Friday, April 15, 2011
Goodell chats with San Diego fans
By Bill Williamson
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke to season-ticket holders of the San Diego Chargers for nearly a half hour Friday afternoon.
I was fortunate enough to listen in on the conference call Goodell had with more than 2,000 Chargers season-ticket holders on the line. He answered questions from about 10 fans. Goodell didn’t sidestep questions that focused on both the current NFL lockout and the Chargers’ stadium issue.
Goodell participated in the call from the Minneapolis airport shortly after a second day of mediation ended in Minnesota. The two sides will resume talks Tuesday.
“We have work to do over the weekend,” Goodell said. “It is positive that both sides continue to communicate …. We want to get it resolved. We understand it’s not good for anyone, especially our fans.”
Here are a few of the highlights from the conference call:
On the possibility of using replacement players: “It has not been part of discussions. We are not at all considering that. Our focus is on the collective bargaining agreement and getting the best solution for the game, for the fans, for the players and for the clubs. Our entire focus continues on that.”
He continued to sell the merits of an 18-game schedule.
Goodell said he doesn’t put too much stock into some comments from players such as the infamous “slavery” rant by Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson: “I’m not much for public rhetoric … I have great respect for our players and I want to get them a fair deal … We want to make sure it makes sense for them and it makes sense for the clubs and that it allows the game to grow.”
Goodell said the league is not currently focused on expansion, but that could eventually become a focus once the new CBA is agreed upon.
Goodell addressed some questions about the uncertainty of the stadium situation in San Diego. He said he is confident everything will be done to help continue the relationship between the team and the community. He did indicate that San Diego likely won’t get another Super Bowl until it gets a new stadium because of strong competition across the country. San Diego used to be in the Super Bowl rotation. The last time it hosted the game, though, was in 2003.