You all know how I feel about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
But yesterday morning, Goodell made a really smart move . (Please note I did not say a good move.)
For those not following every single crumb of news about the NFL 24/7, yesterday Goodell announced that the league’s “Play Safe Play Smart” initiative to counter head injuries will invest an additional $100 million in medical research and new technology to keep players safe.
But here is the thing – he didn’t do it on ESPN. He didn’t do it on FOX Sports. Shoot, he didn’t even do it on his own NFL Network.
Instead, he “wrote” an open letter to the Wall Street Journal that published yesterday, and then he gave an exclusive interview to Matt Lauer on the Today Show, also yesterday.
The salvageables – in this case – are clearly moms and families (aka the folks who live for Lauer).
Moms – in many cases – ultimately decide what sports their kids play. At the least, the family talks about it together. And, the news has been littered with mommies scared their babies will get hurt playing football all over the mainstream media in recent years.
Goodell was smart to target them directly, knowing that half of true football fans (the sinners, based on this concept) would see through this move (and question why the NFL doesn’t just adopt the same targeting ejection rule to protect players NOW like college football has rather than throw money at the situation); while others (the saints, based on this concept) would simply not care. They want football, and don’t care who gets hurt.
As I consider myself a “sinner” on this topic, this move by Goodell just annoyed me. But, while getting my nails done yesterday, I could not believe the two moms sitting next to me talking about how “that NFL boss” looked kind of handsome on TV and was so sweet to “fight for player rights.”
Well played, Goodell. Well played.