Dionne Miller's Bears Bourbonnais Diary - August 1 - KMSP-TV

Dionne Miller's Bears Bourbonnais Diary - August 1

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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (FOX 32 News) -

It's not everyday the NFL commissioner stops by practice. In fact, it's never happened in Bourbonnais. So as Roger Goodell rolled onto campus Wednesday, I was eager to hear what he was looking for.

No question he has a tough gig. Maybe the toughest in sports. I mean, the NFL is the most popular game on the planet. And he is in charge. And he is criticized no matter what he does. He'll never please everyone, but he's human so to some extent you've got to believe he wants to.

He is on some little training camp tour, evaluating changes implemented with the new CBA - no more 2-a-days, mandatory off days, etc. He said those things are winners. But he also had an eye on the replacement officials called in to observe while league officials continue in a labor dispute.

Goodell told us the league is prepared to use replacement officials this season if an agreement cannot be reached. The refs in Bourbonnais were from D-II and AFL. Heard a rumor D-III and high school officials may be called upon. Honestly, if they use replacements I hope we don't really notice.

Goodell answered a lot of questions today - everything from rules changes, concussions, Twitter and bounty gate. To which he said he's been really surprised. More so because the league was lied to back in 2009, and he said overall he was disappointed to find out the reality of it all. We are too, commish.

He was asked about a Super Bowl in Chicago. He didn't rule it out. Said they will have to see how this year goes in New York City. I hope it goes well. Indy set the bar last year for sure. But they have a dome. Soldier Field has the lake effect. I'm all about football in the elements, and Goodell said too, the game is great when it's played that way. I agree…I guess. I'll get back to this after I survive a February in Chicago. If I survive.

The biggest point of debate between players and Goodell seems to be on his suggestion of an 18 game NFL season. Peanut Tillman used the most colorful language of the day when he simply said "Hell No" (well he said more than that but it's not necessary to get that detailed.) Matt Forte just simply said, we play enough games with preseason, 16 regular season and the play-offs.

The commissioner wasn't adamant on his stance - just simply said they are still evaluating. That's fine. I like the way it is. I just say make it cheaper for fans to go to the preseason. I mean a lot cheaper. It's about the fans anyway. Let's make it more affordable so those who can't afford regular season tickets but love the Bears can still support in person. There is nothing like a live NFL game and those who love it should be able to be there.

After practice, the Commissioner, Hall of Famer John Madden and George McCaskey (Bears Chairman) held a brief fan forum. Not totally sure what they discussed, but how incredible to see Madden walking around Olivet Nazarene. He didn't speak to the media other than to say hello. He moved slower than I expected, but a HOF'er is an HOF'er. Awesome that he stopped by.

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