Roger Goodell and Bill Daly are trying to kill their P.R. people. Theres no other way to put it.Goodell is calling the job his replacement officials have done through two weeks admirable, which speaks loudly and clearly to the following things: One, that he is trying to make the case that monkeys on bicycles could be NFL officials. Thats hes stopped even trying to lie convincingly. Three, that his bosses are fine with the concept of charging people more money for poorer services. Four, that this is really why he makes so much money because he must defend the patently indefensible so his bosses dont have to.Daly, the second-in-command to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, has the same problem, only he got caught saying that the 2005 CBA his bosses now want changed was actually a good deal that needs only a massive pay cut to players to work better. This, in its way, speaks loudly to the following things: One, that he is trying to make the case that in a growth industry the people who make the money should be the ones who dont actually do the work people pay to see. Two, that hes lying in such a way that makes Goodell look like George Washington. Three, that his bosses are fine with the concept of never being open for business just to teach the players a lesson. Four, See NFL Item Four, with this addendum: He is defending the indefensible so his boss and his boss bosses dont have to.What Goodell and Daly are saying are plainly idiocies, they know they are idiocies, they dont care that everyone else knows them, and they are going to repeat them because they rely on fan and media fatigue to make their case for them by no longer listening.Its an insidious and cynical form of argument, the automatic repetition of a debating point so that the debate becomes too tiresome to listen to. It makes the arguer look like a dunce, or worse, a tool, but thats really why they make the big money. So that their superiors dont have to.Goodell could say, The officials arent what we hoped for, but you keep watching, so we have no reason to care. When you stop, thats when we will. It would be politician-level condescending, but it would at least be true, and it would have the added benefit of being an argument he does believe.But Goodell is of the new school of debate right or wrong, truth and falsehood are just two sides of the same coin. The point is to defend a position already given you, whether it can be defended or not, because the real point isnt to be right, its to be might.Dalys problem is worse, because he knows having been in the owners meetings that the 2005 system hasnt worked for two-thirds of the membership. Not just the incompetent and underfunded, for whom no system would make them truly profitable, but for the leagues middle class of owners either. This is a league in which the top third makes much more money than the bottom two-thirds lose, and that is not in any way a sustainable system. Therefore the 2005 deal wasnt good except for the top third.But the top third is the commissioners office power base, so the leagues offer to the bottom two-thirds is to have the players pay for their losses, or enhance what money they do make. It is a temporary fix, as the 2005 deal was, because it isnt meant to fix the game but to buy time for the league office until the next CBA.Buy time, because the leagues power brokers cant afford to pay six teams to fold, and dont want to move four teams to places where their own interests might be impinged. That leaves only revenue sharing and squeezing the players, and the second is only a temporary fix until the top ten owners start circumventing the new CBA as they have done all the past ones.Daly knows all this, he knows he cant say it and keep his job, so he goes with option C The 2005 deal was great, except that the players got too much of it. It is a laughable fiction but he says it because that is his job. How Goodell hasnt farmed out his defense of the officials to an underling is, given the NHL example, rather amazing.But the effect is still the same. Something indefensible and even lard-headed is defended with full throat and relentless repetition because its more important to make strident noise than sensible policy. And because nobody who follows sports seems to mind condescension any more in fact, they rather expect it the bar is exceedingly low.Except to the P.R. people, who just hold their heads to keep the migraines from leaking out their eyes. Hey, they have to get paid, too.
Marshawn Lynch took some time to agree on contract terms with the Raiders. The Oakland native formally joined the Silver and Black a day before the NFL Draft, which served as a soft deadline for his commitment to unretire and join his hometown team.
The Raiders have been pleasantly surprised by Lynch since acquiring his rights from Seattle on April 26, starting with unbridled enthusiasm upon signing his new contract.
He reported to the Raiders offseason program in tremendous shape despite being out of football in 2016, and has been a full participant in workouts he was apathetic towards in Seattle. Lynch has also fit right in to the Raiders locker room culture since joining the club.
“He has been great,” Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said Thursday in an interview with 95.7-The Game. “He has been great in meetings. He has been great on the field. He’s going well in terms of his physical progress. He’s doing quite nicely and we think he’s going to be a great help on the field.
“Off the field, he has meshed very well with the team and is already entrenched as one of the guys. It’s going well with him.”
While it took some time to navigate a complex acquisition process, McKenzie said it went relatively smooth.
“Prior to getting him, I had no setbacks thinking he was not going to be able to get here,” McKenzie said. “My communication with Seattle and Marshawn’s people was great. Everyone indicated that he wanted to play. That’s all we needed to know. The fact he wanted to be a Raider was icing on the cake. We went through the process and got it done. He’s excited, and so are we.”
The Raiders now have a deep running back group. Lynch’s physical rushing style is the focal point of an attack that also features smaller, elusive rushers Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington. Those guys will run behind a productive offensive line considered among the NFL’s best.
LAS VEGAS -- The public board that oversees the proposed stadium where the Raiders want to start playing in 2020 on Thursday unanimously approved a conditional lease agreement for the facility after months of negotiations that were affected by the sudden exit of an instrumental financial backer of the $1.9 billion project.
The Las Vegas Stadium Authority board was running up against a deadline to approve the lease to avoid delaying the team’s relocation by a year, as NFL owners gathering next week in Chicago plan to take up the document. It addresses various aspects related to the 65,000-seat stadium, including insurance, repairs, maintenance, naming rights and a rent-free provision.
“We got to the finish line in time, but we didn’t start real well, and obviously, that kind of set off some events,” board chairman Steve Hill said after the meeting. “We lost six weeks in the process, but we made up for it, the Raiders made up for it, and we are here today where we need to be.”
The six weeks were lost after casino mogul Sheldon Adelson withdrew his multimillion-dollar pledge from the project just days after the first draft of the lease agreement, which included a $1 annual rent, was unveiled in January. The billionaire’s move sent the team searching for $650 million to fill the financial gap he created.
The team ended up securing a loan from Bank of America. Guests of hotels and other lodging facilities in the Las Vegas area are contributing $750 million through a room tax increase, while the Raiders and the NFL all along have been expected to contribute $500 million.
The document approved Thursday to the cheers of workers in the Laborers Union and others is conditional upon other agreements being reached between the team, the board and other entities. The team would not pay rent under the 30-year agreement, but it would have to contribute to a fund that would cover capital expenses that come up as the facility ages.
The agreement also gives the team the right to name the stadium and prohibits any type of gambling in the premises.
Next on the board’s priority list is an agreement that would allow the football team of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to use the facility. The team also has to figure out parking options for the stadium that will be built near the Las Vegas Strip, west of the Mandalay Bay casino-resort. The land they recently purchased is not big enough to accommodate the one-spot-per-four-seats county requirement.
Raiders President Marc Badain said the design for the stadium has been finalized, but renderings will not be unveiled immediately.
“It’s going to be spectacular,” he said after the lease was approved. He added that the team has heard from entities interested in the stadium’s naming rights.