Hey, Cleveland, don’t boo the Commissioner tonight

2014 NFL Draft
Getty Images

In 2011, when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell faced angry fans during an offseason lockout on the first night of the draft, they let him hear it. Loudly and repeatedly, both with boos and a “we want football” chant.

Ever since then, booing the Commissioner has become part of the fabric of the draft. With the draft in Cleveland tonight, the fans there have a chance to end that practice.

They should. There’s no reason to boo Goodell, at least not currently. Booing Goodell simply because that’s what draft crowds do is played out. It’s not funny or compelling anymore. It serve no purpose.

Goodell has tried to show self-awareness regarding the reaction. Ultimate self-awareness, if the booing continues on an annual basis, would be to have someone who would be cheered announce the picks.

Hopefully, tonight’s the night the annual ritual changes. This is Cleveland’s chance to set a new trend. The draft is back. It’s happening not in Goodell’s basement but on the banks of Lake Erie. The fact that it happens anywhere but Radio City Music Hall is a direct result of Goodell’s efforts and vision.

But still they boo. Maybe this is the year the booing stops. It needs to. While it may have made plenty of sense ten years ago when the fans were denied a full and robust offseason, it simply makes no sense to do it now.

If/when the current Commissioner or a future one gives fans a reason to boo, then he or she should be booed. For now, the only reason to do it is because that’s what draft mobs have been doing for a decade. That’s just not good enough of a reason for continuing to do it.

57 responses to “Hey, Cleveland, don’t boo the Commissioner tonight

  1. Well, if there’s one thing Cleveland sports fans should be exceptional at it’s booing.

  2. Boo the Commissioner; that’s alright. At this point it is like as standing ovation. A badge of honor.

  3. Could not agree more. I went to the draft in Dallas, and it happened there. It’s ridiculous and needs to stop. We had a full season during a PANDEMIC, and it was largely due to Mr. Goodell. Stop booing and show him the love that he deserves for getting through the past year practically unscathed.

  4. I agree I’m sick of the booing. It’s been WAY overplayed.

    There’s also a lot of reasons to cheer. Draft is in person again. (50k attendance). For many many people – probably most – this will be the first major event emerging out of the pandemic. So much to be happy about and I’m thrilled it’s happening miles from my home.

    Let’s also show the world our mid-west friendly, Cleveland. Do you think we’re better than Philly? New York? Nashville? This is a great chance to show it.

  5. Olyhawkguy says:
    April 29, 2021 at 3:34 pm
    Well, if there’s one thing Cleveland sports fans should be exceptional at it’s booing.

    Harsh, but fair. LOL.

  6. One of the first major events to be shut down in “the global shutdown” was the Arnold classic in March, 2020. That was to be in Columbus, OH. That the draft would be in Ohio is a major plus for the state: one cancelled major event to mark our descent into the deep throws of the pandemic: another to mark our emergence and rebirth out of the pandemic.

    So glad to see the crowds. Go America! Three cheers for freedom and humanity!

  7. You act like it’s just cleveland fans there and not people from all over the league traveling for the draft experience. There will be boos, and that’s just the unfortunate truth of this hack bit at this point.

  8. Until Roger Goodell voluntarily ends his practice of kangaroo courts with pre-determined verdicts, I will book him and boo him hard.

  9. Dude, this is Cleveland. Goodell’s praying he doesn’t get nailed with a million beer bottles.

  10. As a Saints fan, he will never get anything from me or anyone in Louisiana but a big loud continuous BOOOOOOOO. YOU SUCK!!!! BOOOOO

  11. They bought tickets to watch people read names off of cards. They have to do something to make it fun.

  12. drewlockrocks says:
    April 29, 2021 at 3:35 pm
    Could not agree more. I went to the draft in Dallas, and it happened there. It’s ridiculous and needs to stop. We had a full season during a PANDEMIC, and it was largely due to Mr. Goodell. Stop booing and show him the love that he deserves for getting through the past year practically unscathed.

    I am getting pretty tired of the whole dont say or do this, or dont say or do that routine. Oh you might offend someone. This is the United States of America, and our right to free speech is guaranteed by the constitution. By booing, we are sending a message to the NFL that we are not happy with their product, or Roger Goodell. If he does not want booed, do a better job, and keep the politics out of the NFL.

  13. What kind of article is this? And hours before the draft starts with plenty of stories to focus on, including the recent Rodgers trade request and this Tebow nonsense and you’re asking not to boo one of the most unlikeable public figures in America? Uh, no thank you on that.

  14. I’ll say it’s somewhere between surviving a plane crash probable, and winning the lottery on your first ticket probable that the commissioner isn’t roundly booed tonight. Maybe at the very start people cheer cause it’s a sign of a return to normalcy. Then that normalcy will remember hey, we boo the bleep out of him EVERY time we see him. That’s just part of the gig.

  15. Change the name of the article to “Hey, NFL Fans, don’t boo the Commissioner tonight,” since this isn’t about the Browns or the city. I’m sure there will be a lot of fans from across the country there, so don’t blame the reception he gets on Browns fans!

  16. Hockey fans have been booing the commish since time began. I don’t like it but it’s not ending anytime soon.

  17. Roger Goodell is contemptible and always has been. His regime of discipline has been just awful. He sticks out a finger to see which way the wind is blowing. He’s a PR tool, not a man of principle. Holding an in-person draft doesn’t even come close to wiping away his record, so boo long and loud tonight.

  18. The booing every year is dumb. What the hell is the point of booing at the Commissioner anyway?

  19. Thanks PFT, for trying to tell other people what’s good for them and how to feel.

  20. jdzcoool says:
    April 29, 2021 at 3:53 pm
    drewlockrocks says:
    April 29, 2021 at 3:35 pm
    Could not agree more. I went to the draft in Dallas, and it happened there. It’s ridiculous and needs to stop. We had a full season during a PANDEMIC, and it was largely due to Mr. Goodell. Stop booing and show him the love that he deserves for getting through the past year practically unscathed.

    I am getting pretty tired of the whole dont say or do this, or dont say or do that routine. Oh you might offend someone. This is the United States of America, and our right to free speech is guaranteed by the constitution. By booing, we are sending a message to the NFL that we are not happy with their product, or Roger Goodell. If he does not want booed, do a better job, and keep the politics out of the NFL.

    16 9 Rate This
    ——————-
    Jdzcool—

    Attending the draft and then booing Roger Goodell does not send a message to the NFL you don’t like their product. If that is your intent, not attending the draft or games and turning off the games sends the message loud and clear.

  21. It would be hard to blame Cleveland fans if they boo. Goodell was part of the senior NFL management that allowed the old Browns to move to Baltimore. Sure, Cleveland got a new franchise, but what a dog it has been since 1999 with very exceptions and old Browns fans have had to watch the Ravens be one of the top franchises in the league since the move with two SB titles and multiple playoff appearances. So, yeah, I won’t blame Cleveland fans one bit if they boo.

  22. They even had Zoom boos during the virtual draft last year. Roger loves it. Cancel culture much?

  23. Its not a boo, it’s a Cleveland cheer. We perfected it over the last 20 years watching our team.

  24. At first I thought we should boo, it’s become a tradition. But then I thought it would be cool to be different, and give him a standing O. That will make it memorable.

  25. Booing the commissioner is basically just loudly showing your lack of intelligence. He’s the face/mouthpiece of the owners. His decisions represent them as a whole. they keep renewing his contract and upping his salary instead of replacing him… so he must be doing exactly what his bosses want him to do. If you have an issue with something, you need to make the owners believe whatever you want changed would benefit them, then Goodell will do something about it.

  26. It’s immature and annoying.
    Like 7th graders booing the principal.

    It is so childish it makes me want to turn off the draft.

  27. Last time I checked, the commissioner had said or done nothing regarding the Watson situation so he deserves to be booed.

  28. You’re putting a lot of pressure on the entire city of Cleveland. My Grandma is from Cleveland and the only draft she knows comes from her bedroom window.

  29. Most of you guys are thinking way too much about this. It’s all in fun. Boo, or don’t boo.

  30. Most football fans are overweight braindead oafs. God forbid they come up with something original to greet him other than the lame, PLAYED OUT, boo.

    How about utter silence? That would be funny and generate a total different reaction.

  31. bbshouldretireandcoachlaxwithpetro says:
    April 29, 2021 at 3:45 pm
    I’m sure they will save their boos for the Ravens.
    =========================================================

    We wouldn’t have it any other way!

  32. Another reason Brown’s fans shouldn’t boo is that Roger Goodell is responsible for bringing the team back in 1999. Give him some credit where it’s deserved!

  33. Nothing more entertaining than watching Roger pretend like it doesn’t phase him. The anticipation of maybe just once, he’ll snap and start a rant. That’s what drives the TV ratings through the roof.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.