Originally posted on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 3/7/13
Roger Goodell takes a lot of heat for being stubborn and autocratic, but nobody considers that the NFL commissioner -- named by Sports Illustrated this week as the most powerful person in sports -- might actually just have a vision of football's future that is less arrogant than the majority of the game's supporters and participants.  I actually tend to believe that Goodell's heavy emphasis on changing the game, particularly when it comes to player safety, is actually an indication that he's modest about the future of America's most popular sport. He knows that boxing and many sports before it once owned the North American sports landscape, and he knows extinction is always a potential future scenario, especially when a sport is inherently violent.  Football is not too big to fail, and I think Goodell realizes that.  “If there’s any single reason for the incredible success of the NFL, it’s because we’ve never allowed ourselves to be complacent about anything,” Goodell said in a speech at the University of North Carolina on Wednesday, per Pro Football Talk. “There is a national conversation taking place about football. We welcome it. That’s how we approach our jobs every day: Looking at changes to the game not as something to be feared, but as something we need to do as if the future of the game relies on it. Because it does. The risk of injury in football is well known, but throughout history, football has evolved and become safer and better.” Evolution is the key. Football has wiggle room to evolve. That's an advantage that it shares with hockey. Boxing wasn't as fortunate. Gladiators and bullfighters weren't either.  The NFL will not survive as is. Rules change. They have to as more facts regarding concussions and the devastating long-term effects of injuries are revealed. Professional football is at a crossroads, but the majority of old-school fans are so set in their ways and/or caught up in right now that they don't see that the National Football League is face-to-face with changes that could either revolutionize the game or break the game, depending on who you ask.  Goodell might piss a lot of people off right now, but he might actually be saving professional football in the process.  (SI cover image comparison to Game of Thrones via Reddit)
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jay Gruden gives out primo parking spots to hard-working players

Report: Colts' Jones suspended four games for PED use

Report: Royals have interest in Nick Markakis

Ezekiel Elliott domestic violence 911 call released

Manu Ginobili talks interest in 76ers before sticking with Spurs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lakers reportedly have ‘unnamed trade target in mind

Report: Rodman a 'person of interest' in hit-and-run

Draymond Green reaches plea deal in assault case

Evander Kane arrested after turning himself in

Former NFL coach Dennis Green passes away

Michael Vick says he would only sign with contender

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

Orioles affiliate pay tribute to David Bowie on their jerseys

Report: Rangers pushing trade efforts for Sale

Russell Martin day-to-day after sauna-related mishap

Celtics reportedly unwilling to give up much for Jahlil Okafor

Report: Jay Bruce drawing trade interest

Vitale: Trump’s speech “filled with lies,” might write in Coach K

Report: Nationals ‘want in’ on Chapman sweepstakes

Hornets co-owner blasts NBA, city for taking away All-Star Game

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker