The decision by the NFL Compensation Committee on Wednesday to give Commissioner Roger Goodell a five-year contract extension that could top out at nearly $40 million a year is pure craziness. NFL owners are watching their brand implode and TV ratings for games plummet under a reckless commissioner – and they fail to see that Goodell is running the wrong game plan.
Giving Goodell a huge compensation package like this – 90 percent of it tied to incentives – is like giving Hillary Clinton an award for outstanding email practices and honesty.
Goodell’s contract extension is a slap in the face to everyone who cares about showing respect for our national anthem, the American flag, Americans serving in the military and veterans. Continuing to alienate conservatives will prove to be the single worst business decision in the history of the NFL.
It has never been the American way to treat customers like the enemy or alienate a wide group of your brand’s audience. Yet Goodell and his protesting players have managed to do this.
Goodell was in charge while the NFL burned in flames as American patriots refused to watch games where players protested our sacred symbols. He should be held accountable to his failure to stop this defeat of reason.
Goodell was in charge while the NFL burned in flames as American patriots refused to watch games where players protested our sacred symbols.
What explains the irrational choice to extend Goodell’s contract? Are the NFL owners under house arrest in some Ritz Carlton like the Saudi princes who were rounded up and somehow unable to stop this? It’s like the team owners suffer from Stockholm Syndrome to Goodell. It's a financial death pact like dolphins deciding to dive bomb onto the beach into a fatal red zone, but this time it is done by NFL billionaires.
What corporation allows you to alienate a large portion of your customers and yet keep your position and still receive a gigantic paycheck over five years?
In almost any organization, if a CEO decimated a mammoth amount of customers he or she would be fired. But the NFL owners have fumbled branding and business logic.
How can Goodell meet any financial goals when fans continue to avoid the NFL? For many former NFL fans, the owners’ action not preventing Goodell’s extension is a sign that they no longer want their hard-earned cash. Cash that may cause Goodell not to have much of a league to preside over in the next five years.
But perhaps this is all part of a bigger conspiracy. A ruse. By keeping Goodell, NFL owners may want people to think they are not losing that many fans.
Will we hear next that the reason for empty seats is because it is cold outside and people would rather sit in their warm homes, since the game is great on TV?
When that lame excuse fails, will we discover that TV network cameras covering the games will only be allowed to focus on the field, to avoid the half-empty stands?
And if that doesn’t work, will Hollywood designers of computer-generated images create synthetic fans to fill seats to show NFL games packed again?
Goodell’s contract extension does one good thing for NFL owners: he becomes the target for attacks by fans who are disgusted by the total disrespect of American patriotic values This can help take the heat off the owners.
Perhaps the owners are OK with the disrespect that the protesting players are showing for America’s national symbols and for those who serve and have served the country with great honor.
Perhaps the owners missed the idea that injecting politics into sports alienates a lot of fans. Patriotic Americans from coast to coast are signing their own long-term contracts – to never view NFL games again.
How does Goodell’s contract extension not cause a great white heat of action to kill all tax incentives to build stadiums?
In football, when you get hit, you hit back harder. On behalf of hardworking taxpayers, perhaps the American people should engage in smash-mouth with Goodell and the NFL. We should demand an end to taxpayer subsidies and tax breaks that fatten the already-bulging wallets of the NFL owners.
Capitalism, the bedrock of our great country, is a version of Darwin’s survival of the fittest showcased by entrepreneurs in action. Capitalism lives on the premise that successful organizations that hyper-focus on the needs of their customers and provide the most value win big.
From tech to finance, entertainment and retail, businesses are focused relentlessly on this core mindset. Leaders who drive great results get rewarded more extravagantly today than ever in history. But leaders who fail to perform need to be shown the door.
NFL owners have made a big mistake by hiring Goodell again instead of firing him. They may have a lot of money, but they are missing common sense.