NEW YORK—Admitting that he was thankful to have such a valuable resource at his disposal, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell revealed Thursday that he continues to carefully consider every single comment posted on the NFL.com message boards.
Goodell told reporters that sitting down for several hours and combing through the roughly 8,000 comments submitted on the website each day has been an integral part of his work routine ever since succeeding Paul Tagliabue in 2006. The commissioner added that the posts regularly provide him with astute commentary on a wide array of league-related topics, all of which he attempts to incorporate into his decision-making process.
“Our fans know what they’re talking about when it comes to the intricacies of football and league management, and as commissioner I would be remiss to ever overlook that,” said Goodell, adding that the official website’s comment sections serve as aggregators of critical input that might otherwise never reach his desk. “For instance, Mark Turner recently made an excellent point about the excessive nature of Mike Tomlin’s fine, which I’m now reevaluating. Likewise, Sean Farnsworth’s remarks had me rethinking the league’s attitude toward protecting quarterbacks, which he believes comes at the cost of aggressive play calling by defenses.”
“And obviously Mark Henderson’s suggestion yesterday that ‘the Chargers fucking suck’ is equally thought-provoking,” Goodell added. “That’s certainly something I’m going to reflect upon.”
While the NFL commissioner typically acts unilaterally on more urgent and clear-cut issues submitted on the message boards, Goodell told reporters that he often presents a selection of comments at the league’s quarterly owners meetings for group debate.
According to Goodell, past discussions have focused on whether to follow Tony Pliska’s suggestion to “suspend the goddamn refs from the Giants-Redskins game,” as well the merits of further investigating Doug Beecham’s claim that there is a league-wide conspiracy to maintain the Patriots’ continued success.
Goodell added that the owners have yet to address one commenter’s repeated promise that those who click his link will find hot singles in their city looking for cock.
Citing several comments calling for Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano to be fired, as well as one user’s contention that Raiders running back Darren McFadden is “a broken-down bum” unworthy of a contract extension, Goodell admitted that some fan suggestions, while highly insightful and well-reasoned, cannot be addressed at a league level and are simply out of his hands.
The commissioner emphasized that in those instances he can only ensure that the comments are seen by the proper personnel at the franchise in question, but added that it was his understanding that most front offices rely heavily on the user suggestions that he passes along.
“I always look forward to seeing what the regulars such as Jeff Byrne, Ken Hoffman, and Ethan Rafferty have to say,” said Goodell, pointing out that some of these commenters have been closely watching football for 15, even 20 years, and can always be relied upon to bring to his attention the pertinent issues of the day. “They obviously know their X’s and O’s and also understand that this league is still a business and needs to be run that way. I’m extremely fortunate to always have their advice at my fingertips.”
“I just hope they can keep it coming,” he added.
At press time, Goodell was reportedly hunched over his laptop, debating whether or not Paul Whigman may be right about referee Ed Hochuli being a scumbag in the pocket of the Seattle Seahawks.