it was any other player you would have already made a decision?
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comWe take this issue seriously and we are being very thorough. The conclusion that the length of time is due to the fact that it involves Brett Favre is not accurate. I expect to reach a decision soon.
Jonathan, Haines City, FL
3:12 PM ETHi Mr. Goodell. Regarding the uproar with a potential sub .500 team hosting a playoff game, have you considered any thought of updating the seedings from the current idea to overall records?
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comJonathan, this is not a new issue. We have considered many alternatives for our playoff format including the possibility of seeding all playoff teams on the basis of their records once they qualify for the playoffs. I'm certain this will get additional consideration by our competition committee and our membership in the offseason. As with any system there are pluses and minuses.
3:14 PM ETMr. Goodell, Who would you consider to be the classiest players? Thanks, and happy holidays!
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comKylie - happy holidays to you too. I have great respect and admiration for our players, especially for all the great things they do in their communities. I recently saw Drew Brees when he was honored as Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year. There are so many other players like Drew who make us proud to be a part of the NFL.
Matt G, Mishawaka, IN
3:17 PM ETIs the League even remotely willing to back off the idea of an 18 game season?
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comIf we do an 18 game regular season, it has to be done right. We've said that from day 1. We hear consistently from our fans and the players that they don't like preseason games. We are trying to address that issue in the best possible way for the fans, players and teams. What's best for the game is the most important consideration.
Kurt, New York
3:20 PM ETHow do you reconcile the push to expand the season to 18 games and the NFL's concerns about player safety?
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comKurt, we are currently playing a 20-game format and would stay within those 20 games by switching two meaningless preseason games to regular season games. That is the concept. I've said repeatedly, it has to be done with consideration of how players prepare in the offseason, during training camp and during the regular season, and with a focus on player safety. These are some of the issues we are discussing within the NFL and through the negotiations with the union.
3:23 PM ETHello Commissioner! Do you enjoy what you do?
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comYes. I'm very lucky to do something I love.
3:24 PM ETI heard some rumors about an european expansion team in the NFL. Is this a possibility?
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comAndy, our game continues to grow in popularity on a global basis. Our international regular season series in London has been a tremendous hit with the fans. As the fan base continues to develop it is entirely possible we could have an international franchise. We will keep focused on our mission to bring more football to more fans around the globe.
3:27 PM ETI read where the NFL just invested over $1m to helmet and concussion testing. Will that result in new and different NFL approved helmets in 2011?
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comJoey, we had a recent meeting with all manufacturers of helmets, many independent scientists and our head, neck and spine committee for two days. The key objective was to develop safer and better quality helmets for our players, with the tremendous work of each of these parties continue to develop safer equipment including the helmet for everybody who plays football. We are going to continue to do everything possible to make the game safer through equipment, our rules, medical care and funding of research.
Hilal A., Portland, ME
3:29 PM ETMr. Goodell, Who is your favorite quarterback in the league? And if you won't say, who is your favorite retired quarterback?
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comI grew up as a Baltimore Colts fan when Johnny Unitas was one of my first sports heroes. Fortunately for the fans of the NFL there have been many great quarterbacks since then and they keep getting better.
Nate, Madison, WI
3:31 PM ETThe Pittsburgh Steelers have been hit heavily with penalties this year, many (including fans of other teams) believe that the league is treating them unfairly, what is your response to this?
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comWe have 32 teams and everybody plays by the same rules. Players and teams conform to the rules, the rules don't conform to them. Frequently during the week we get calls from clubs and fans that believe their team is being treated unfairly. It's not unusual to see the passion of our fans and clubs be ignited by officiating calls.
Paul Schubring, Williston, FL
3:36 PM ETMr. Goodell. Is there any possibility of having an 11 player "practice" squad? In theory that would be a "full" scrimmage team!
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comIn the context of looking at the future of our game including an 18-game regular season schedule, we've discussed expanding rosters, expanding practice squads. All of these efforts to develop players and keep them safe are being fully evaluated and negotiated.
Ernie See, New Freedom Pa
3:37 PM ETI know what I want to do in life " I want to be a part of the NFL"
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comThat's where I started. Whether you're a fan, player, coach or future employee, you are a part of the NFL. Don't give up your dream.
Craig, Omaha NE
3:38 PM ETIn reading that many a pro player end up bankrupt I am wondering if the league educates/advises the players on such things as the Trust Fund? If a player's contract was paid out thru a fund whereby $75k-$125k was provided per year, certainly a more modest lifestyle would be required, never the less many a player could live happily everafter! Your thoughts?
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comCraig, for close to two decades we've had the Rookie Symposium where we give basic financial training to our rookies. We continue to expand that through each club with their player development departments to allow players to make better decisions regarding their finances, investments and basic life skills. This year we added a new Career Transition Program for players who have recently left the league. We can always improve in these areas and these also will continue to be discussion points in the CBA negotiations.
Brent, the OC
3:40 PM ETWhat are the chances of Los Angeles obtaining an NFL Team within the next 5 years?
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comBrent, we want to bring a team back to Los Angeles. We fully understand the passion and support of our fans in southern california. It starts with getting a great new stadium for the fans and getting that financed. In this economy and with the current CBA, it is particularly challenging to finance. The most important issue is to come back successfully rather than within a specific time frame. But we hope to be there soon.
Ryan, Minot, ND
3:43 PM ETMr. Goodell, do you ever see in the future that rookies will not see these big multi-year and multi-million dollar contracts because they are unproven in the NFL? It seems to be a waste. (Example: JaMarcus Russell)
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comRyan, we need a rookie wage scale so we can continue to reward proven veteran players and make additional money available for retired player benefits. In the past two years, NFL clubs have paid $2.4 billion to 511 drafted rookies, half of that guaranteed before they played in their first NFL game.
Missy, Raleigh, NC
3:46 PM ETI posted a question about a half hour back and didn't get a response. Is there a reason for this?
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comMissy- what is your question?
Greg Zeh, Salt Lake City Utah
3:46 PM ETI think it would be awesome if preseason games be held in cities such as salt lake city, that don't have a team. It would be great revenue. Have you considered this?
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comUnfortunately, whether it's Salt Lake or Switzerland, they know these games are meaningless and the best players aren't playing. Fans don't want them.
3:47 PM ETI love that you have a Twitter account, but I wish you would tweet more. Can that be a New Year's resolution for you for '11? :)
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comSammie, unfortunately, I have a long list of resolutions for 2011, but I will move it up on the list. What is your twitter account? I will follow you.
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.comThanks for joining me today. We'll do it again soon. I'm switching over to twitter now and will respond to questions for a few more minutes. @nflcommish
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