Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones continues to push The Whopper Too Big To Die

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USATSI

Jerry Jones continues to push The Whopper Too Big To Die

Jerry Jones is being noticed today for exhuming that old 18-game regular season corpse, and you had to figure the Dallas Cowboys owner would pop up at some point since being muzzled about the National Anthem and his own ludicrous inconsistencies on that topic.
 
But here he is, The Man Who Cannot Keep Still, telling the Dallas Morning News’ Tim Cowlishaw and Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan that not only is an 18-game regular season and two-game preseason the best way to make more money but the best way to keep players safer.
 
The first, of course, is indisputable. Practice games stink so much that even coaches are investing less value in and use from them. But the idea that more of an unhealthy practice is safer than less of an unhealthy practice is a level of true-isn’t-true that could only be passed off by a top-level BS artist or a politician.
 
“I can make the case that we have an uptick in concussions in the preseason,'” he told Cowlishaw. “If you look at it, I would contend there would be less exposure” because of a shorter training camp.
 
The radio show, though, caused him to be even bolder in expressing his highly-valued medical opinion.
 
“I think candidly it's probably physically better for players than it is to have the longer preseason, the longer practicing," he said. "Our studies show that we actually have a ramped-up injury situation with players during preseason as opposed to the injury factor in the regular season.”

He did admit that it is “debatable” as to whether there is more of a health risk, but went on to say, “I think it's defensible, and really I did present it on the basis that it's something I think it does, and that's create a safer game for the players.”
 
Well, let’s get to the point here, which is that he’s preposterously wrong (and in fairness, he is carrying some public water for commissioner Roger Goodell, who also whinges on command about training camp/regular season game ratios on an annual basis). The only rational affect of preseason games on injuries is that they happen in meaningless games and more often to players whom the teams regard as expendable (read: cheap and/or not part of the grand plan). It is at best a false economy, at worse a poorly-told fib.
 
Put another way, when a football owner with Jones’ record for blowhardery says something is A, it is not only B, but might indeed be C, with a side of F.
 
Except in this one aspect:
 
“It would provide more than $1 billion to the players. It's certainly worth considering. It would direct more value for what the players expend to the players.”
 
Yes, the money. Always the money. But even here, he didn’t mention how much it would bring to the owners, which safely can be estimated as a hell of a lot more than $ billion, and unlike money to players, the owners’ share is guaranteed.
 
In short, Jones is firing off the annual end-of-training-camp training-camp-must-be-curtailed screed, and given that the CBA talks start in only three years’ time, an equally traditional bartering ploy.
 
Now if he wants to get in line with coaches like Bill Belichick, who values practices with other teams over than games, or Sean McVay, who didn’t bother to point most of his offensive players to the game-day field in preseason, then maybe we’d bite. If he wanted to make the case that two practice games and 16 regular season games was safer and more logical, we wouldn’t be leaning so aggressively into this bucket right here.
 
But since Jerry was, is, and will always be about the short money, he will trot out the longer regular season pony to cavort with the shorter training camp dog. And by saying it would be safer as well as more lucrative, he is now showing his natural propensity for telling the whopper too big to die.
 
You have to give the man his due, though. No other owner would gnaw through his muzzle and bark louder about something that doesn’t exist. It’s a gift. Just not one anyone would ever want to open wth any hope of there being something useful therein.

History 101 with Jerry Jones' fight against Roger Goodell and the NFL

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AP

History 101 with Jerry Jones' fight against Roger Goodell and the NFL

Hey kids, guess what time it is!
 
Yes, it’s time once again for History You Don’t Care About, so quick, grab your parents and flee until this potential menace of learning blows over.
 
Dallas Cowboys oligarch Jerry Jones is threatening his fellow National Football League owners with the high-priced lawyer to the stars and scars David Boies, all over his ongoing jihad with commissioner Roger Goodell. The reason du jour, by all accounts, is Ezekiel Elliott, and whether Goodell told Jones he would not suspend the running back.
 
The real reason, of course, is so that Jones can run the league to his own specifications without bureaucratic interference. Billionaire’s prerogative, I think it’s called, and its coat of arms is a gigantic gray-haired man holding a scepter of Bitcoins and stock certificates while wearing a crown and an ermine cape while sitting on a throne of skulls and tattered wallets.
 
This reminds us that Jones’ entry into the league was highlighted by the way he cozied up to and tried to emulate the last NFL owner to fight a commissioner and league single-handed, Al Davis. Davis won the right to relocate his team (Raiders II) in court, but his war against Pete Rozelle ended short of this level on enmity only because Rozelle resigned before Davis could finish the job.
 
That was in the fun-filled ‘80s, when the richest teams were worth about one-fifth what the Cowboys are worth today, so you see Goodell’s main line of defense – as well as Jones’ leading avenue of attack.
 
The closest any other sport has come to mutiny was when five baseball owners (known collectively as The Great Lakes Gang, in that they came from Milwaukee, Chicago, Minnesota and Los Angeles) gathered a majority of their brethren to force Fay Vincent’s resignation in 1992. That wasn’t singlehanded treachery, though, but the will of the majority in the face of overwhelming logic – another valuable lesson in the limits of democracy.

But Jones’ action is also against the other owners trying to flaunt his petulant will, which brings to mind one other great battle in owner-on-owner crime, when in 1917 four of the National Hockey Association’s five team owners met to expel the fifth team, the Toronto Blueshirts, if it didn’t separate itself from its owner, Eddie Livingstone. When the team refused, the league disbanded and a week later reformed as a four-team league without Livingstone or his employees.
 
We mention that not because this is the 100th anniversary of that brilliant parliamentary maneuver – burn the village down around the guy you don’t like and build a new village up the street – but because the idea of Jerry Jones as the owner of a National Football League with one team is, well, hilarious in any era.
 
Then again, that would mean rooting for the other 31, and there are simply some frontiers we cannot in good conscience travel.
 
History lesson over. You can come out now.

The number of people who hate the NFL has grown, but worse...

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AP

The number of people who hate the NFL has grown, but worse...

The latest leak-assault on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s position came and went, and we are back in that familiar holding pattern – the NFL takes a blow, Goodell’s job security takes a media pounding, and then we move on to the next crisis.

Which may be just as the owners really want it – only at a lower cost.

And that remains the core problem here. Money.

I know. Who would have guessed?

Goodell has turned a once-popular hire into a lightning rod for disaffection with the NFL. He is blamed for things that are his fault, things that aren’t his fault, and things that would be his fault if you could forget that he works for 32 other people.

But the story that Jerry Jones and like-minded billionaires are still loaded for bear about his contract as well as his conduct comes out on Sundays (normally), when the largest audience is stuck into their football regimen.

And why all this? It isn’t just to save a few million on the commissioner’s office. It’s because the NFL is shrinking culturally, and there’s no spreadsheet for that. Youth football participation is down. Ratings are down (Sunday’s Steelers-Lions game was routed by the World Series). Medical and ethical concerns are rampant. Technology is conspiring with younger viewing tastes to lower interest. The game makes political firestorms every week. Los Angeles is a sinkhole. Even the Las Vegas bookmakers are seeing much more action on college games than pro games.

And someone has to be made to pay for this, so Jones, his ox being gored with the Ezekiel Elliott issue, has turned on Goodell.

But the real problem is the promise made 10 years ago that the NFL would have $25 billion in annual revenues by 2027. It prioritized a furious growing of the business with a neglect of the sport and its practitioners, and made an already arrogant corporation downright soul-free.

In short, the number of people who hate the NFL has grown, but worse, the number of people who could take it or leave it has grown even more. It’s a bit like church – once you stop seeing the value in attending, you decide to sleep in more often, and soon you’re sleeping in all the time.

But in agitating for Goodell’s firing, Jones and his compatriots lose the one thing that separates them from the angry mobs outside the gate. Goodell, misery farm that he is, gives good shield for The Shield, and if he has failed, it is in keeping the owners free from public harm. They wanted the spotlight, they got it, and now they can’t see clearly for all the flop sweat.

So whether Goodell leaves or not really isn’t important any more. The curtain has been moved, Oz is revealed, and a growing number of people don’t like the show. That $25 billion seems like it’s going to be a million miles away, if it happens at all.