Roger Goodell, the son of former Sen. Charles Goodell (R-NY), replaces Paul Tagliabue:
“We’ve had the two greatest sports commissioners in the history of professional sports, Paul Tagliabue and Pete Rozelle, and I was fortunate to work for both of them,” Goodell said. “I look forward to the challenge and thank them again for their confidence.”
Tagliabue served 17 years, and during that time the league’s revenues have skyrocketed. The NFL will collect about $10 billion in TV rights fees during the next six years, and enjoys labor peace with the players’ association.
“Replacing Paul was not easy, and I think we’ve done a great job in selecting Roger,” said Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. “The NFL is a complex business. Finding the right person to keep it on course was critical, and we did it.”
It’s tempting to say that he can continue the programs that Tagliabue and Rozelle pioneered, and keep them on auto-pilot. But as Pete Rozelle discovered in the 1980s, at some point, he’ll definitely be challenged by forces within and outside the game.