Did you receive an email from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell this week? I did. Maybe he just sent it to me? Maybe he wants to be more than just friends. He'll have to do more than a rather pedestrian and detached written correspondence though. I need dinner, chocolates, flowers - a little romancing Rog! It's almost Valentine's Day!
Anyway, a letter of this nature truly requires reading between the lines. So here's an interpretation of Roger Goodell's recent message to fans.
To NFL Fans:
Now that another remarkable NFL season has concluded, let me express my gratitude on behalf of all 32 NFL teams for your incredible support. [Keep in mind, you may lose your team in the near future because LA needs a club and I like the movies.] Record numbers of you watched at home, made your way to the stadium, and connected with the NFL in numerous other ways during the 2011 season. Your love of football is what makes the NFL special [But don't rule out another lockout where I'll make you agonizingly wait for the season to kick-off. You're important, but so is extra pocket change].
We are proud of the quality of the game today. From the individuals and team skills on display in every game to the record-breaking achievements of future Hall of Famers, the 2011 season was extraordinary on many levels. [I was invited on even more TV shows than last year. My thanks to our PR team]
It finished up with some of the most exciting playoff games of recent years leading to a tense, drama-filled Super Bowl between the Giants and Patriots that was the most-watched show in the history of television. What a tribute to our players, coaches, and fans! [...advertisers, media partners and Madonna.]
As good as it’s been, I believe the NFL’s best days are ahead. Our responsibility in leading the league is to protect and enhance the bond between our game and the passionate fans who sustain it. We know we have to earn your trust every day and prove we are worthy of your amazing support. [But I likely won't be protecting the bond between players' heads and their bodies, nor the tradition of 16 fixtures - bring on 18 games!]
Our commitment to improve everything we do is ongoing. We are not done yet. [I just can't leave a good thing alone. It's like coffee: why have it plain when you can add caramel syrup?] From the game on the field to the fan experience at home -- and everything in between -- there are ways we can do even better. We owe it to you, the fans, to believe in better and strive for more. [In other words, I will be making changes for changes sake because I need to leave a stamp on the league. It's about legacy folks.] Our game has always evolved and that will continue. I encourage you to visit our new web site – NFL.com/evolution – to explore how the game has improved over the past century. There are more good changes to come. [See my earlier comment about more games.]
Our mission is captured very simply in these four words:
Forever forward. Forever football. [I wonder if I can get a gig with Hallmark - that's gold!] Thank you once again for your passion and commitment to the game we all love.
Roger Goodell [I wanted to sign off as "Commish", but had second thoughts. Let's keep this platonic.]