Roger Goodell Sort Of Apologizes To Fans

You may or may not have received the letter that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent out to fans today following the return of the regular officials last night after a new eight-year deal was reached with the NFLRA this week.

The letter is somewhat of an apology of sorts, but Goodell says in the email that his only regret is that the league was not able to secure a new agreement sooner.

In my opinion the letter really has a feel of what the Iraqi Information Minister would say if he were commissioner, but I will let you form your own conclusions as you can read the email below if you have not received it.

To NFL Fans:

The National Football League is at its best when the focus is on the players and the action on the field, not on labor negotiations.

All of us who love the sport appreciate the skills and dedication of the players and coaches. That is why we are focused not just on what happens on the field but what our game will be like in another decade or two. The NFL has always tried to look ahead, to innovate, and to constantly improve in all we do.

We recognize that some decisions may be difficult to accept in the passion of the moment, but my most important responsibility is to improve the game for this generation and the next.

I believe in accountability, not excuses. And I regret we were not able to secure an agreement sooner in the process and avoid the unfortunate distractions to the game. You deserve better.

As a lifelong fan, this wasn\’t an easy process for anyone involved. I particularly want to commend the replacement officials for taking on an unenviable task and doing it with focus and dedication in the most adverse of circumstances.

Our new agreement gives long-term stability to an important aspect of our game, officiating. More important, with this agreement, officiating will be better in the long run. While the financial issues received the most attention, these negotiations were much more about long-term reforms. For example, beginning with the 2013 season, the NFL will have the option of hiring a number of officials on a full-time basis to work year-round, including on the field. In addition, the NFL will have the option to retain additional officials for training and development purposes, and may assign those additional officials to work NFL games.

We are moving forward with the finest officials in sports back on the field. It\’s time to put the focus where it belongs – on the clubs and players and our magnificent game, with a special thanks to our fans for their passion.

Roger Goodell

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Brendon Glad

    The fans definitely won that one. He doesn’t owe ME an apology because I own businesses. And I try not to be a consumerist as much as maybe some people who “want the best quality product and want it NOW!!!!” I thought what the officials were asking for was ridiculous, considering that I think NFL officiating is always significantly below the standards of other pro sports, but to their credit, they could have refused to compromise after Monday night. But they did compromise, and the deal is done. I think even I Gained a better respect for the difficult job, but I resent the lack of them being there no more than Wallace missing camp. It’s a business and I’m just really glad I don’t have to hear the national sports media whine about it anymore. And really glad the Steelers didn’t whine about it at all.

  • Brendon Glad

    My guess is that if the 4 networks got together after their deals are up and insisted on lopping off about 500mil apiece on the next deal, that the fans and media would incessantly badger them to “just give them what they WANT” when NFL network was the only station carrying games for a couple of weeks. And that’s why most people don’t own businesses.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I too thought that the Media especially one ESPN network made such a big deal of the replacement Ref’s I even thought that there criticism while i understood was way over the top. They almost called them idiots without using the word. The games still went on and like you said for the most part our Steelers team didn’t whine about the officiating much. For the ones that did, like the packers I look at it that final play the same as I would a missed FG….Should never have come down to one play to win the game at the end of the game. When it does then obviously that team didn’t do enough to win the game and deserved to lose…bad call aside

  • Brendon Glad

    I totally agree. The snag came because the NFL had to hire bad refs. None of the officials from major college leagues wanted to lose their good gigs to be a 1-5 week pawn in a negotiating game. So they had to dig WAY DOWN. But I personally think NFL officials are mediocre at best. So if I were añ owner and saw what they were asking for after meetings probably were had about their subpar performance in the last 5-10 years, it would have chapped my ass just like it probably did theirs. So I have no hard feelings. And give the officials credit for their compromise when they could have jumped on the pile.