This Is How The Roger Goodell Era Began
Three decades ago, Roger Goodell was an aspiring young chap, fresh out of college and eager to make his mark in the world – specifically, by working in whatever capacity possible for NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle. And thanks to SI Vault’s Andy Gray, we can all have a look at how he went about achieving that goal (well, aside from the “being a U.S. senator’s son” thing):
…And one day, I hope it can be my extreme privilege to follow in your footsteps as the commissioner of this great league, overseeing an era of unprecedented popularity for the powerhouse you molded, even if this amazing popularity enjoyed by the National Football League did not always extend to me personally. Even if I had to orchestrate a lockout of the players and write a barely-coherent, widely-mocked WSJ op-ed because the owners I answer to would shamelessly cry poverty even as this great league rakes in money hand over fist, I want to lead this glorious enterprise.
Even if the worry over head injuries brought about by playing football grows and grows over time, and even if as part of an attempt to show how SERIOUS I AM abut this MATTER OF GRAVE CONCERN I take drastic actions against members of the New Orleans Saints for an alleged bounty scheme, I want to one day be the man in charge of this fine American institution.
And even if the actions I take are later seen to be so drastic and such an abuse of my own power that the suspensions I hand down to players are overturned and I recuse myself from the appeals process, I still wish to one day stand on the shoulders of you, the giant. Even if I’m seen as such a caricature of an overly assertive authority figure that though the Saints bounty would legitimately be a bad thing, I still come off as the least sympathetic actor – indeed, if criticism of me has reached such a fever pitch that even people writing fake letters poking fun at me wonder a little bit if all the hate doesn’t go a bit overboard – I still, Commissioner Rozelle, want to sit in your chair one day.
Because despite all that, Commissioner Rozelle, If I’m ever fortunate enough to lead your great league, I will basically be the emperor of America. Sweet heaven above, Commissioner, do people love your league. And even if those fans don’t love me, as long as the owners are cool with me, I’m pretty much untouchable.
Seriously, though, this letter’s nothing special. Makes you wonder how important the cover letter really is in the application process.
Getty photo, by Alex Wong