Roger Goodell, oddly, never seems more likable than when he’s getting booed at the NFL draft.
The NFL commissioner doesn’t ignore the fans giving him a hard time. At some point he decided to embrace it and even egg it on. It has now become an annual event: Goodell coming out for the start of the NFL draft, and fans booing him as loud as they can.
This year there was no live crowd to boo Goodell. The NFL had a remote draft due to coronavirus restrictions, and Goodell announced picks from his basement.
Bud Light had a funny Twitter movement, in which fans recorded videos of booing the commissioner with a #BooTheCommish hashtag. And Goodell played along, appearing in a commercial on ESPN just before the draft started.
“Traditions are important, now, more than ever,” Goodell said, while sitting next to his dog. “And while I considered skipping this one, Bud Light reminded me, it just wouldn’t be the same.”
Then there were the sounds of booing, the #BooTheCommish message on the screen and then a clip of Goodell from a previous draft asking for more.
The start of the draft was more somber, with Goodell addressing the health crisis, thanking frontline workers, pointing out that the NFL was having a “Draft-A-Thon” to raise funds for coronavirus relief, and holding a moment of silence for those who have lost their lives.
The tone changed when the draft started and Goodell turned to his TV screen with fans logged in on an online meeting app. They started booing Goodell.
“Come on guys, you can do better than that,” Goodell said to the screen. “Keep it coming. Wow, even the virtual boos are good.”
Given the somber tone of the unusual draft, the Bud Light ad and Goodell playing along later was a great way to provide some levity. The clip was funny, and Goodell deserves credit for laughing along with the gag. It got a strange night off to a fun start.
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