Commish Praises Club's Ownership Group
The Tampa Tribune, published 9 December 2002

The next Buccaneer game Paul Tagliabue attends could conclude with the NFL Commissioner handing the Vince Lombardi Trophy to owner Malcolm Glazer. Moments before viewing Sunday's 34-10 rout of the Falcons at Raymond James Stadium, Tagliabue fielded an array of questions and praised Tampa Bay's ownership. ``The Glazers have been outstanding for the National Football League,'' he said. ``Malcolm and the Glazer family have created one of our premier franchises. It's been a fantastic partnership.''

Tagliabue suggested the basic rules for overtime won't be altered at the league's March meetings in Arizona and said realignment has generated accolades from fans. ``I don't think the current [overtime] rules are unfair, and more importantly, our membership doesn't think so,'' Tagliabue said. ``The philosophy of the committee is that games are won on both offense and defense. You can win with or without the offense having the ball. I think everybody is positive about realignment and the scheduling format. Here, of course, some people felt that this NFC South was going to be an easy division and the NFC North was going to be the hard division, but that's turned out to be the opposite.''

The league is considering staging a Super Bowl in Los Angeles if there are ``significant renovations'' to the Rose Bowl, Tagliabue said. Tagliabue discussed the issue of minority hirings with NFL club executives last week, including Bucs general manager Rich McKay and Atlanta owner Arthur Blank. ``We're trying to create a system that ensures the best individuals get an opportunity to be interviewed,'' Blank said. ``I'm very optimistic we will do a better job of diversity.''

Blank, approved by fellow owners in January, has enjoyed his first year. Even Sunday's lopsided loss couldn't dampen his enthusiasm. ``I'm not worried - we've got three games left and we'll bounce back,'' Blank said. ``It's been an interesting first year for me in this league. We've got a very diverse group of owners and I've been so impressed with their generosity and willingness to share ... until the whistle blows on Sunday.''