Why NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Is The 29 Million Dollar Man

By Harry Dole
Although the technology exists, NFL owners have little reason to rebuild or improve their widely unpopular 29 million dollar man. Mark J. Rebilas – USA TODAY SPORTS

It is no longer the 1970’s and inflation has taken its toll on the fabled six million dollar man. We are now in the 21st century and the 29 million dollar man is making top billing. Yes, we do have the technology, but rebuilding him and making him better is certainly out of the question.

According to the NFL, commissioner Roger Goodell was their 29 million dollar man for the 2011 year. His salary nearly tripled from 2010, when he earned $11.6 million. While his compensation has skyrocketed, Goodell’s popularity with players and fans has plummeted as fast as fictional television astronaut Steve Austin shot for the stars and dropped back down to earth.

Naturally, a significant portion of Goodell’s hefty compensation is related to increased revenue generated through ticket sales, personal seat licenses, merchandising, new stadiums and broadcast rights, among other things. However, there is much more to his value than just raking in as much cash as possible for league owners.

There is also a political side to Goodell’s method which cannot be underestimated nor undervalued when it comes to league ownership. He has been able to promote an invaluable mainstream political agenda to its large fan base. The league has taken advantage of its popularity to legitimize certain mainstream media agendas which may or may not benefit the masses–a mainstream media that some would say is struggling with its credibility, to say the least.

The NFL has also taken the opportunity to utilize the services of taxpayer-funded federal security agencies. During the recent Super Bowl in New Orleans, four different federal agencies were tasked with protecting the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. All that cash for security and they could not prevent someone from tripping over an outlet?

The question here is not whether or not security is required at such a high profile event because some is. The question is: why are taxpayers paying for an event that only benefits a privately owned profiteering entity like the NFL?

This contentious issue has recently been brought to the forefront by a recent report stating that five New Jersey mayors are threatening to not provide police and emergency services for next year’s Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The faction of defiant mayors argue the New York Giants and New York Jets have failed to compensate the towns for associated emergency service costs during past games.

Carlstadt, N.J. mayor William Roseman said it best: “While we are forced to lay off police officers, the owners of the Jets and Giants are filling their pockets at taxpayers’ expense.” It is refreshing to see a politician who identifies and brings attention to the NFL’s proactive role in the transfer of wealth from the more plentiful middle class to the select upper class.

Not to worry! The 29 million dollar man is on the case and almost certainly will find some other taxpayer financed security replacements to do the job during the Super Bowl. No need to rebuild or improve this multi-million dollar guy. He is just perfect for the job.

Twitter: @HarrisDole

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