I had the privilege along with some of my esteem colleagues to be invited toNFL Headquarters in New York City. As you know I was in town to cover the NFL Draft and this tour was especially beneficial because we had the opportunity to have some one on one time with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The one thing that the NFL does better than any other league is they embrace social media and independent websites. They understand our voices are important too and it is one of the reasons why the NFL is on the cutting edge of social media.
I find it amazing that a billion dollar industry like the NFL uses XBOX 360 controllers to navigate replies and video in their offices. That was a pretty cool revelation.
One thing they wanted to stress during the visit was player safety.
I have been critical about some of the hypocrisy in promoting and profiting from these big hits while preaching safety. I asked the Commissioner about that and here is what he had to say.
They went over how they determine what is a legal or illegal hit, which gave me a new perspective on how I see things when I watch the game. I have a clearer understanding of the rules, so I will be better able to explain during the 2012 season.
They stressed that they didn’t look at intent, but do take past history in account.
Other things the Commissioner touched on was Saints player punishment (coming soon), the Pro Bowl (it maybe eliminated) and the Vikings stadium situation (the league can only advise, but can’t force the city to help build a stadium).
When asked about how he feels about his reputation with fans Mr. Goodell was very matter of fact in saying that he didn’t take the job to be popular, but to do what is best for the NFL.
In the end while fans and myself included won’t always agree with some of the decisions that Mr. Goodell makes, it is clear he is doing what he thinks is best for the NFL without any hidden agenda.
Overall a good visit and as you can see from the pics above there are a lot of cool things in the building.