In 2011, when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell faced angry fans during an offseason lockout on the first night of the draft, they let him hear it. Loudly and repeatedly, both with boos and a “we want football” chant.
Ever since then, booing the Commissioner has become part of the fabric of the draft. With the draft in Cleveland tonight, the fans there have a chance to end that practice.
They should. There’s no reason to boo Goodell, at least not currently. Booing Goodell simply because that’s what draft crowds do is played out. It’s not funny or compelling anymore. It serve no purpose.
Goodell has tried to show self-awareness regarding the reaction. Ultimate self-awareness, if the booing continues on an annual basis, would be to have someone who would be cheered announce the picks.
Hopefully, tonight’s the night the annual ritual changes. This is Cleveland’s chance to set a new trend. The draft is back. It’s happening not in Goodell’s basement but on the banks of Lake Erie. The fact that it happens anywhere but Radio City Music Hall is a direct result of Goodell’s efforts and vision.
But still they boo. Maybe this is the year the booing stops. It needs to. While it may have made plenty of sense ten years ago when the fans were denied a full and robust offseason, it simply makes no sense to do it now.
If/when the current Commissioner or a future one gives fans a reason to boo, then he or she should be booed. For now, the only reason to do it is because that’s what draft mobs have been doing for a decade. That’s just not good enough of a reason for continuing to do it.
Hey, Cleveland, don’t boo the Commissioner tonight originally appeared on Pro Football Talk