BOSTON (CBS) — On the surface, it seems like Roger Goodell is constantly in danger of losing his post as the commissioner of the NFL. So it came as a shock to many when it was reported that Goodell is on the verge of an extension to stay on as commish through 2024.
Why are the NFL’s 32 owners so devoted to Goodell as commissioner? The Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard offered some insight into that when he joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Mazz on Tuesday.
There are two well-documented reasons why the owners would like to keep Goodell as their commissioner. One is the money the league has made since he became commissioner in 2006; every team has significantly increased in value since he took over, while the latest reports say the league earned over $14 billion in revenue in 2016. The other reason is that Goodell is the public face of the league; he shields the owners from criticism that they would otherwise receive themselves.
But the third reason the owners like Goodell may come as a surprise, because it’s a side of Goodell that fans and the general public never see. Goodell is actually “very personable”, especially in his private interactions with the owners and their families – and it’s been frustrating for those who would prefer Goodell showed more of his real self publicly.
“It drives Roger’s people crazy that they cannot get the private Goodell into the public,” said Bedard. “It’s the one guy where you say, ‘Just be yourself, and people will like you. People like you!’ He just can’t do it, for some reason. But he is extremely personable, and this is the side that the owners see.”
Perhaps the private Goodell came out when he met those Patriots fans in Foxboro.
Despite all the good things that Goodell has done for the owners, that same success hasn’t necessarily translated to happy fans. Bedard acknowledged that Goodell angers fans across the league with the demeanor he projects in his press conferences and other public appearances – and justifiably so.
“I do not think [Goodell’s] good for the game,” said Bedard. “Any time he talks about anything, he just looks like he’s disingenuous and just trying to play the high notes. I don’t think anybody believes him, when he talks about player safety or the integrity of the league or transparency … it’s all just a bunch of B.S. when you hear him talk.”
Michael Felger also offered his thoughts on Goodell’s performance as NFL commissioner, and the guys also went over some key questions entering week 3 of the Patriots preseason. Listen above for the full podcast and check out Bedard’s thoughts on Jimmy Garoppolo below: