Fans Are Gaining Power

March 18th, 2014

Longtime NFL agent Jack Bechta is convinced that increased fan passion combined with driven, scrutiny-crazed bloggers have changed the direction of NFL ownership.

“The tail is wagging the dog” in many cases, Bechta claims.

He made the case in one of his often excellent columns for NationalFootballPost.com. The NFL feeding fans more and more information, such as inside the NFL Scouting Combine, NFL Network reporting and analysis, etc., has created a powerful beast that is no longer ignored.

Having that information available to the public and then reported, analyzed, scrutinized, speculated upon and criticized has created a fish bowl environment for owners, coaches and front office execs to operate in. And being that owners want to be popular, head coaches want to get extensions and front office people want to keep their jobs; just about every decision is made with heavy consideration as to what the public/fan base will think and how they will react. Therefore, many decisions made on hiring’s, personnel, and draft transactions are now based on avoiding scrutiny from the thousands of media outlets that exist. Sure, there are the Belichick’s and Thompson’s who will still have the courage to move on from a Welker or Favre, but they are a dying breed.

Mark my words; there will be an owner in the next seven years that will let his fan base actually vote on who his team will take with their first draft pick.

Even though this trend started several years ago with bloggers (who weren’t under contract with the NFL), it’s getting worse.

Now Joe’s not sure he can buy into this extreme level of fan/media power. Yes, fans are the customers and keeping them happy is important to running a successful business, but that only goes so far. National TV money drives the NFL and has decreased the value of ticket sales, stadium deals and, subsequently, winning.

But that doesn’t mean owners aren’t looking to earn every possible dollar and appease the masses.

Bechta referenced Bill Belichick and Ted Thompson as strong team leaders who don’t bend to public perception. Joe absolutely has to put Team Glazer into that class. The happenings of the 5 1/2 years tell you all you need to know.

32 Responses to “Fans Are Gaining Power”

  1. lightningbuc Says:

    The claim that an owner will let the fan base vote on a draft pick is preposterous! It’s a multi-billion dollar organization, not some fantasy league team.

  2. SAMCRO Says:

    Yeah right, from day one upon Schiano’s hiring the media played their role in getting Schiano fired. It all started with his very first NFL game (crashing the victory formation). After that it was a crap storm during the rest of his tenure. The media played a huge role in his demise. I think that’s why I get angry with Joe. Sometimes his persistent drum beat surrounding certain players resonates heavily on the franchises future decisions, all the while

    Joe maintains he has no influence from this here little corner of the web. Joe plays coy but he knows his voice gets heard from his soapbox and when he is called out on it by a commenter, he says, “Who me”? This story just confirms that the squeaky wheel gets the grease first, and in this case it’s always the media. It’s comical how the media tries to hide their agenda by hiding behind the veil of the fans. Perceptually it gives them an even larger voice when they invoke the fan card.

  3. bucrightoff Says:

    Owners are more impatient now than ever because fans are more and more staying home and not coming to the game. You need to have a good product or a winning product to draw fans, because HDTV and a boatload of beer for $20 rather than two beers (maybe?) is just hard to say no to. Factor in the Sunday Ticket alure and owners don’t have the patience to take the time to build a winner. They want a winner now so they can fill up more seats.

    I mean the Bucs are struggling to get to 85% sellout and the Seahawks just raised their ticket prices 12% (12th man indeed…). This is why you’ll see more and more coaches getting fired in 2 seasons or less.

  4. mpmalloy Says:

    The happenings of the 5 1/2 years tell you all you need to know.

    What? You mean the team being a joke and in complete disarray since 2008?

  5. Patrick in VA Says:

    I think we’ve seen enough evidence in these comments sections that the fans may have better access to information but that doesn’t make them more educated or capable of making decisions for the team. Especially when there are no repercussions for the fans if things go wrong other than having to sit through losses. The only real candidate I could see would be the Packers crowd sourcing draft picks because their fans are actual stock holders, even though they don’t get returns

  6. lightningbuc Says:

    Speaking of the media, Ira Kauffman just tweeted that Mark Dominik is looking for a media gig.

    Joe, you could hire the Rock Star for yourself!

  7. Joe Says:

    Joe, you could hire the Rock Star for yourself!

    Not out of the question.

  8. Joe Says:

    I think that’s why I get angry with Joe. Sometimes his persistent drum beat surrounding certain players resonates heavily on the franchises future decisions,

    Interesting. Schiano has Joe’s cell phone number, as did Schiano’s right-hand man, as do the Bucs. Not once did Joe receive a call/text/e-mail requesting Joe to lay off a certain player. In fact, the only “complaint” Joe got from a coach was that when he clicked on Joe’s site, he kept getting ads for CougarLife.com.

  9. BFFL Says:

    This is why it is so important to have an intelligent fan base. From my perspective, the “Glennon Mob” has a much higher football IQ.

  10. Stevek (MGM) Says:

    This is good and bad.

    Obviously, our fan base has had enough rocking out , and we need to win.

    I see the Licht.

  11. Buc1987 Says:

    Those 2 morons in the picture are the guys that put out their signs prematurely all the time and jinx our team. I sit pretty close to them.

    Example: the Saints game over 2 minutes to go in the game, Buc have the lead and they unfold a sign that says “It’s a whole new season”. This is just 1 example of there were many other times too. I almost went up them and told them to stop jinxing our team with their damn signs.

  12. Vico Says:

    Based on this, if we draft Johnny we could make you responsible, Joe. Imagine the day when democracy rules professional sports, we would stop having the professional part of it.

  13. Oahubuc Says:

    Does this mean we can change the uniforms back to the real ones?

  14. $acbuc$ Says:

    Joe need to say if you come to JBF you computer will crash. Dam Hackers

  15. Buc Fan #237 Says:

    Buc1987… who knew that you were the fan police?

  16. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    I said this time & time again.

    For years now, players, scouts, coaches, Front office personnel communicate through blogs & social media. That eventually I wouldn’t be shocked if Teams started outsourcing the draft process & player acquisition.

  17. Buc1987 Says:

    Buc Fan #237…I just got tired of watching those fools every game prematurely putting up signs about the Bucs victory only to watch them lose in the end. It happened a lot. They will be there next season as well. Putting up signs like “this one is in the bag”, stuff like that and then bam they lose. Yipeee!

  18. Meh Says:

    Oh, please. Schiano has nobody to blame other than himself for getting fired. It wasn’t the media’s fault he was an exceptionally sh!tty coach.

  19. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Makes you wonder sometime

    December 29th, 2013 at 11:06 am
    -Donald Penn-$7,066,665
    -Davin Joseph-6,000,000
    -Jeremy Zuttah-4,000,000
    -Michael Koenen-3,250,000
    -Derek Landri-1,500,000
    -Luke Stocker-763,172
    -Anthony Gaitor-658,404

    December 29th, 2013 at 11:49 am
    How about trading Revis?

    -For the price of ONE GUY (16 million in cap space) We can sign 3 good corners
    (two outside guys + one slot guy).

    R Corner /L Corner (FA Options)
    -Alterraun Verner
    -Nolan Carroll (luv this kid)
    -Vontae Davis
    -Antoine Cason
    -Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

    Slot Corner (FA Options)
    -Captain Munnerlyn
    -Walter Thurmond
    -Josh Wilson

  20. bee Says:


    Schiano played the biggest role in his own firing. No one told him to rush the victory formation. It was his decisions and arrogance that lead him to unemployment. The media just made sure we never forgot the dumb things he did.

  21. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    February 11th, 2014 at 1:06 pm
    Nah, I would trade’M for Draft Picks (+get our 3 rounder back)

    Then use the extra $16 million on a few corners, Defensive line man, Offensive Line, Tight end, and back up quarterback.

  22. Jim Says:

    Empowered fans just may buy more tickets and merchandise.

  23. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    March 4th, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Solid Value Pick at Left Tackle

    (LT Anthony Collins)

    • Snap Count- (673)
    • Number of Penalties-(2)
    • Quarterback Sacks-(0)!!!!!!!!!!
    • Quarterback Hits-(1)!!!!!!!
    • Quarterback Hurries (13)!!!!!!!

    Has only given up (6 sacks as a starter) in (1887 snap counts)
    Sounds like a player on the ascend not on the decline.

  24. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “Mark my words; there will be an owner in the next seven years that will let his fan base actually vote on who his team will take with their first draft pick.”

    Joe, that would make a great poll. Maybe by position or player name. I’d be curious how JBF fans would vote.

  25. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    bee Says
    “Schiano played the biggest role in his own firing. No one told him to rush the victory formation.”

    That had nothing at all to do with his firing. And it wasn’t wrong to rush the formation in certain situations. In fact, we saw several teams do it in other games against other teams and they never got called out on it.

  26. stanglassman Says:

    This story reminds me of when John Mckay playing his son as a wide receiver, John Mckay jr. who could catch but no speed. Steve Spurrier use to throw him hospital balls over the middle just to get him out of the game. I think this day and age the added scrutiny just wouldn’t allow that kind of nepotism to exist.

  27. Chef Paul Says:

    OK, I have no doubt in my mind, LUVMYBUCS has a mole on the inside. Maybe you have been Lovie this whole time. Watching and lurking on JBF all the time he was unemployed. Enjoying the Schinao hate fest knowing his time was coming.

    “LUV”MYBUCS – Lovie…. Coincidence? I think not!!

  28. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @Chef Paul


  29. Jim Says:

    This would be a brilliant move by owners. Eliminate the entire scouting department, rely on the third party scouters (ESPN, rivals, etc) to provide data to the public. Create a certification system in which fans must meet some criteria, like a course, and then let these fans vote on the picks. Majority Decides the pick. Much cheaper for the owners (scouting is now free), and majority of fans are always happy because they feel like they have a say in the team!!

  30. D-Rome Says:

    Wow, looks like we need a LUVMYBUCSFAN.COM.

    Maybe you have been Lovie this whole time. Watching and lurking on JBF all the time he was unemployed. Enjoying the Schinao hate fest knowing his time was coming.

    I love conspiracies, and I choose to believe this one.

  31. Yeah It's me! Says:

    The day fans get to make the picks is the day I stop watching football. You are the idiots that im worried about if you think that will make Pro Football better in any way. Everybody thinks they can play Gm. F’n ridiculous!!! As far as getting more fans to show up to games because they got to pick a player in the draft. only the fans that got there player they wanted are gonna go. The fans that didn’t get there player will be more pissed and defiantly wont go. If they started letting Fans pick there draft picks this year than i’ll become a closet Panther, Saints or Falcons fan so I can help them pick the worst player in there draft. Before you know it everybody would be Fans of another division team so they can try to sabotage there true enemy in the division. The whole idea is so stupid I cant believe where even talking about it at all.

  32. Yeah It's me! Says:

    And don’t say only season ticket holders would be able to pick the draft pick (s)because the Bucs live in the most transient state and all the northerners would bye a season ticket and sabotage the Bucs.

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