Roger Goodell is sorry, you guys. Well, he said he was, at least.
Whether or not I actually believe him—or if I think his apology was enough—is another thing altogether.
Here's what Goodell had to say to reporters in a recent conference call, via NFL.com:
You always have costs for the short term but you sometimes have to experience that to get to the right place in the long term. And that's sometimes a painful thing.
We are sorry to have to put our fans through that. But in the short term, it's something you have to do to make sure you get the right type of agreement for the long term.
You're right, Commish—you had to do this. You didn't have a choice. Extending these negotiations was the only option you and the owners had.
Oh wait, no it wasn't. You could have made these concessions earlier. You could have negotiated in good faith rather than elongate this in an effort to break the union. We didn't need three weeks of these junk referees you sent in, the ones that tarnished the image of the NFL.
And I'm not the only one who thinks so.
ESPN's Chris Mortenson is playing nice, but he knows the lockout wasn't necessary.
Watching @commish Roger Goodell on refs settlement, I do see transparency & humility. I still question whether lockout was necessary.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) September 27, 2012
Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter is a little more honest.
my respect for goodell in this situation would rise exponentially if he just said: "we did it because we could. next question."— Jim Trotter (@SI_JimTrotter) September 27, 2012
And ESPN's DJ Gallo just made me laugh, while latching on to a bit of a condescending tone you might have detected when Goodell gave a press conference Thursday afternoon to discuss the settlement with the refs:
Goodell on his scab refs: "We're sorry to have to put fans through that." Why do mommy and daddy fight? WHY?!— DJ Gallo (@DJGalloESPN) September 27, 2012
You can say you're "sorry" for putting us through this all you want. What you should really say is that you're sorry that the integrity of the game was sacrificed during your negotiations, and you're sorry you still charged people the same amount of money to watch a lesser product.
You could personally apologize to the Green Bay Packers and their fans—and for heaven's sake, freaking acknowledge the call at the end of the game was horrible and incorrect—for costing them a game due to the replacement refs.
You can apologize to the players for stating that you're trying to promote player safety in one breath and lending your support to the replacements in the last three weeks who clearly put player safety in jeopardy.
And can admit that everything you do has one endgame: putting as much money back in the owners pockets as possible. You can admit that you protect the shield when it's within the financial consideration of the owners to do so.
So sorry, Mr. Commissioner, but I don't buy your "apology." Sorry, but it's more PR than apologetic to me. You could have said more.
But I won't hold my breath.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets wouldn't allow fake Golden Tate touchdowns to stand.