Sportress of Blogitude

Goodell said to have had owners’ ‘universal support,’ but does he now?


A report indicated that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had “universal support” from those individuals whose opinion matters most: The owners. But in the wake of Thursday’s ruling from Judge Herman in which New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension was nullified, the question is: But does he now?

The Washington Post’s Kent Babb penned an in-depth and fascinating piece on the commissioner entitled, “How Roger Goodell became the most powerful man in American sports.” And in it, he lays out Goodell’s rise to power and how he has managed to be the “Teflon Don” of the NFL.

The crux of the piece is as follows:

“Overall,” the owner said, according to the Post, “everybody thinks he’s doing a very good job in a very, very challenging environment.”

But perhaps more importantly in relation to how the league just suffered what has to be deemed an embarrassing loss in court is where does Goodell stand with his bosses — the owners — now?

Goodell reportedly understands how to run such a huge business by, according to one NFL executive, identifying four or five owners that he uses to run the league.

The report cites New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft — whom “is said to view Goodell like a son — and therefore isn’t expected to hold a grudge” over the Deflategate saga, the piece notes —  as well as the Cowboys’ Jerry Jones, the Giants’ John Mara, the Panthers’ Jerry Richardson and the Steelers’ Art and Dan Rooney among his closest allies.

“Everyone else is irrelevant or unheard,” the executive said.

While that may be true, Goodell arguably has become a liability for the NFL given his dismal approval ratings and how he’s perceived by fans and many in the media. But in the end, as it relates to Goodell’s job security, it will all come down to the almighty dollar. Despite his missteps and each ensuing controversy, Goodell has managed to nevertheless make the owners an obscene amount of money. So long as somehow maintains the sheen and shine of the Shield — and more importantly keeps the money flowing — chances are good he’ll remain “the most powerful man in American sports.”