Originally posted on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 6/11/12

WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 18: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (R) speaks during a hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee with NFL Players Association Executive Director Gene Upshaw (L) and Pro Football Hall of Fame player and Coach Mike Ditka (C) on Capitol Hill September 18, 2007 in Washington, DC. Former players and league officials appeared before the committee for a hearing on the 'NFL Retirement System,' focusing on the current compensation system for retirees with claims of advanced injuries that became symptomatic after retiring from the NFL. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Roger Goodell has been called many things by players, analysts, and fans; most of which I'll skip since we're trying to keep this blog as family friendly as possible. The idea that Roger Goodell is good for football has been kicked around from time to time, but it's something that I've only recently began to seriously consider.

First and foremost, there are policies implemented by Goodell that I don't support in any way. For instance, fining players for illegal hits, or even suspending them, doesn't act as a deterrent. From a purely psychological perspective, punishment needs to be instant and completely consistent to result in a change of behavior. Fining and suspensions don't fulfill either of those requirements. They just don't work.

On the other hand, Goodell has proven over and over that he's a forward thinking mind. It's something fans of professional sports can't take for granted. Do you think MLB fans would like to see some major changes to the game that Bud Selig will never make? Absolutely. How about the use of instant replay in professional soccer? Can we all agree that it's long over due? I think we can.

Roger Goodell has been just the opposite of most slow-to-change commissioners. Goodell said recently that he'd like to see every NFL stadium offer its fans wifi access, allowing stadiums to compete with the at-home experience of simply watching games on television for free.

Along those same lines, Goodell told SI's Peter King that he thinks iPads could be used to diagnose concussions on NFL sidelines more quickly and accurately. The idea fits perfectly in line with what Goodell has been trying to accomplish as commissioner. The NFL is slowly, and sometimes reluctantly, becoming a safer league, and many of the innovations that have come about in the past five years have been a direct result of Goodell's efforts.

Roger Goodell isn't exactly a popular commissioner. Players hate the fact that Goodell is constantly fining players for illegal, and sometimes unavoidable, hits. Fans don't like how much he's changing the game they know and love. I'd just like to submit the idea that perhaps in 30 or 40 years, Roger Goodell could be remembered as the greatest NFL commissioner ever, and maybe, the man that saved the NFL as we know it.


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