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SBD/April 25, 2013/People and Pop Culture
Documents Reveal Richardson Asking Goodell For "Major Favor" In Moving '12 Season Opener
Published April 25, 2013
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* “I think it is worthwhile for you and I to reflect just a little bit on an example of us trying to go to bat for the city. You know I went to bat for you in the DNC, I think, as strongly as possible. And I think you will agree, too.”
* Convention organizers requested kickoff of the Cowboys-Giants Thursday night game be moved to 7:00pm ET from 8:30pm. Richardson said, “I have a good relationship with (the other) NFL owners, but we did a calculation and that would have cost every owner about $3 million to do that, including me. I try to get votes, that is one of the things that is real important in the NFL and that just wasn’t going to happen. So I called the (NFL) commissioner and said, ‘Just listen to me until I finish. Can you visualize Mount Everest and just moving it 100 feet to your left?’”
* Goodell laughed, and Richardson recounted: “I said, ‘Do you have that visual?’ And he said, ‘I do and that is very difficult.’ And I said, ‘My request is very difficult.’ He said, ‘What is your request?’ I said, ‘I would like for you to move the opening game of the season (to Wednesday).’ I thought he was going to have a heart attack when I asked him the question. Then he said, ‘Well, you know, we’ll have to take this to the membership.’ And I said, ‘That is my second point. I would like for us not to take it to the membership ... I was chairman of the committee that selected you as commissioner and I’m expecting you to take some leadership.'”
* Richardson said that the two continued their conversation the next morning, and Goodell said that the "only time the NFL had made a similar move was during World War II," and he called Richardson’s request a "big one." Richardson’s response: “Well, we’ve got a big problem down in Charlotte.” Goodell "reminded Richardson that 31 owners had to be considered, too." Richardson: “I said, ‘No, you don’t, don’t ask them, go ahead and make a decision.’ As you know, he did and (the Wednesday night game) is what happened” (BIZJOURNALS.com, 4/24).