Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Let's not make the Disney Inspirational Movie Just Yet

From today's Bill Simmons column previewing the NFL:

[Thumbs Up] To new NFL commissioner Roger Goodall, who started as an intern in the NFL offices in 1982, then worked as a PR intern for the Jets in 1983 … and now he's running everything. The guy was a former Jets intern!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you think of a more inspiring story for office temps, interns and college grads still living at home and waking up at 1:30 every afternoon? Just 23 years ago, some schmuck with the Jets was telling him, "Yo, Roger, here are the keys to Johnny Lam Jones' Corvette, you need to get this thing washed and bring it back before the end of practice or you're out of a job." Now he's running the league? I find this amazing.

(Seriously, do you think Roger lived at home in the mid-'80s, played Intellivision until the wee hours every night and had his mother busting his chops to find his own apartment? Would he go drinking with the other interns on Friday nights, return to someone's house for some bong hits, then confidently declare to everyone in the room, "Some day, I'm going to run the NFL," before eating about 75 Sour Patch Kids at once? When he got the job, did one of his old intern buddies watch the news coverage on ESPN and say, "Wait a second, that's Rog! Last time I saw him, we were Xeroxing our butt cheeks in the Jets offices!" I demand more info about this. Roger Goodall just replaced Monica Lewinsky as the most successful former intern of all time. This isn't a major story?)
Bill, I hate to piss on your parade. I really do. But Roger Goodell (and would it kill ya' to spell his name right?) wasn't just a lowly, underpaid intern, an inspirational Horatio Alger story.

His father was the United States Senator from New York, and then a highly respected and influential lawyer and lobbyist in DC.

I've got nothing against Roger Goodell, and I'm sure he's supremely intelligent and talented. But he's not some kid from off the streets given a job in the mailroom. People who don't know people don't get jobs as interns in the NFL front office. Senators' sons do.

And that's why it's not a major story.