Sports Outside the Beltway

Roger Goodell Elected NFL Commissioner

Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue’s top assistant, has been elected his successor.

Photo Roger Goodell New NFL Commissioner In this Aug. 4, 2005, handout photo, Roger Goodell is pictured during a news conference at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. Goodell is one of five finalists to succeed Paul Tagliabue as NFL commissioner. (AP Photo/HO, NFL) Roger Goodell was chosen as the NFL’s next commissioner Tuesday, succeeding the man who groomed him for the job, Paul Tagliabue. The 47-year-old Goodell worked his way from a public relations intern to perhaps the most powerful job in sports. He was unanimously elected by the league’s 32 owners on the fifth ballot. The son of former U.S. Sen. Charles Goodell of New York, he has been Tagliabue’s top assistant, particularly on expansion and stadium construction. In 2000, he became the NFL’s chief operating officer.

Goodell becomes the league’s fourth commissioner since 1946. 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.

Goodell beat four other finalists: lawyers Gregg Levy and Frederick Nance; Fidelity Investments vice chairman Robert Reynolds; and Constellation Energy chairman Mayo Shattuck III.

A safe, if uninspiring choice.

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