WHEN JERRY JONES SPEAKS, THE OTHER 31 NFL OWNERS LISTEN
Last week a small group of National Football League owners met to discuss the extension off NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s contract to 2024,
This was supposed to be an informal rubber stamp approval like it has been in the past. But Dallas Cowboys loquacious owner Jerry Jones—who was not even on the committee discussing this matter—halted the process and wanted to offer his two cents, which is not at all unusual for the Cowboy’s boss.
Jones has been on a secret vendetta to oust Goodell and bring someone in at a much lower cost and has been talking it up with some of the other long-time owners because a straw poll indicated Goodell has enough votes to continue as the commissioner.
Goodell wants his annual salary bumped up to an obscene $49.5 million, the lifetime use of a private jet and lifetime health insurance for his entire family, according to ESPN’s “First Take” show Monday morning.
That kind of money may be just a drop in the bucket for those billionaire owners, but it’s a lot of money for the guy off the street, even the ardent NFL fans.
One thing about Jerry Jones is that he is a “bottom line” owner. And he is seeing his bottom line of the Cowboys’ franchise diminishing very noticeably.
Although Jones may not be the most popular owner among his peers, everyone respects his point of view and listens to what he has to say because some of his ideas have multiplied their revenues, whereas Goodell mangles every serious matter he touches, according to an article in the Washington Post last weekend.
“Their (owners) tolerance of Goodell has depended purely on the idea that he has helped make them money But Jones really has built and driven the modern NFL’s business, and if he has decided Goodell is a liability, then Goodell is in trouble because the interesting thing about Jones is that he tends to be right.
“The man (Jones) is a damn genius when it comes to building something big. And he has sight, the long-distance recognition of the commercial waves coming across the water. If NFL owners don’t listen to him, they will rue it”, the article points out.
When signs of the NFL’s business began to show real underlying weakness and audience alienation, in no small part thanks to Goodell’s shortsighted and heavy-handed performance, Jones hired David Boies in a quest to block Goodell’s contract renewal, and not because of Goodell’s tyrannical suspension of Ezekiel Elliott like some people think.
“Jones doesn’t take on the NFL over trivial matters, He takes on the league when he believes an important economic point is at stake,” the article stated.
It points out that when Jones bought the Dallas franchise, it was losing $1 million a month. It is now worth $4 billion, the most valuable team in the world, because Jones had the guts to take unpopular fiscal stands with his fellow owners that ultimately benefited them all.
“When the league’s TV ratings were weak and the Tv committee headed by Art Modell was prepared to give back $300 million just to secure a CBS extension, Jones fought it, insisting it was too early to renegotiate and drew Rupert Murdoch;s Fox into the mix.
“Again, Jones was right. The NFL proceeded to sign new contracts for $1 billion which set a standard for hardline negotiations that turned into the $7 billion in network deals of today,” the article added.
The NFL sued Jones in 1995 for $300 million when he bucked the league’s centralized sponsor agreements with companies such as Coca Cola, believing teams would be better off on their own and he signed separate deals for the Cowboys with Pepsi, American Express and Nike.
Jones countersued for $750 million and set a new template for team operations, merchandising, licensing and branding and everyone saw their revenues skyrocket.
And when Jones built his $1.2 billion palace—most of it his own money—that also turned out to be the new template for multi-purpose stadiums to include the game field, concert venue, shopping center and catering operation.
He also was the first owner to put TV cameras in the draft rooms and the locker rooms to make fans and sponsors feel like they were truly inside.
There are several rough roads ahead for the NFL like concussions, CTE, market fragmentation, new media, plunging numbers in youth football and other matters that might need fresh eyes.
“Yet at the head of the league is a power-blinded commissioner who has never had a real job outside the league office on Park Avenue, and whose performance has been undeniably poor.
“The owners have paid Goodell $200 million over the last 11 years. At least Jones did something to earn his money. He multiplied opportunities for every owner in the league.
“Goodell has multiplied nothing but his salary and the number of staffers he has hired to manage his disasters,” the article concluded.
KWICKIES…Most of the high school playoff position s were determined with the end of the regular season last weekend. At least two district champions evolved from Friday’s action as Jasper beat Diboll 32-29 on a 35-yard filed goal as time expired and Port Neches-Groves lost the District 22-5A outright title when Nederland scored a touchdown in the final 13 seconds to edge out a 36-34 win.
The San Francisco 49ers ended their threat for a winless season by beating the surprising-lousy New York Giants 31-21. Now only the Cleveland Browns remain on the schneide at 0-9.
The University of Tennessee’s ultra-difficult schedule came back to haunt them after head coach Butch Jones was relieved of his duties Sunday his team was walloped by Missouri 50-17. His five-year record is 34-27.
JUST BETWEEN US…NFL fans in our state had a rough weekend watching either the Houston Texans or the Dallas Cowboys Sunday afternoon. Fortunately, they were playing at the same time so nobody got indigestion over their rotten play. Ironically, both teams took an early lead with a touchdown and both ended up with just those seven points after being waylayed by their respective opponent.