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Tom Lewand: NFL has to be mindful of “limit to how much we can be out there”

Dallas Cowboys v Detroit Lions

Dallas Cowboys v Detroit Lions

Leon Halip

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban made some headlines last month when he said that the NFL was overloading the market with its product.

“I think the NFL is 10 years away from an implosion,” Cuban said. “I’m just telling you, pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. And they’re getting hoggy. Just watch. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way.”

There wasn’t much public agreement from around the league with Cuban’s comments at the time, but Lions president Tom Lewand doesn’t sound like he views things too differently than Cuban. While Lewand didn’t predict doom in a decade, he did say at a Monday meeting with season-ticket holders that it is good to be involved with such a popular league but that the NFL has to be mindful of overdoing it.
“It is, but we have to be careful, too,” Lewand said, via the Detroit Free Press. “It’s still about the game of football, and there’s an old saying that pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. I think we have to be mindful of the fact that, particularly in a place like our city, where the fans mean so much to us. We have to show them that respect back. And I’m a big fan of this expanded Thursday night football package that’s coming on CBS this fall, but there’s also a limit to how much we can be out there, and we want to make sure that it’s a game that people can enjoy, and they can enjoy it in a way they want to enjoy it.”

Expansion to more days of the week during the season is impractical in terms of both the quality of games played with short turnaround times and because of antitrust exemptions that keep the NFL from playing on Friday or Saturday, but hearing the line about hogs getting slaughtered from someone firmly entrenched in the league sounds different than it does when it comes from the owner of a team in a different sport. The NFL isn’t likely to start rolling anything back, but overreaching should be something on the mind of decision makers as the league continues to try to grow in both the United States and around the world.