SBD/7/Leagues Governing Bodies

TAGLIABUE ADDRESSES REALIGNMENT, INSTANT REPLAY ON NBC

     NBC's "NFL Live" featured a taped interview between NFL
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Greg Gumbel.
     LEAGUE ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Tagliabue, asked to assess his five
years as Commissioner: "They've been quick, and exciting and a
good amount of fun.  It was very busy when we started, we had a
lot on our agenda.  As you suggested, we needed to get a labor
agreement and we needed to get peace with the Players'
Association, and there were many other challenges.  We hadn't
expanded in a number of years.  We've done a lot in five years."
     PROUDEST MOMENTS:  Tagliabue:  "I'm proudest of building a
consensus within the league to accept some of these changes, and
to accept innovation, and to be creative, and to look forward to
new solutions.  I think that's been the key.  I think that's how
we avoided a real disruptive strike with the players.  We got
both sides to accept some rather dramatic changes, to accept the
transition period and to make it work."
     REALIGNMENT:  Tagliabue said he feels "mostly hopeful" about
league realignment after the meetings in Chicago last week:  "We
had some very good discussions this week on realignment and I
think there's a recognition that it's part of a broader puzzle.
That it's part of making the league ever more attractive for the
fans."  Gumbel asked Tagliabue if it's necessary for the league
to be "geographically correct": "I don't think so.  You know
rivalries are made up of a strange mix of things. ...  The fact
that we've become too focused on geography in the NFL, I think we
run the risk of becoming parochial."
     INSTANT REPLAY:  Instant replay is a "difficult concept to
execute."  Tagliabue believes it is a "two dimensional tool, a
picture" used to deal with "three-dimensional aspects of the
game."  Tagliabue also said "It has one real negative in addition
to the time and the interruption.  It tends to suggest the
officials are the third team on the field and they're not.  The
games are still won or lost by the players not the officials"
("NFL Live," NBC, 11/7).
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