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GOODELL BEGINS SECOND DECADE IN CHARGE OF $13 BILLION NFL

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NEW YORK (AP) — A few years into Roger Goodell’s tenure as NFL commissioner, a grad school professor polled students on who was the most effective leader in the major sports. Goodell romped.

That was before the league locked out the players in 2011. Before the Saints’ bounties scandal. Before the behavior of Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson – and so many others – led to a stricter player conduct policy.

Before game officials were locked out. Before Tom Brady’s suspension in “Deflategate.” And before issues over head trauma and concussions brought player safety questions to the forefront.

A more recent informal survey by that professor saw Goodell finish a weak third behind the NBA’s Adam Silver and PGA’s Tim Finchem.

Yet, for all of the public (and players’ association) angst regarding Goodell, who enters his second decade in charge on Thursday, he couldn’t be held in higher esteem by most of the 32 team owners – his bosses.

“I know how passionate he is about the game, how committed he is,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says. “He’s spent his professional life on behalf of the National Football League. I’ve seen him under fire. He has made good decisions. We know what a tough job it is. That’s been borne out and accentuated by the very criticism that he receives. He’s in a job that has a lot of thankless aspects to it. … I think he’s exceeded any expectations that I might have had for him.” – READ MORE

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