SPHERES OF INFLUENCE

October 17, 2010

Like a binary star, the NFL has dual centers of energy: Roger Goodell's league office and DeMaurice Smith's players association. All else—owners, agents, media, fans—revolves around that mutually reactive core. Now, though, the looming labor dispute threatens to tear the system apart, unless the powers that be can harness the force of this friction to bind themselves together even more strongly. Herewith a sky map of the most powerful elements in the universe of pro football.

Ed Roski, 72

Southern California real estate mogul has land, stadium plan for L.A. franchise—but no team

LEAGUE OFFICE

ROGER GOODELL, 51, NFL commissioner

His four years in office have been marked by emphasis on player discipline; now faces biggest challenge in looming labor conflict

Jeffrey Pash, 54, NFL executive VP of labor and general counsel, Tagliabue protégé and onetime commissioner candidate is lead negotiator for owners

Bob Batterman, 68

Management-side labor lawyer who represented NHL in 2004--05 lockout is advising Goodell, Pash

PLAYERS ASSOCIATION

DeMaurice Smith, 46, NFLPA executive director

Former D.C. prosecutor and trial lawyer won election as dark horse in 2009; not nearly as chummy with league office as predecessor, Gene Upshaw

Jeffrey Kessler, 56, NFLPA counsel

Veteran labor-side lawyer—he litigated McNeil v. NFL, which led to establishment of free agency—is Pash's chief adversary

Kevin Mawae, 39, NFLPA president

Former NFL lineman is strong voice on financial and health-care issues, though influence in negotiations remains to be seen

PLAYERS

Peyton Manning, 34

Colts quarterback is face of the league and its most marketable player

Brett Favre, 41

Vikings quarterback dominates media attention, for better and worse

Drew Brees, 31

Saints quarterback helped turn New Orleans into America's New Team

OWNERS

Dan Snyder, Redskins, 44

Lightning-rod owner whose relationship with DeMaurice Smith could help in negotiating CBA

Dan Rooney, Steelers, 78

Team's emeritus chairman, now U.S. ambassador to Ireland, remains close adviser to Goodell

Bob Kraft, Patriots, 69

Only owner who's on the broadcast, labor and finance committees

Bob McNair, Texans, 73

Billionaire who made his fortune in energy business has the ear of fellow owners

Steve Bisciotti, Ravens, 50

Among young owners, league office most admires him and K.C.'s Hunt

Jerry Richardson, Panthers, 74

Former Colts receiver cochairs labor committee; hard-liner

Jerry Jones, Cowboys, 68

High-profile face of America's most valuable sports franchise

Jeffrey Lurie, Eagles, 59

Former Hollywood producer chairs L.A. stadium committee; arbiter of NFL's return to second-largest market

Tom Benson, Saints, 83

Granddaughter Rita has strong say in team issues; Tom chairs NFL finance committee

Woody Johnson, Jets, 63

Has pushed his franchise to forefront in nation's biggest, rowdiest market

Clark Hunt, Chiefs, 45

Rising star settling into role as influential dad Lamar's heir

COACHES/EXECUTIVES

Art Rooney II, 58

Steelers president carries the gravitas of Art, his grandfather, and Dan, his dad

Bill Belichick, 58

Pats coach and three-time Super Bowl winner is admired by all, emulated by some

Bill Polian, 67

Colts president is architect of league's steadiest franchise; key member of competition committee

Ozzie Newsome, 54

Only Indy's Polian has had a better run of team-building than Ravens' general manager

AGENTS

Tom Condon, 57, and Ben Dogra, 45

Coheads of Creative Artists Agency's football division have 100 top players, including Peyton and Eli Manning, Adrian Peterson

John Wooten, 73

Former player chairs Fritz Pollard Alliance, which promotes hiring of minority coaches and front-office staffers

Bob LaMonte, 65

Most prominent coaches' agent; client list includes Andy Reid, Brad Childress, Mike Singletary

Drew Rosenhaus, 43

First superstar agent is as controversial as ever, but with client list of 120 (including T.O. and Ochocinco) and growing, impossible to ignore

MEDIA

George Bodenheimer, 52

ESPN/ABC Sports president pays league $1.1 billion a year for MNF

Dick Ebersol, 63

NBC Universal Sports & Olympics chairman has Goodell's ear

David Hill, 64

FOX Sports chair has been behind major innovations in NFL broadcasts

Sean McManus, 55

President of CBS News, Sports doesn't wield influence of other network bosses

Steve Bornstein, 58

NFL Network czar and exec VP of NFL media renegotiated deals with CBS, Fox and NBC in 2009, even with lockout looming

Steve Sabol, 68

As president of NFL Films, has had a major hand in league myth-making

Chris Berman, 55

Host of ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown isn't giant of 10 years ago, but everyone takes his calls

Adam Schefter, 43

Onetime Broncos beat writer now leads ESPN's large stable of tapped-in newshounds

Tony Dungy, 55

Retired coach and NBC analyst has become revered resource for Goodell and scores of players

Mike Florio, 45

Onetime outsider has turned profootballtalk.com into a must-read for news and rumor

Peter King, 53

SI senior writer pens Monday Morning Quarterback on SI.com, Internet's most widely read NFL column

Alan Schwarz, 42

New York Times scribe's reporting on brain injury has helped put concussion issue on front burner

Dan Patrick, 54

Interviewer extraordinaire and SI writer cohosts Football Night in America on NBC; league's biggest names frequent his morning radio-television show

Dr. James Andrews, 68

Preeminent orthopedic surgeon and pioneer in treatment of ligament damage has saved dozens of NFL careers, from Troy Aikman's to Drew Brees's

ILLUSTRATIONIllustration By BRYAN CHRISTIE DESIGN

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)