The NFL bosspresented the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the Steelers in February and emceed histhird draft over the weekend
Dan Patrick: Wereyou nervous on the podium when we handed out the Super Bowl trophy?
Roger Goodell:[Laughs.] No, it's one of the best moments of being a commissioner, when you'reable to hand out the trophy that signifies that kind of an achievement.
DP: I was nervous,just so you know. What about the draft—whose name concerned you?
RG: I went throughthem all [ahead of time] and they were relatively simple. But Brian Orakpo[below, with Goodell] was the one I was a little bit cautious of, at leastinitially.
DP: What about ReyMaualuga?
RG: Yes, but Ialways say I'm glad I'm not Gary Bettman. He's got a lot more challenging draftchoices than I do.
DP: The BBCreported that London was in the running to host the Super Bowl. Have there beentalks?
RG: Every time wego over there, the people in London, including the mayor and even the primeminister, have talked about, "Boy it'd be great to have the Super Bowlhere." But we haven't had any significant discussions about that.
DP: Any thoughtsabout how to improve the draft?
RG: I think wemade great progress last year by reducing the time [between picks] in the firstcouple of rounds. The pace was extraordinarily well-received by the clubs andour fans. We reduced the first round by over 2½ hours. We have discussed theidea of moving it into prime time and having the first round on one night, thesecond round the next night. We've talked about moving the draft around [thecountry].
DP: You've hadsome recent rule changes. Why is it you attach rules to a certain player? TheRoy Williams rule, the Tom Brady rule....
RG: I think it'seasier for the media to follow. [Laughs.]
DP: If it had beenDaunte Culpepper getting hurt and not Tom Brady, would we have seen a rulechange?
RG: Yes, we've hada number of injuries. One of the reasons we don't [try to] attach an individualto these rules changes is because they are not made because of one incident.There's a series of incidents. When we analyze this, we look at trends, not aspecific play.
DP: When you talkabout Michael Vick, the word I keep hearing is remorse. What are you asking ofVick? What constitutes remorse?
RG: Well, it's notjust remorse. We all know he's paid a significant price for a horrific event.He's paid that price legally, or he's in the process of completing that. Butnow he has to demonstrate to everybody, including myself, that he's learnedfrom it, that he's disappointed in himself. But most importantly, that he'sgoing to change and he's going to be a positive influence going forward. I'mgoing to need to hear that from the people around him.
DP: There arereports that he's been offered a reality show. Would you give him your opinionon whether or not that's a good idea?
RG: No, those arechoices he's going to make. [But] I've heard that is not an accuratereport.
DP: Would you wantto see him do a reality show?
RG: I really thinkhe needs to focus on how he can be a better person and what he can do goingforward to change people's perceptions of him.
Now Hear This
Listen to thepodcasts at danpatrick.com/interviews
1. Reggie Millertalks about Kevin Garnett and the Celtics.
2. Jim McMahondiscusses life as a fun-loving athlete.
One's Out ...
The decision ofJeremy Tyler to skip his senior year of high school and play basketball inEurope (page 76) underscores how far off the mark the NBA's age limit is.Forcing players to spend a year in college helps neither the kids nor theschools. The policy is a middle ground between the two options that make themost sense for the good of the game: Players should be allowed to go from highschool to the NBA, or required to make a serious commitment to college—at leasttwo years.
... One's In
Though he didn'tmake up his mind until an hour before his press conference, Davidson juniorStephen Curry decided to enter the NBA draft. In his discussions with coachesand G.M.'s, Curry was told he could go anywhere from No. 6 (New York) to No. 20(Charlotte). Curry said that of those two, he wouldn't pick his hometown team."I would say New York," he told me. "The opportunity to play inMadison Square Garden every night would be nice."
Line of theweek
Cardinals All-Prowide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, on the criticism he heard before the 2004draft, in which he was the No. 3 pick:
"They said Iwas slow-footed and my butt was too big."
THE FINE PRINT:The Giants drafted Hakeem Nicks from North Carolina. He fills a key need: atall wide receiver with good hands and no gun permit.
Hear Dan announcethe week's Got It Done Award every Monday.
ILLUSTRATION BY KAGAN MCLEOD
AL TIELEMANS (TYLER)
GREG TROTT/GETTY IMAGES (FITZGERALD)
DAVID BERGMAN (GOODELL AND ORAKPO)