Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/6/12
Apparently the NFL commissioner has given importance to personal conduct policies his entire life. This week’s Time magazine features a picture of Roger Goodell on the cover, promoting a cover story on the commissioner that details his life and his supposed commitment to making the NFL safer for players. Throughout his tenure as commissioner, Goodell has done much to cultivate NFL’s “No Fun League” moniker, enforcing everything from new rules on hitting to codes on personal conduct off the field. It’s led many to feel like Goodell is more interested in micromanaging the sport than dealing with some of its larger problems. Well, apparently there’s a precedent for Goodell’s behavior. It’s not uncommon for high school football teams to sign a pledge stating that they will abstain from some sorts of negative behavior — usually drinking is included, among other indiscretions. However, signing such pledges is generally viewed by players as a necessarily evil that’s not actually taken seriously. Except to Roger Goodell. From the Time article: “Even in high school, Goodell enforced a personal-conduct policy. Bronxville High School required athletes to sign a pledge: No drinking or troublemaking, or they’d be booted off the team. The other players knew Goodell would rat them out for misbehaving. “They didn’t like to see me come to a party,” says Goodell. “I took that pledge seriously.”‘ So, effectively, Goodell would rat out his teammates for enjoying themselves because he took a pledge seriously. We’d be surprised but, quite frankly, this seems right in line with exactly how we’d imagine Goodell during his formative years.
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