The football world has converged on New York City ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl, and on Friday, all eyes were on Commissioner Roger Goodell for his annual press conference. Here are the top three highlights that I personally took away from the 40 minute session.
1. Goodell is open to adding two more playoff teams in each conference, saying there are many benefits to an extended postseason field. The next step would be proposing the additions to the Competition Committee, and it wasn’t clear when he is looking to add them by.
"We think we can make the league more competitive. We can make the matchups more competitive towards the end of the season. There will be more excitement and more memorable moments for our fans. That's something that attracts us and we think we can do it properly from a competitive standpoint."
“There's plenty of opportunity to improve the game of football and officiating in particular. What we all want is consistency, fairness in our officiating. We believe that we might be able to achieve more consistency with instant replay when there's more of a centralized version (in the) decision-making process. That's something the competition committee is going to consider over the next two months and come back to a recommendation for the membership. I do believe there's a possibility that some version of that will occur where our office can at least be involved with the decision. They may not make the decision, but at least can provide some input to be helpful to the officials on the field to make sure they're seeing every angle to make sure they have the proper opportunity to make the best decision."
3. There is no doubt that the best way to watch a football game is to be there in person. There is truly something special about being in the stadium. Still, as networks continue to make the game increasingly more enjoyable to watch via broadcast, Goodell is committed to finding ways to improve on the in-game experience at stadiums. He is adamant that the best way to enjoy football is to be there in person.
“It’s an ongoing challenge (because) the experience at home through our broadcast partners and through all the other media partners we have is an incredible experience. And it will continue to get better as technology advances. What we have to do is say that’s a great experience, but let’s make the most important experience, and the best experience in my opinion which is our stadium experience, better. Technology into the stadiums is a big part of it. Making people feel safe when they are in our facilities is a critical component. There is nothing like being in the stadium for an NFL game….We will continue to make this a major focus and make sure that that experience is a great one.”