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    Roger Goodell Addresses Taylor Swift, Playing Surface, Playoffs on Peacock, and More in Super Bowl Press Conference

    NFL commissioner Roger Goodell gave his annual Super Bowl press conference on Monday, touching on everything from Taylor Swift to the league's 2024 Brazil game.

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    LAS VEGAS — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell conducted his annual Super Bowl press conference on Monday afternoon, initially talking with CBS Sports reporter Tracy Wolfson before taking questions from assembled reporters.

    Goodell hit several subjects, touching on everything from Taylor Swift to the NFL’s 2024 venture into South America. Let’s run through the top five takeaways from Goodell’s Monday media session.

    Key Takeaways From Roger Goodell’s Super Bowl Press Conference

    What Goodell Thinks of Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce

    Swift’s relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has taken the NFL world — let’s admit it, the entire world — by storm since the two began dating last summer. Swift has attended myriad Chiefs games during the 2023 campaign and may be in Las Vegas for Sunday’s Super Bowl.

    Swift has brought an entirely new fanbase to the NFL, something Goodell

    “… Having the Taylor Swift effect is also a positive,” Goodell said. “Listen, they’re both, Travis and Taylor are wonderful young people. They seem very happy. She knows great entertainment, and I think that’s why she loves NFL football.

    “But I think it’s great to have, have her part of it. Obviously, it creates a buzz. It creates another group of young fans, particularly young women that are interested in seeing. ‘Why is she going to this game? Why is she interested in this game?’ Besides Travis, she’s a football fan, and I think that’s great for us.”

    Goodell, who said he went to two Swift concerts last year, laughed off complaints that Swift and Kelce’s relationship was “scripted” by the NFL.

    “I don’t think I’m that good of a scriptor, or anybody on our staff,” Goodell said. “I think it’s, you know, I listen, there is no way that I could have scripted that one. Let’s just put it that way … She’s a remarkable performer. She knows great entertainment.”

    The NFL Will Play in Brazil in 2024

    The NFL heads to South America next season. Goodell announced that the Philadelphia Eagles will play in Brazil on Sept. 6, the Friday after the league’s traditional Thursday night opener.

    Philadelphia will be the home team, but the NFL still has to determine their opponent.

    “We are incredibly excited,” Goodell said. “We’re going to do it on our kickoff weekend, which is an unusual approach and different than we’ve ever done. We actually are going to play it on Friday night of our kickoff weekend.

    “So we’ll have Thursday night as our kickoff game. Friday night will come back from Brazil and São Paulo. The Philadelphia Eagles will be the host team in São Paulo. And then we’ll come back with Sunday night and Monday night and obviously a great, a good group of games on Sunday afternoon with our two partners.

    “So, we think this is giving us an ability to access more fans, not just here in the States, but on a global basis. And I think it’s going to be a huge hit. We’re excited.”

    The Future of NFL on Streaming Services

    Many NFL fans weren’t happy that the league streamed a playoff game solely on NBC’s Peacock service this year.

    “Consumers are moving off of pay television services and going into digital streaming services and platforms. And we as the NFL have to be able to reach our fans here. One of the most positive things about the Peacock game was not just the fact that it outdrew the broadcast audience a year earlier in the same window, so people went there, experienced that.

    “It worked technically in an incredible way. And our partners of Peacock and NBC, we give a lot of credit to them for that. But it also reduced our average age of the audience by almost 10 years. So youth audiences are going to those platforms and those apps, and we have to make sure our content is there. We still have over 90% of our games on free television. No other league, no other sports comes close to that.”

    Will the NFL ever stream a Super Bowl solely on a non-broadcast service?

    “Certainly not in my time,” Goodell said, whose contract as NFL commissioner runs through 2027.

    Goodell on the Rooney Rule and the NFL Hiring Cycle

    The NFL expanded its hiring cycle in 2024, lengthening the interview process and allowing teams more time to consider a wider swath of candidates.

    “I think the delay by one week gave teams a chance to do that because I don’t think people think about our hiring cycle. Every one of those teams is competing against somebody else and another team, and sometimes you get in that rush.

    “I don’t think people felt that. I think people took the time. They understood the candidates. They did an excellent job of interviewing them. We had panels, we had education. I think the accelerator program — I think all the things that were done by the clubs over the last several years — paid dividends. And we’ll continue that.”

    Goodell did not suggest the NFL was close to eliminating the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview minority candidates for general manager, head coach, offensive coordinator, and quarterbacks coach.

    “We still have a lot of work to do. We are not satisfied where we are. We think that there are diversity is very good for us as a league. It’s made us better. It gives opportunities to talented people. I think the hiring cycle, was obviously encouraging from the coaching head coaching standpoint.

    “As you point out, we don’t look at this just in the coaching level or offensive coordinator. We look at this across the board. We look at this from coaching to ownership to presidents to general managers.

    “And we’ve seen extraordinary progress in all of that. And that’s the effort that we’ve had with our clubs. I give our clubs tremendous credit. I think the process that they went through in the hiring cycle for coaches and general managers this year was very thorough, very professional.”

    Playing Surfaces Galore

    While the San Francisco 49ers were unhappy with their Super Bowl practice field surface at UNLV, Goodell said the practice field was approved unanimously.

    “We had 23 experts out there,” Goodell said. “We’ve had the union out there. All of them think it’s a very playable surface. It’s softer than what they practice on, but that happens. It’s well within all of our testing standards.”

    Goodell was also asked about NFL teams potentially mandating grass fields, especially given that NFL host stadiums will put in grass for the upcoming World Cup.

    KEEP READING: Super Bowl 58 Early Preview

    “We think hybrid is really something to explore,” he said. “That’s what they use internationally. … We want to try to get the best fields, and that varies market to market, climate to climate.”

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