TAGLIABUE GIVES ANNUAL "STATE OF THE NFL" ADDRESS
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
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).