NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell gave his annual State of the League address on Friday in San Francisco as many pundits questioned whether or not the recent trend of early retirements around the league is an issue for the NFL.
During the press conference, Goodell was adamant that he did not agree with this take.
“I don’t see so many people walking away from the game. I don’t agree with that,” Goodell said at his annual Super Bowl news conference. “I see great athletes playing this game and loving to play this game. I talk to players all the time who say, ‘I hope I can play forever.’ They can’t. That’s not possible. But the guys who love this game, they’re passionate about this game, and if you lose that passion, maybe it is time to move on. And that happens in life”-Detroit Free Press
When asked about his thoughts on the possible retirement of Detroit Lions star receiver Calvin Johnson, Goodell mentioned that he supports Johnson on whatever decision he makes and that he would remain supportive even after Johnson’s career.
It was also announced that the NFL would be playing a regular season game in Mexico with the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders facing off at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City on November 21st next season. This will be the first NFL game played in Mexico since October 2nd, 2005 when the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers played in front of 103,467 fans, an NFL record at the time. On top of this game, Goodell believes there will be more games played overseas in the future.
Among other issues facing the league, Goodell brought up the need for a possible change to the Pro Bowl format and noted his disappointment in how this year’s Pro Bowl unfolded.
“I think it’s very important to have a stage in which you celebrate our great players on what they can do on and off the field,” said Goodell. “We may have to think about that differently than we have in the past. If it’s not quality, if it’s not real competition that we can be proud of, we have to do something different.”-detroitlions.com
Goodell also stated his favor for a new rule that would result in the ejection of a player who his called for a second personal foul during a game. His feeling being that this would be consistent with the NFL’s stance on league safety and that it would put it an emphasis on sportsmanship.