One of the funniest new traditions the NFL has given us over the last couple years has to be the (mostly) New York football fans booing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at each year’s draft. To his credit, Goodell did start to encourage the booing last year, but the fact is a lot of fans and players are against some of the things he has done, or tried to do, to their sport. Nonetheless, Goodell just keeps plugging along.
The commissioner recently penned a letter to NFL fans thanking them for their support for the 2013 season:
To the most passionate and dedicated fans in the world, we thank you.
We hope you enjoyed the 2013 regular season that many view as one of the greatest in NFL history. Now we look ahead to the playoffs that start this weekend and culminate in a historic Super Bowl XLVIII in New York-New Jersey.
The 2013 season brought us incredible athleticism, extraordinary teamwork, intense and unpredictable competition, and unparalleled community interest and support. Last Sunday’s dramatic finish to the playoff races was an incredible day of excitement. Once again, we have new teams in the playoffs – 5 of the 12 were not there last year (Carolina, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia and San Diego) – and, for the 11th straight year, teams that went from last to first in their divisions (Carolina, Philadelphia). The competition on the field has never been better.
On behalf of the NFL’s players, coaches and staff, we are grateful for your support and dedication. By any measure, football is more popular than ever. You are engaging with and enjoying the NFL in unprecedented numbers – from the stadium and television to mobile, fantasy and more. There has never been a better time to be an NFL fan. We also know we have to earn your loyalty every day, and we will work as hard as we can to do that.
While we take pride in the positive role that football at all levels plays in the lives of so many, we are also focused on the future of this game we love. Part of our responsibility is to embrace our challenges and continuously ask ourselves how we can improve the game and fan experience.
We have never been more optimistic about football and its future. We are doing the work that needs to be done. There is always more to do and we take nothing for granted.
The newest chapter in the history of football will be written over the next month. It will bring back memories of other champions and near-champions as we celebrate all those who have been part of football. The game is special. All of us, whether we played, coached, or simply follow the game, recognize the value of football. It is our responsibility to take good care of the game and make it better.
Enjoy the playoffs and have a great 2014.
Say what you will about Goodell, but at least he loves football. Even if you hate him.