The question has been asked many times of many commissioners in America’s three major sports. Rich men do not take orders from someone they view as a power subordinate.
The question is now being asked of the NFL commssioner. Jason Cole, who covers the NFL for Yahoo!, told KNBR last week that Dallas owner Jerry Jones and New England owner Robert Kraft are orchestrating the owners in negotiations. Jones playing the good cop, Kraft playing the bad cop.
“It’s like they (owners) are giving him (Goodell) the keys to the car,” Cole said, “but they are not letting him drive it. Roger Goodell hasn’t been able to capture the attention and faith of the owners. Billionaires aren’t going to let someone else spend their money.”
It takes years for a commissioner to win over the hearts, minds and wallets of owner. The NBA’s David Stern was one of the few who received immediate approval when he took over. That’s because the league was in disarray. But the NFL, a cash cow for everyone associated with it, is not suffering at the gate or in public perception. Thus the reluctance by both players and owners to give in.