Thank you. Thank you. My name is Roger Goodell and I work to promote the most lucrative publicly funded scam of this century.
I run the National Football League.
I have to tell you, I love being here. I feel energized and excited. Who’s excited? Who is ready to get excited today?
I’ll tell you who’s excited. Well, one person I know for sure. I’m excited.
I’m excited because I get to give something back today. TOOO-DAY.
Hashtag, as the #millennials say, 2day
Today, I feel like I just came out of Mike Brady’s den with a big ol’ grin. Do you know why? Because today, I’m going to hand you the blueprints on how to make almost 50 million dollars in ONE YEAR working for a good cause.
Working for a cause you love.
Right now you’re asking yourself, “Did this guy when the lottery or is he just crazy?”
My answer is: Both.
I won the LIFE lottery. And I’m CRAZY EXCITED to bring you this news.
In 2012, I made more than forty four million dollars. Four four. Zero zero zero. Zero zero zero. In one year. In the time it took you to work up the courage to go back and finish filling out your OK Cupid profile, I made enough to fund Google as a start-up.
(pause for effect)
I made this money while raising awareness for cancer. I made this money while turning 23 already very rich white men who run tiny feudal kingdoms which profit off a legal and socially acceptable form of indentured servitude — into billionaires.
I made this money while every single one of my 32 franchises, even the one in Jacksonville near the super Hooters, made a profit.
Think about that for a minute: I run a nonprofit where each of its 32 entities buoyed by funds from all of their representative municipalities actually made huge profits and did NOT PAY one cent back to the government. All with the unwaivering support of the public we steal from.
Take that Obamacare!
For my part, the only CEO in the world who pays less taxes than me is Joe Francis. And he’s probably going to jail. Again.
I could buy jail.
But making twice as much as all of the Houston Astros combined and making sure my employer doesn’t pay one dime to the government is not the reason I do what I do.
I do it for the people.
I do it because I couldn’t be more proud of the players in the NFL. Only 35 of whom were arrested for felonies last year. That’s fewer than three percent.
Compare that to club promoters: 12-percent felons; liquor store clerks: 18-percent felons. And strip club DJs, who are comprised of more than 20-percent convicted felons. Think of it in that context, and you’ve got yourself what I call the squeaky-clean league.
And might I add, many of these so-called felony arrests do not pass the litmus test in the light of day. Some are thrown out. Some are reduced to misdemeanors. And some go on to pay their debt to society in Lovelock, Nevada after they get caught taking sports memorabilia by gunpoint in Vegas.
I know some of you may be skeptics. You may say, “Roger, you have more baddies in your league than Mean Machine.” But let me tell you this: when you have no ban on the substances that can turn a sedate 265-pound behemoth into a Hulk-like undesirable; when you’re trying to unleash men with severe damage to the brain and PTSD symptoms into a functioning society suddenly bereft of long-term resources; when you’re trying to keep players who are used to regimen, and a team …of trainers, psychologists, apologists, agents and attorneys, on the straight-and-narrow, and I emphasize the word straight — you need one powerful wet rag to keep the league’s image shining as bright as the Lombardi Trophy.
And that wet rag is Roger Goodell.
I get paid more than any nonprofit CEO in the country. In fact, I get paid more than approximately 379 of the top CEOs of US nonprofits combined.
How do I do it?
That’s why you’re here.
If you use these five simple guiding principles, you too can run the largest government-subsidized for-profit-as-nonprofit scheme ever:
• Self-preservation means dodging giant legal bullets: Let’s face it, whether you’re at the helm of a nonprofit which makes more per year than the GNP of Jamaica, or one of your employees shoots an acquaintance in the head in cold-blood a block from his home, you’re going to need resources. You’re going to need to “lawyer up.” Always surround yourself with top legal talent. If you can’t. Make friends with someone who can provide you with these resources. Last August, under my watch, the NFL agreed to pay out almost $800 million to settle lawsuits brought by more than 5,000 players who’d retired with brain damage. You say “Roger, that’s almost a billion dollars.” And I say, that’s less than one-tenth of our tax-free take-home for only that season. Ask any lawyer, including the ones for the retired players: we had the better team and we beat their brains out — again.
• Look like the tough guy, but be the pussycat: Google “Tough Guy Roger Goodell” and see what you find. You’ll find lots of pictures of me, Tough Guy Roger Goodell. I’ve cultivated the image as the guy who’s unforgiving when players send mean texts or accidentally hit each other in the shoulder pad with a helmet, but I love to look the other way in cases of rape, murder, rape and murder, or any other kind of crime associated with the effects of that thing they call CTE, or brain damage. I learned this from my favorite Hollywood entertainer Criss Angel, it’s called misdirection. If you make a big publicity stink about being tough on things that …well, let’s face it, really don’t matter, you won’t come under fire for never being able to incite real change. The average NFL player’s career lasts less than three years. If the career is a child, that’s not even enough time to stand up and walk around and form a complete sentence, much less stop crapping your pants. And Tough Guy Roger Goodell doesn’t have time to be dealing with a bunch of babies.
• Find your strength in paperwork: You wouldn’t want to watch a movie about what the CIA really does, would you? If so, it’d be about a bunch of men and women sitting in rows looking at screens of indecipherable code. At some point they’d go to lunch and then return, full, to look at more code. This happens day after day after day after day. Eventually one of these men or women finds a break in the line of code, an aberration. If given permission, which is its own separate soul-crushing process, this usually leads to seven months to three years of chasing nothing down a rabbit hole, then starting over. Similarly, you probably don’t want to see the NFL I know. It’s just pages and pages and pages of contracts. It’s lawsuits about lawsuits. It’s enough paperwork in a single player’s file that if you lined it up page by page, you could circle the globe three times. Our back-up servers have back-up servers. This juggernaut of professional sport simply boils down to a giant IT nightmare and yet, I am somehow able to polish it in to a watchable, compelling, commentary-worthy product for 22 weeks a year. You can’t pay someone enough for that.
• Cronyism: So-called nonprofit experts say that nonprofit status is typically given to groups that tender services that private-sector companies are unwilling or unable to provide. Services like school lunches, healthcare, daycare, welfare-to-work programs and shelters for homeless people …and animals. But I ask, are we not providing a service? Every weekend you get to see the finest product on the field. Every weekend, your reaction to a tough loss, be it through domestic violence or alcohol-related arrests, help make use of the aforementioned nonprofit community services. The 32 current owners from coast to coast, from Robert Kraft to Paul Allen, are connected locally, regionally and nationally with their politicians. And by association, I’m connected to them. It is these connections which I started to forge in the early ’80s as a lackey in the league’s PR office, that have served me well throughout my career. Look out for number one and you won’t be caught with a bunch of number twos.
• Stay one step ahead of the competition: Major League Baseball lost its nonprofit status in 2006. The NBA has never been a nonprofit. The NHL still has nonprofit status, but NHL Enterprises, which slings all the league’s merch, is a for-profit and taxed to the hilt. The NFL does not pay tax on any banner, jersey, hat, t-shirt, or bedazzled something-or-other for the ladies. This means we profit on the field and in the fan shop — especially cancer month, boy does that pink shit sell like hotcakes. How did the NFL keep the nonprofit status it earned In 1966 when the government was simply trying to keep the fledgling organization afloat? How, when other lesser leagues have capitulated and had to declare themselves as for-profit enterprises, do we still not pay a nickel on $10 billion of annual earnings? How has there not been an uprising from the residents of the cities we represent and profit from while their schools crumble and hospitals overcrowd around them? How do we do it? We do it by staying one step ahead of the competition by writing bigger checks to our lobbyists than Philip Morris and Israel combined. Power and influence = money. And money buys power and influence. Got it?
We know that the NFL’s current drug policy is just a tiny bit more forgiving than the WWE. We know that the NFL profits mightily when it raises awareness for diseases. We know we’re keeping felons on the field instead of overcrowding our prisons.
And we know that the league makes me about as much each year as that guy with the beard (Hans Gruber) would have had he been able to pull off the Christmas Eve heist at Nakatomi Plaza. Only he didn’t know something I do.
…How not to pay taxes on it.