By JAY PARIS
It was part show, part substance and a whole lot of tap dancing.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made his State of the NFL address on Friday, tackling a plethora of issues and controversies.
Of local interest, Goodell was clear the Chargers need fresh digs to stay competitive long term.
On the same morning San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced his Chargers stadium task force, team president Dean Spanos received a boost from Goodell.
“Dean and his family have worked 10-12 years trying to get a new stadium,” Goodell said and the Chargers would add it’s been 13 years. “They obviously need a new stadium.”
Just as obvious, the Chargers and San Diego region haven’t determined how to do just that.
“We want all our franchises to stay in current markets,’’ Goodell said. “That is a shared responsibility.’’
Hear that, San Diego powers that be and Chargers?
“We need to see tangible results sooner rather than later,” Goodell said.
Hint: the wheels of relocation are moving quickly toward Los Angeles.
For the 20th straight year the LA question was broached.
Just like the previous 19, Goodell didn’t say much, other than any team seeking to move would be subject to a vote by NFL owners.
If nine owners don’t approve, according to NFL rules, it can stopped.
“I am confident that will be followed,’’ Goodell said and that might have been wishful thinking.
In addition to San Diego and LA, Goodell said Buffalo needed a fresh venue and that Las Vegas’ fans have a passion for football.
Could Las Vegas become the new LA as a leverage city?
It’s been amusing all these years that NFL detractors have pointed to it being absent from the nation’s No. 2 market.
But it’s been a market other cities have used to receive funds to build stadiums.
If the LA card comes off the table, maybe the “new” LA becomes Las Vegas.
The NFL is keen at two things: making money and working cities against each other when one has a NFL team and the other doesn’t.
Goodell is hopeful he doesn’t have a repeat of 2014. He spent most the year putting out fires and had the scars to prove it.
“It has been trying on me personally,’’ he said. “We’ve all done a lot of soul-searching, starting with yours truly.’’
True-that, another State of the NFL speech came with the Chargers’ state of a new stadium still at the starting line.
Next year, this issue could be at the finish line, with the checkered flag offering no guarantees the Chargers remain in San Diego.
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