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Goodell says NFL has work to do to win back fans

USO and PepsiCo Host Fleet Week Stuffing Party

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 26: NFL Commisioner Roger Goodell speaks to the troops of the USS Iwo Jima at Pier 88 on May 26, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for USO of Metropolitan New York)

Cindy Ord

Flanked by the owners and players who had hammered out the final details of the league’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said this afternoon that the deal will improve the league. But he acknowledged that the process of getting the deal done has alienated some fans.

“Everybody worked hard, everybody had a passion and everybody believes in this game of football and what we can do to make our game better, and I think this agreement is going to make our game better,” Goodell said. “We’re grateful for all the work that both parties did to make sure that we came to this day today, and make sure for the fans that we can stand here and say, Football is back.”

Goodell later added, however, that he knows fans have grown increasingly angry during the lockout.

“We know what we did to frustrate our fans over the last several months,” Goodell said. “They want football and our job is to give them football. We think that through a 10-year agreement we’ve secured the future of the game to ensure that pledge to bring great football to our fans. I think we have some work to do, though, to make sure they understand that we are sorry for the frustration we put them through over the last six months. Our commitment is to bring them better football going forward.”

Goodell sounds confident that the NFL is going to give the fans what they want.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Goodell said. “Football is back and that’s the great news.”