People are interested in pro football because it provides them with an emotional oasis; they don't want football to get involved in the same types of court cases, racial problems and legislative issues they encounter in the rest of American life.
There are a lot more TV sets in use on Monday night than on Sunday afternoon.
I'm not claiming that football is the nation's salvation in this area, but it's one of them, one little thing that apparently has captured the imagination of a large sector of our society. But when football can't be a relatively pure outlet, a fun thing, then it hurts itself.
But I haven't met a player or a coach whose goal isn't to win the Super Bowl.
Considering what Americans have been confronted with in the last ten years, domestically and internationally, it's clear that we need emotional outlets; we have to have some peace from our problems
Rather than saying that the commissioner is hired by the owners and therefore is subservient to them, you have to look at whether or not the players are getting a fair shake.
The most difficult owner for me was the late George Marshall of Washington.
At least I'm going into the job with clean hands.
I don't know if 1300 players could really participate in the selection of a commissioner, and I've never given it a great deal of thought. I think it's a logical point they could make, but it's only an academic one
In fact, an awful lot of N.F.L. club owners have practically no influence on their players at all, simply because they're not full-time working owners.
Pro football was taking off when I became commissioner, and when a sport's successful and you're its chief executive officer, much of the credit flows to you and you develop a good track record.
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