Affable Goodell a good model

November, 17, 2009
11/17/09
3:57
PM ET
Can you imagine Bud Selig using a cell phone, better yet having a Twitter account on it?

Me neither.

I didn’t find a chance to comment on this story, but thought it was still worth raising.

Sunday at LP Field, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell actually responded to a tweet from a fan who told him she had an extra seat next to her. He joined Lisa Hayes for part of the game.

This guy is great. This is no act, his man-of-the people approachability. Hayes will forever be a witness to that. And it’s hardly the first time Goodell has left a luxury box to experience the game the way the people who eat, sleep and breathe his league do.

Disagree with him about his player conduct policy, his fascination with London, his support for an 18-game schedule or anything else, but he’s certainly not hiding under a rock while he takes a strong stand on these things.

He’s one big reason to have faith that there will be labor peace, and not a work stoppage, ahead.

Paul Tagliabue, Goodell’s fascinatingly uninteresting predecessor, was awkward, but nowhere near as awkward as Selig, baseball's bumbling commish.

Maybe the NBA's David Stern would respond in a similar fashion to such an invitation. The invitee would be treated to a lecture about how everything Stern believes about the NBA is true because he says it.

And the shrinking interest I see in the NHL leaves Gary Bettman out of the conversation, though Stern’s old right hand man is a lot like Sergeant Schultz and would tell his seatmate about the wonderful condition of professional hockey in America, particularly the Southeast.

Cheers to Goodell. Here’s hoping his colleagues, or their eventual replacements, are paying attention and he becomes the model for the job.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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