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NFL Commissioner talks football

Loyola announcement - December 12, 2003

Interim University President William J. Byron, S.J. (at podium) introduces National Football League Commissioner Paul Tagliabue (seated) at a breakfast December 8 at the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans. Tagliabue discussed the country's most popular pastime in a talk titled "NFL Football: America's Passion." The Joseph A. Butt, S.J., College of Business Administration and Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints, were responsible for the commissioner's appearance.

Under Tagliabue's leadership, the NFL has grown from 28 to 32 teams, revised its divisional alignment and scheduling formula, operated under successive long-term labor agreements with the NFL Players Association, and secured the largest television contracts in entertainment history. During this time, the NFL also has expanded league and team commitments to community service, and refocused the NFL's efforts in developing public-private partnerships for new stadiums. In addition, the NFL has been the new media leader in sports, creating the first leaguewide Internet network for fans and unprecedented Internet "portal" distribution.

Since Tagliabue took office in 1989, the NFL has taken steps to guarantee the appeal and safety of the game on the field and to ensure that all teams have financial and other resources to compete effectively for championships. Fan interest, as reflected in game attendance, television audiences, and other measures, is at record levels, and the NFL is widely recognized as holding a preeminent position in sports entertainment. In recognition of his accomplishments, Tagliabue was named the 2000 Sports Industrialist of the Year by The Sports Business Daily, the 2001 Sports Executive of the Year by The Sports Business Journal, and the 2001 Most Powerful Person in Sports by The Sporting News.

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