No video replay needed – Roger Goodell and NBC moved the season opener out of Baltimore today

March 22, 2013 | Drew Forrester

Did the NFL go to NBC and try to work out a Wednesday night broadcast from Baltimore?  Well, at first, the NFL tried to pass off the Jewish Holiday obstacle on all of us, until we figured out that the league never seems to care if they play on Rosh Hashanah or any other holiday for that matter.


So, the next step was for the NFL to lean on their neatly crafted “a contract’s a contract” theory.

Forgive me if I’m not completely trusting of a Commissioner who four days ago told us they couldn’t play on Wednesday because of Rosh Hashanah…forgetting that Thursday, September 5 is also Rosh Hashanah.  I don’t buy the “we have a contract with NBC” thing for a minute.

I think they have a contract, of course.

I just don’t think it’s as non-negotiable as it would appear it might be.

After all, isn’t the NFL the biggest, baddest sports league in the world?  Of course they are.

Are you telling me Roger couldn’t call the stuffed suits at NBC and offer this reminder:  “Hey guys, remember last year when you wanted us to open in New York on Wednesday night instead of Thursday night?  We did it for you, because we are PARTNERS in this NFL/NBC thing.  We work together on stuff like that.  OK, well, we have a problem in Baltimore on September 5 and those people in Baltimore really, truly deserve this special night to be played in their stadium.  Can we move the game to Wednesday night?   Oh, by the way, I’ll throw in a free San Francisco/Seattle opener in San Francisco the very next night — THURSDAY night.  You can air the Wednesday opener in Baltimore and the the Thursday showdown between the two best NFC teams the very next night.  And the Thursday game is on us.  No charge.”

That wasn’t a plausible solution?

Sure, the NFL might lose some MONEY, but the country would be getting two games in 24 hours.  That’s a helluva way to start the season, isn’t it?  And NBC would make up for whatever shortfall the Wednesday broadcast brings, if any.

Did Goodell call the people at NBC with ANY kind of offer or resolution to the Thursday-in-Baltimore dilemma?

My guess is “no” — or he would have said that already.

Goodell just wanted the Orioles to cave in because that would have been best for HIM and his league.  Remember, last year it wasn’t BEST for the NFL to move the game to Wednesday, but Roger did it anyway when NBC needed it to be that way.

Well, this year, it might not be best for the NFL to move the game to Wednesday, but it’s clearly best for BALTIMORE.  But, when pressed into action and forced to stand up for Steve Bisciotti – one of the 32 people who employs him – Goodell chickened out and blamed the Orioles.

I’m so glad I didn’t buy this garbage on Monday when the NFL first leaked the story.

I knew and wrote from the very beginning that this was nothing more than yet another money grab by the NFL and the people at NBC.

All that talk about “rewarding the fans of Baltimore” was nothing more than that — just talk.  Once a few million dollars was at stake, the Commissioner caved in and suddenly decided it was Thursday-night-or-bust.

Always remember this:  Roger Goodell moved the 2013 season opening game out of Baltimore.

That’s a friggin’ fact.

Because he’s the CEO of the most powerful sports league in America, it should have been easy for Rog to just call NBC and say, “Hey, I need to call in a chip from last September when I helped you guys out with the opening game switch.”

But, he didn’t make that call.

He just let the Ravens and Orioles duke it out, splitting an already fractured fan base in the meantime.

Thanks for nothing, Mr. Commissioner.