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.

106 responses to “Why does the Commissioner keep calling out player names at the draft?

  1. Fargo
    Booo…Don’t you know.


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

  2. 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

  3. 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.


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

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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…?

  11. 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??

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

  20. 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?

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. .
    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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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”

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. “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.

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

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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 $$

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

  49. 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.

  50. 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.

  51. 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?

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

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

  55. 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.

  56. 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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