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TAGLIABUE GIVES ANNUAL "STATE OF THE NFL" ADDRESS
Published January 30, 1995
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue addressed the media Friday in his "State of the NFL" speech. Excerpts and reactions follow: ON LABOR ISSUES: "Under this agreement, we are paying more money to the players than any other sports league, we are paying a higher percentage of the revenues than any other sports league. ... If you look at what this agreement provides, I don't think you don't have to worry about court cases, I think you have to worry about common sense and keeping this thing going in a way that is beneficial to the teams and the players. This agreement is clearly the most beneficial to players in all of professional sports." ON THE RAMS MOVE: "If I find that the Rams move doesn't satisfy the guidelines we have in place, I'll recommend against it. ... Certainly, no decision has been reached in one way or the other as to whether the Rams move is in the league's best interest or satisfies the guidelines which we have in place." ON FUTURE EXPANSION: "We don't have a timetable in considering the next expansion. ... We'll take a look at future expansion sometime in '96, and try to get a timetable if one can be developed. ... Those areas in Canada and Mexico will certainly be viable candidates." ON THE BUILDING OF STADIUMS: "We're going to have to work very closely with cities and states in partnerships. That's been done in most parts of the country, it's being done not only in football but other sports." ON THE BUCS RECORD SALE PRICE: "What it reflects is the strength of the league. ... A group of teams bound together with revenue sharing, bound together with pooled television, bound together with a licencing and marketing company that works for all 30 teams. The values of all the franchises are supported because of the television revenue and the strength of the league. ... No team is out there left on its own in economic terms to fend for itself" (ESPN, 1/27). REACTIONS: Most reports focused on Tagliabue's statements that the league is reconsidering the use of instant replay. But others used it as an opportunity to review Tagliabue's tenure in the job. Mike Lupica writes, "Nobody ever gives Paul Tagliabue a call in the World's Smartest Commissioner Contest, and his league probably runs smoother than all of them" (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 1/29)....Wallace Matthews writes Taglaibue was "spinning harder than an industrial washing machine on rinse" (N.Y. POST, 1/28).