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Monday, March 20, 2006

Tags Calling It a Career

The NFL has announced that Commissioner Paul Tagliabue is retiring this summer fresh off his coming to terms with the NFL Players union on an extended collective bargaining agreement. As successful as his predecessor Pete Rozelle was in putting the NFL in position to become America's new pastime, Tagliabue was the one to make it happen.

Clearly, Tagliabue goes down in history as the most successful CEO in professional sports history. The NFL rules the sports landscape at a time when pro sports has its greatest exposure in history. Heck, baseball, with more games on TV than any other sport, has substantially lost interest as have the NBA and NHL. NASCAR may be the fastest growing sport, but it still pales in comparison to the popularity of the NFL.

The Super Bowl is the crown jewel sporting event. The right fees for NFL games are by far higher than any other sport. Heck, despite the incredible number of hours devoted by other networks to the NFL, including the off-season, the league can still come out with its own NFL Network!

Yet Tags goes about his job without the need to mug for the cameras like David Stern, without the dreaded foot-in-mouth disease of Bud Selig, and he can be picked out of a line-up of accountants unlike Gary Bettman.

Saving the Saints for New Orleans may be too tall an order even for Tagliabue, but at least he's given the state a fighting chance at it. Tagliabue isn't the last of a dying breed; he is an original that the NFL will have a hard time replacing.


Blogger Brett Roman said...

I never understood the power of Tags until he dragged old man Benson back across the state line and put him on a leash. Of all of his accomplishments, bringing the Saints back to N.O. after all that happened last year may be his greatest triumph. This may seem like an overstatement, but to us that followed the drama on a daily basis it was truly incredible. It’s a good thing that Tags is a big fan of Cajun cuisine.

And how are the Saints doing? Over 26,000 season tickets sold, 600 on the day after the Brees signing alone.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Pedro Pizarro said...

We in Louisiana might be the only ones noticing his efforts with the Saints.
There was not one national wire story Monday (AP, Gannett, Knight Ridder) that gave even a mention of his initiative to keep the Saints in New Orleans.
Hopefully the next commish will be as good of an advocate for our state.
Also, Saints fans have to hope Brees' shoulder is sufficiently healed for him to possibly make an impact this year. So what will they do with their No. 2 pick?

1:49 PM  

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