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Why does the Commissioner keep calling out player names at the draft?

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Here’s a question that usually emerges during or after the first night of the draft: Why does Commissioner Roger Goodell continue to subject himself to this?

He’ll be booed tonight. Relentlessly. And not just because the draft is being held in Philadelphia. (He’d get booed in Fargo, too. Albeit politely.)

It’s become a given for Goodell. Loud boos. Long boos. Boos that last well beyond the first day of the draft. So why do it? From Goodell’s perspective, he can view it as a cost of doing business. And the business includes getting paid a lot of money to be a gigantic pin cushion for the owners.

But the owners surely don’t like having the scene undermined by open displays of derision. At what point do they intervene and say, “Look, we need to hire Morgan Freeman or Sam Elliott or someone else with a distinctive voice, a commanding presence, and no other connection to the league to call out these names”?

It doesn’t have to be the Commissioner. And, really, it shouldn’t be the Commissioner. Unless the goal is to keep as much reality as possible in the ultimate reality show, the NFL should realize that the event has grown to the point where the guy in charge doesn’t have to be the guy who saunters to the microphone and calls out the pick.

Of course, change could be viewed as capitulation to the masses. Goodell likely isn’t interested in doing that. Which means he’ll continue to bite his lip, fill his ears with cotton (if he isn’t doing that he should), and get through it.

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106 Responses to “Why does the Commissioner keep calling out player names at the draft?”
  1. factschecker says: Apr 27, 2017 1:37 PM

    Booo…Don’t you know.


    Booooo! written in “blood.” (For those that watch the show)

  2. brownoholic says: Apr 27, 2017 1:38 PM

    It’s a tradition. Keep it going!

  3. brenenostler says: Apr 27, 2017 1:40 PM

    Why does he get booed? I can understand it coming from Pats and Saints fans, but I don’t see any motives from the other fanbases, unless it’s purely for amusement

  4. newmarketmaulers says: Apr 27, 2017 1:40 PM

    Rog would never admit defeat like that.

  5. waynefontesismyfather says: Apr 27, 2017 1:40 PM

    The NFL Draft is a culture. Sure a lot of people dislike Goodell for a variety of reasons and boo relentlessly but booing at the draft is the annual rite of passage, spring-time, whatever you’d like.

    I think if you got some little old grandma to walk out there with milk and cookies to read the draft cards she’d get booed too.


  6. abninf says: Apr 27, 2017 1:40 PM

    With the amount of money he’s worth I seriously doubt some annoying immature millennials booing him has much of an effect on him.

  7. harrisonhits2 says: Apr 27, 2017 1:41 PM

    I normally don’t watch the draft at all, just check online once or twice in a night to see who was taken, but I might watch the first pick tonight just to listen to the boos and laugh at the most corrupt sports commissioner in modern American history.

    Lies, corruption, double standards, cheating the teams that aren’t among his favorites. That will be his legacy.

  8. tedmurph says: Apr 27, 2017 1:42 PM

    It just gonna warm him up for Foxboro opening night. Not encouraging any stupidity, just the reception he deserves.

  9. daysend564 says: Apr 27, 2017 1:43 PM

    It gives him a chance to meet face to face the next guy he’s going to suspend.

  10. frozenburritobuttsecks says: Apr 27, 2017 1:43 PM

    why would a draft pick have their picture taken with Morgan Freeman holding up their jersey?

  11. jeyeeteesjetsjetsjets says: Apr 27, 2017 1:43 PM

    I enjoy it. It’s almost cathartic to listen to the NFL fans using this rare chance to be in the same room as the Comish to boo him to Kindom Come. It’s not that often fans can remind Roger what a terrible job he is doing…. Sadly for me, this is usually followed by a poor draft pick.

  12. bkostela says: Apr 27, 2017 1:43 PM

    Is booing the commissioner something exclusive to the NFL? I think not. He gets paid $40 million a year. I’m sure he can handle excessive crowd noise.

  13. elyasm says: Apr 27, 2017 1:45 PM

    If anything, I think they should double down on the spectacle. Hand out cartons of eggs and baskets of rotting vegetables at the doors. If he’s gonna be the league’s whipping boy, let’s really show him how we feel!

  14. Nofoolnodrool says: Apr 27, 2017 1:46 PM

    I think Roger likes does because it shows how immature and ill mannered his detractors are. He knows people want respect but not give it…..Muricah…?

  15. concretechuckles says: Apr 27, 2017 1:47 PM

    Give it to him good Philadelphia!

  16. edsales87 says: Apr 27, 2017 1:48 PM

    Because he wants to and he can?

  17. pubesoap says: Apr 27, 2017 1:48 PM

    He better get up there and be booed. He needs to hear it.

  18. wentz4prez says: Apr 27, 2017 1:48 PM

    Why not? It’s nice to see that he can put up with the Booing..

    His job is ridiculously over scrutinized..

  19. somebadhatharry says: Apr 27, 2017 1:50 PM

    The NFL draft has become a joke to watch. Why not have team owners or GMs announce their own picks? You’re drafting these guys, should they be the first ones to shake their hand and hand them their team jersey??

  20. lewsblues says: Apr 27, 2017 1:50 PM

    I think he should be forced to do all of the picks instead of handing off after one round … keeps the impression of integrity in the game.

  21. rexdarteskimospy says: Apr 27, 2017 1:51 PM

    An eighth grader suffering from brain cancer told the Baltimore Make-a-Wish Foundation that he would love to announce a Ravens’ draft pick. Make-a-Wish contacted the Ravens, and so this 13 year old will announce their first round pick tonight.

    More draft picks should be announced in this manner.

  22. qbarrel says: Apr 27, 2017 1:52 PM

    The draft is always one gigantic, drawn-out borefest. I’ll go online tomorrow morning and quickly scan down the list of names. It’ll take me all of two minutes.

  23. ldloudin says: Apr 27, 2017 1:52 PM

    Would they boo Frank Caliendo imitating the Commissioner?

  24. chicagobtech says: Apr 27, 2017 1:54 PM

    Why does Gary Bettman hand over Lord Stanley’s Cup at the end of the hockey playoffs? Because it’s part of his job, no matter how many people boo. And it’s a lot more people than however big the theater the NFL draft is in.

    If he can put up with that, the NFL can put up with a bunch of loudmouths with bad manners expressing their opinions at the Draft.

  25. 345snarkavenue says: Apr 27, 2017 1:54 PM

    he’s just getting his feet wet before his next trip to Foxborough

  26. jimmyjohns01 says: Apr 27, 2017 1:54 PM

    They should have the owner, GM, or another executive for the team make the call.

  27. stexan says: Apr 27, 2017 1:57 PM

    It’s like wrestling – there has to be a bad guy and he’s it.
    Eventually I expect him to show up in tights and a lucha libre mask.

  28. citizenstrange says: Apr 27, 2017 1:58 PM

    I feel kind of bad for the kids being drafted that their big moment is preceded by deafening boos and they have to hug the guy that elicited those boos.

    Morgan Freeman or Sam Elliot are actually terrific ideas.

  29. Kapodaco says: Apr 27, 2017 1:59 PM

    They could get that kid the Ravens brought in to do the whole thing. Might not sound as forced if so.

  30. dblack25 says: Apr 27, 2017 2:01 PM

    Is Goodell the most hated man in the country? Yes or No?

  31. turkburger says: Apr 27, 2017 2:02 PM

    From what I remember he usually just has a stupid smirk on his face that says I’m getting paid $42 million dollars what are you making.

  32. benjitx777 says: Apr 27, 2017 2:03 PM

    The boos are part of the show!

  33. jag1959 says: Apr 27, 2017 2:03 PM

    Haven’t you learned anything from watching the WWE, err NFL, all this time? It’s all part of the show, every good story line needs a villain.

  34. brwmstr says: Apr 27, 2017 2:03 PM

    FIRE GOODELL!!!! and the boos will stop. A Commissioner that lacks integrity deserves no courtesy.

  35. deneb1973 says: Apr 27, 2017 2:03 PM

    Goodell has a more compelling reason to avoid the draft – his own reactions. Last year he intentionally antagonized the crowd and sneered at the audience. Not a good look and one which might make the owners pause. After all, what owner wants the face of their business despised and openly angering the customers?

  36. saints737 says: Apr 27, 2017 2:06 PM

    One word: Tradition.

  37. PhD says: Apr 27, 2017 2:07 PM

    Watching him get boo’d is one of the highlights of the evening. Rather than replacing him I suggest a bucket of hot tar and some feathers to add to the excitement of his hype-o-rama spectacular.

  38. Indybear says: Apr 27, 2017 2:10 PM

    He gets booed because he deserves it. Worst commissioner in all of pro sports. Ever.

  39. lionsfan123 says: Apr 27, 2017 2:10 PM

    Thank you, Florio! I have been wondering this for years. So glad you are using this platform to pose this question.

    As a fan, it’s a bit fun watching Goodell absorb all of that hatred but…as a positive person who loves the draft I’d probably prefer to not hear constant boos. Philly fans will be relentless tonight!

  40. cougar69rt03 says: Apr 27, 2017 2:10 PM

    Why dont you call out the names Florio , like to see if you get booed or cheered

  41. AngryHumanoid says: Apr 27, 2017 2:10 PM

    I ponder which I would enjoy more, NOT hearing him at the draft, or hearing the boos targeting him. Tough choice….

  42. coltsreign says: Apr 27, 2017 2:13 PM

    It’s how people like the commissioner. When the eagles took McNabb they weren’t booing tagliabeau, they were booing the team.
    Nowadays we simply don’t like Goodell.

  43. petedutcherjr says: Apr 27, 2017 2:14 PM

    Keep it. Just replace the commissioner.

  44. spungy says: Apr 27, 2017 2:15 PM

    Simple, hire Morgan Freeman to be the commissioner.

  45. 52crabcakes says: Apr 27, 2017 2:17 PM


  46. biancaneri says: Apr 27, 2017 2:18 PM

    If they want to get rid of boos, have all the picks read out by a combination of injured military veterans and Make-a-Wish kids. Not even Philly fans would boo bald Timmy the cancer kid or Private First Class Johnny Brassballs the war hero.

  47. daysend564 says: Apr 27, 2017 2:18 PM

    It gives him a chance to meet face to face the next guy he’s going to suspend.

  48. craftyslinger33 says: Apr 27, 2017 2:19 PM

    Nearly all picks should be announced by a former player, or celebrity fan, or other sports player of same town, or by someone using the platform to raise awareness on their t-shirt along with a donation website tag at the bottom of the screen (and nothing more please).

    It would make the whole thing more interesting and enjoyable. Seeing the Commish up there butchering names and dying for a hug has lost any appeal it ever had.

  49. ncfloyd says: Apr 27, 2017 2:20 PM

    How about Steve Harvey?

  50. swede700 says: Apr 27, 2017 2:21 PM

    I disagree Mike. I think it should be the Commissioner. It has been the Commissioner since the later years of Rozelle and it should continue to be. Like him or not, he is the figurehead/pseudo-spokesman of the NFL and that person needs to be front and center at the important events…like the NFL Draft.

    To me, not having the Commissioner announce the 1st round of the NFL Draft would be like making Sean Spicer read the State of the Union address to Congress.

  51. metalman5150 says: Apr 27, 2017 2:21 PM

    If the Commissioner announced, today at this very moment, that NFL and NFLPA stuck a deal to exclude Marijuana from testing, I would surmise that Godell would be showered in Cheers, tonight, not jeers.

  52. pftreader69 says: Apr 27, 2017 2:24 PM

    They should bring in Steve Harvey and mix things up a bit.

  53. 6ball says: Apr 27, 2017 2:25 PM

    New England may have their Lombardi Trophies, but as every Eagles fan knows : they couldn’t boo their way out of a paper bag. When it comes to heaving abuse, Philadelphia is the reigning undisputed champion.

  54. Nofoolnodrool says: Apr 27, 2017 2:28 PM

    he’s just getting his feet wet before his next trip to Foxborough

    0 0

    Roger already knows about the classless crowd that fills the Razor the boos are music to his ears there.

  55. iamkillerfin says: Apr 27, 2017 2:31 PM

    he’s a CONTROL FREAK!!! Goodell is RUINING the NFL & needs to FIRED!!!

  56. JJ412 says: Apr 27, 2017 2:31 PM

    It’s the only day of the year that Goodell gets hugs.

  57. bricketh says: Apr 27, 2017 2:32 PM

    What they should do is have a host every year, like an awards show, but don’t do it like an awards show… there is a lot of downtime while waiting for the picks, and sometimes it becomes a detriment to the draft because it can be too much time for the talking heads to speculate. Pepper in some windows for the host to do some host-like things while still giving plenty of time for the draftniks to do their part, and it can become more entertaining. They can also have some different notables handle the first round, since that is the prime time one, and use the same strategy as today for the rest (former players, make a wish kids, grand prize winners, etc). It’s probably not a great idea, but it could be better than the current.

  58. kcraiderdan says: Apr 27, 2017 2:40 PM

    He should come out dressed as Santa Claus or Michael Irvin in a neck brace…

  59. zaphod424242 says: Apr 27, 2017 2:40 PM

    Both choices would be great. Or Liev Schreiber, voice of Hard Knocks. Hell get a top-line voice guy for each round.

  60. kennylc2015 says: Apr 27, 2017 2:41 PM

    It would be a public relations nightmare for him not to make the announcement. No matter how hard they try, the narrative will be “the commissioner doesn’t announce picks because he doesn’t want to be booed”

  61. bobthebillsfan says: Apr 27, 2017 2:41 PM

    This is a good warm up for him prior to the first game he attends this season.

    While I would like to see the NE fans stay classy, I would be willing to bet I will be able to hear them from where I live without having the sound on my TV turned on.

  62. dawoger says: Apr 27, 2017 2:42 PM

    They’ve talked about going fully electronic and use a digital banner when the picks are released but they decided that wasn’t fair to the tardo minisoda skoltroll who can’t read.

  63. dawoger says: Apr 27, 2017 2:49 PM

    There has to be someone announcing the picks because if they just scrolled the names across the screen it wouldn’t be fair to the illiterate skoltrolls who can’t read.

  64. xenova1 says: Apr 27, 2017 2:56 PM

    Simple answer: Ego.

    Anyway, who would be a better substitute. Lady Gaga? The team’s GM or owner would be good if anybody knew or cared about who they are.

  65. clayjtitan66 says: Apr 27, 2017 3:00 PM

    Why is he still commissioner ?

  66. tommyribs says: Apr 27, 2017 3:01 PM

    Sometimes you need to let the animals out of the cages and behave like animals.

    I am one of those animals by the way.

  67. fishyinalittledishy says: Apr 27, 2017 3:03 PM

    He makes 42 mil a year, every year. If this is true wow! Guaranteed with no team friendly restructuring after year 4? Let say a five year deal worth over $200 million Is that more than the best most important player. The guy is a genius. I would love to know what he is thinking when he looks down at the crowd and picks out a booing over weight lard ass.

  68. MichaelEdits says: Apr 27, 2017 3:05 PM

    Maybe he just likes to saunter. (Good word choice.)

  69. kjdoyle58 says: Apr 27, 2017 3:07 PM

    more often than not he mispronounces the name as well

  70. 23rdusernameused says: Apr 27, 2017 3:08 PM

    Roger is a BUFFOON! plain and simple!

  71. ballistictrajectory says: Apr 27, 2017 3:09 PM

    Have Watson do it while it’s curing every known disease and keeping all of the planes and trains running. It can even show video of all of the really bad calls during commercial breaks.

  72. harrisonhits2 says: Apr 27, 2017 3:17 PM

    “Why not have team owners or GMs announce their own picks?”

    Because a lot of the owners would be booed at an equal level to Goodell and thin skinned billionaires don’t like being told they are jerks and scumbags.

  73. 1967forever says: Apr 27, 2017 3:17 PM

    Why can’t a commissioner have the respect of owners, players, and fans? (See: Silver, Adam)

  74. uglydingo says: Apr 27, 2017 3:17 PM

    The Commissioner has an ego that is only matched by President Trump. He loves the fact that every serious NFL fan gets informed of their team’s top draft picks from him. He loves the attention and the high TV ratings which will lead to greater NFL revenue (and give him a bigger bonus). Putting up with the booing is a small price to pay.

  75. weepingjebus says: Apr 27, 2017 3:22 PM

    Just fire him already. Every year he screws another fan base and further degrades the league. If your team hasn’t experienced it yet they will, and the list is only getting shorter.

  76. greenwhodat26 says: Apr 27, 2017 3:23 PM

    If you actually watch the draft, you know that he gets a kick out being booed. He eats it up, with a $hit-eating grin everytime. Speaking of wrestling, my favorite was a few years ago when the crowd yelled, “What!?” after every pause. Shades of Stone Cold Steve Austin.

  77. teal379 says: Apr 27, 2017 3:26 PM

    Everyone asking why the owners would put up with him out there and getting the boos….

    1. He makes them a TON of money. He’s making 40 million a year and that’s a rounding error in the checkbook for these guys. THEY DON’T CARE.

    2. Everyone booing – paid for it – again, more money. The theater doesn’t care if you sleep through the movie. The NFL doesn’t care if you boo – they have what they want. The $$

  78. sjsmarts1 says: Apr 27, 2017 3:26 PM

    He loves it! especially for the first pick he always has this smug smile when the booing starts. Life imitating art… Roger imitating Vince McMahon.

  79. daysend564 says: Apr 27, 2017 3:31 PM

    Eagles fans throw batteries at Santa, Goodell will be happy if he only gets boos.

  80. mmack66 says: Apr 27, 2017 3:32 PM

    Roger needs to show up in that Roger is a clown t-shirt. He would get cheered for that.

  81. electricboogalo says: Apr 27, 2017 3:40 PM

    It’s good for ratings.

  82. FlaJoe says: Apr 27, 2017 3:41 PM

    WTF! NFL has a “Red Carpet” prior to the draft? Whoever decided to have that is worthy of Boos!

  83. xdolfan says: Apr 27, 2017 3:42 PM

    Just as long as it’s not Warren Beatty.

  84. sfsugator says: Apr 27, 2017 3:43 PM

    Tom Cruise should announce the names. That would be sick.

  85. TheCakeIsALie says: Apr 27, 2017 3:43 PM

    He only hears it as cheering. If you say it to yourself long enough, it becomes the truth.

    There is precedent to this phenomenon which can be seen in the buried PSI data and from anyone that has had to inflate their tires on a cold day.

  86. TheDPR says: Apr 27, 2017 4:01 PM

    I’ll never forget when the Titans selected “Marcus Mary Otto.”
    Roger is a bad commissioner and a bad reader of names. He’s not booed because he’s commissioner. If he was good at his job he wouldn’t be.

  87. dls5492 says: Apr 27, 2017 4:03 PM

    Hey, this is Philadelphia. Booing is what comes naturally!

  88. notlistinin says: Apr 27, 2017 4:06 PM

    What’s the over/under on how many batteries get thrown at Goodell tonight?

    Santa Claus has the line at 25.

  89. omegalh says: Apr 27, 2017 4:08 PM

    Bettman gets booed to a deafening level when he presents the Stanley Cup to the winning team. Its the cup ceremony! Goodell has it easy.

  90. conormacleod says: Apr 27, 2017 4:19 PM

    It’s simple. The owners keep him out there so the fans don’t get wise enough to realize that everything they dislike about the game is from the owners, not the commissioner. Somehow a lot of people haven’t realized Goodell has no power and is just a puppet.

  91. fwippel says: Apr 27, 2017 4:22 PM

    He has to justify his position as commissioner, come on now. The commish has always handled this task, at least for the first round. Otherwise, the only time he’d be seen is at the Super Bowl post-game show, handing out the Lombardi trophy.

  92. goodellmustgoblog says: Apr 27, 2017 4:23 PM

    Jim McNally should introduce every pick.

  93. latrobe21 says: Apr 27, 2017 4:24 PM

    The Pens are on, tonight. Who cares about the draft.

  94. kidzaround says: Apr 27, 2017 4:32 PM

    Actually, I think he’s got some pretty big ones for doing it. He knows he’s going to get booed. He just goes out there and takes it like a man instead of being a sissy and passing it off to someone else.

    Say what you will about his policies, but the man has fortitude.

  95. tedmurph says: Apr 27, 2017 4:40 PM

    Kevin Faulk in the Brady jersey was the best.

  96. whodatnmyrtleb says: Apr 27, 2017 4:40 PM

    The booing is why I watch this boring event!

  97. granadafan says: Apr 27, 2017 4:41 PM

    Goodell should come out wearing a Santa suit.

  98. julyeast says: Apr 27, 2017 4:42 PM

    the Cheater Chowderhead bandwagon bozos should be giving him a standing O. Their Coach/GM cheated for years and NEVER MISSED A GAME.

    Payton/Loomis missed 16/8 for not even being involved with the alleged bounty system. Can Sean Payton even spell defense?

  99. orangeraider says: Apr 27, 2017 6:58 PM

    Fire Goodell

  100. takethisstickoutofmyI says: Apr 27, 2017 8:26 PM

    Just let Siri do it.

  101. BigBagOfMoney says: Apr 28, 2017 1:15 AM

    brenenostler says:
    Apr 27, 2017 1:40 PM
    Why does he get booed? I can understand it coming from Pats and Saints fans, but I don’t see any motives from the other fanbases, unless it’s purely for amusement

    Chiefs got unfairly whacked (compared to like infraction by other teams) not too long ago.
    Coddling of his faborite teams. Giants, Jets, Steelers (except Harrison)
    Cowboys fans are sick of him dragging out the Elliot investigation.
    He has covered up DV multiple times while making speeches about how he is commited against DV.
    CTE handling is a biggie, how can anyone like that.
    The constant corruption and lies wear on people.
    Hes made it impossible to take the NFL seriously any more. Pretty much anthing they say everyone gets automatically skeptical about simply because that usually turns out justified.

  102. hrmlss says: Apr 28, 2017 5:44 PM

    He’s projecting his “Brand”.

  103. sandiG says: Apr 29, 2017 4:09 AM

    The really funny part is that nothing would change if the league actually did hire Morgan Freeman to walk out and announce picks. The crowd at the draft gala would boo him just as loudly and stupidly as they do Goodell. The reason is that the drunken morons assembled at any such football event enjoy booing, and don’t care who their target is. All they know is that they have seen previous crowds boo the announcer, so feel an obligation to mimic the behavior. You can see their cognitive dissonance when a person other than the Commish enters the stage: the booing starts as usual, but as soon as the crowd realizes it’s a different target, the noise subsides, but there is still scattered booing. They resume because they believe it’s expected of them.

  104. kjdoyle58 says: May 1, 2017 1:23 PM

    “With the 31st pick in the 2017 NFL Draft the San Francisco 49’ers select….Ruben Froster, LB – Alabama”

  105. hishighness says: May 4, 2017 9:44 AM

    As a Patriots fan watching that piece of garbage get booed by the entire league warms my heart. All you guys may hate my team because you’re a bunch of butthurt losers, but we can all come together and hate Goodell.

  106. walker1191 says: May 4, 2017 11:51 AM

    I think Tom Brady should call out the names. As the unquestioned GOAT in league history, he’s earned the right.

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