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Tuesday, September 1: Former Skins Fan Roger Goodell On Redskins Nation

Posted by Matt Terl on September 1, 2009 – 10:31 am

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is in Redskins Park today. He addressed the team — which presumably made it a fairly exciting birthday for Clinton Portis — and, afterward, taped an appearance for this evening’s Redskins Nation, airing on Comcast SportsNet at 6:00 and 10:30, which presumably made a fairly exciting birthday for host Larry Michael as well.

(I was able to meet Commissioner Goodell very briefly, and my impressions are pretty straightforward: very charismatic guy, as you’d expect, with an unbelievably firm handshake. In fact, his handshake teetered just on the border of competitively firm. I found Peter King’s description of Adrian Peterson’s handshake unspeakably boring, so I will go no further on this subject, but if Goodell goes to Vikings camp and shakes Peterson’s hand, I imagine the resulting pressure would create a small black hole into which the state of Minnesota would vanish. Not Brett Favre, though; he’d somehow survive to dominate yet another offseason.)

Anyhow, Michael’s interview of Goodell covers much of what you’d expect: the upcoming season, the NFL’s Twitter policy, the reports local TV blackouts in more markets this year, and the ongoing labor negotiations.

Oh, and the fact that the commissioner used to be a Redskins fan.

“I actually grew up in this area,” Goodell said at one point. “I grew up in Washington right down in the city, and spent the first eleven years of my life here. So I know about Redskins passion.”

And, later, in response to a question about what a Redskins Super Bowl win would mean:

“Well, as a former Redskins fan … you know, this fanbase is so passionate, and they love the game so much, and they’ve got a national following and an international following and I think that’s a great thing for the game.

“But, as you point out, what makes our game so great is that teams can go from last to first, win the Super Bowl; unfortunately the opposite is true also. You can have great success and the next year it doesn’t mean anything. And I think that shows the competitiveness of our league and the difference between winning and losing is really razor thin. And I think that’s a great thing for our fans, because everyone has hope as we begin the season, and recognizes that you can start off poorly and still come back and make your run into the playoffs, as many teams have demonstrated.”

Nothing Earth-shaking, no. But I’d say that this means fans can table for the moment the occasionally-mooted idea that the NFL — in scheduling, rule-making, etc. — is particularly biased against the Redskins.

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