Commissioner Goodell visits “Live with Kelly and Michael” — Transcript


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appeared this morning on “Live with Kelly and Michael.”

The Commissioner engaged in a lively conversation with the dynamic duo of Kelly Ripa and former New York Giants’ legend Michael Strahan about the new Heads Up Football program, the Super Bowl and the Draft.

Goodell presented them with personalized #1 New York Giants jerseys. Ripa and Strahan even moved into to get their Draft Day hugs from Goodell.

CommishStrahanHugFollowing is a transcript of the Commissioner’s appearance:




Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Strahan: Hey!

Ripa: He’s one of the most influential people in all of sports. Please welcome NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell!

[Cheers and applause while the NFL on FOX theme song plays]

Ripa: Hello sir!

Commissioner Goodell: Hi, Kelly. How are you? Nice to see you.

Ripa: Nice to see you.

Commissioner Goodell: How you doing?

Strahan: I am great, how you doing?

Commissioner Goodell: I am great, thank you.

Ripa: We just heard the jazziest NFL theme song ever. That was a very cool version of that song.

Commissioner Goodell: Michael has heard it a few times [laughter].

Strahan: I’ve heard it every weekend [laughter].

Ripa: Yes, he has.

Strahan: What a lot of people don’t know, which I found very interesting, is that you started out as an intern and now you are the commissioner.

Commissioner Goodell: That’s correct.

Ripa: Now, your producer started out as an intern so imagine, one day, all this could be hers.

[All three laugh]

Strahan: How did that happen, though? As an intern [to becoming the commissioner]?

Commissioner Goodell: Well, it was always my lifelong goal to work in the NFL. I got out of college, they rejected me probably 50 times…

Ripa: No!

Commissioner Goodell: …50 times…

Ripa: Wow.

Commissioner Goodell: …and I stayed with it. I think they gave me the job, honestly, because they were tired of getting my letters.

[Crowd laughs]

Ripa: That’s actually an incredible lesson because so many young people are discouraged by rejection and will not stick it through. Even if they’re rejected once or twice, they’re like, ‘That’s it. It’s not for me. I’m out.’ And you said 50 times?

Commissioner Goodell: Fifty times. I actually don’t mind rejection. I’m good at it.

[Crowd laughs]

The reality is it worked for me. I got an internship, they kept me on after that and finally made me a full-time employee two years later.

Strahan: Wow. Being a commissioner, it’s a tough job. It really is. You have so many tough decisions that you have to make. But what was the toughest decision you had to make as commissioner?

Commissioner Goodell: The toughest, Michael, is whenever you’re dealing with some of the player discipline issues. I don’t spend an awful lot of time on that; it’s a very small part of my job. When you’re dealing with young people who have made mistakes and they’ve paid a big price – (Eagles QB) Michael Vick is a good example of that – it is difficult; but when you see somebody accept responsibility for that and say, ‘I want to make a difference in the world,’ – I think Michael (Vick) has done that – it’s easy for me to get behind them. My closest relationships are really with a lot of guys who I’ve had that kind of interaction with on discipline. It’s tough.

Ripa: Now commissioner, since you are here, I have a lot of friends that ask me to ask you this question: As the commissioner, as the man in charge of the whole operation, can’t you make the Super Bowl on a Saturday night so that people…

[Cheers and applause]

Commissioner Goodell: There you go, there you go.

Ripa: See? I’m not the only person.

Commissioner Goodell: I got it [laughter].

Ripa: Because you know everybody likes to have a nice Super Bowl party and everybody likes to…

Commissioner Goodell: We like that.

Ripa: …imbibe a little and have a little…

Strahan: Libations.

Ripa: Yes, libations, some pizza and what not. It’s always a Monday morning call-in-sick day.

Commissioner Goodell: We’re trying to make it into a three-day weekend by doing that. Right?

[Cheers and applause]

Right? We can create another Super Bowl three-day weekend.

Strahan: So it would be like a Monday after the Super Bowl national holiday?

Commissioner Goodell: That’s where we are [laughter].

[Cheers and applause]

Ripa: As the commissioner, can you then talk to the President of the United States to make that happen to make that happen so it becomes a national holiday?

Commissioner Goodell: That’s a good idea. Actually, that’s a call I’d like to make.

Strahan: Now, one of the biggest issues that’s out there now in the news is player safety…

Commissioner Goodell: Right.

Strahan: …particularly concussions. How has the NFL addressed that?

Commissioner Goodell: The first thing for us to do is to try to always make the game safer and make it better at the same time. We’ve been able to do that over the years and very successfully change the rules, specifically to take the head out of the game, and make sure that we improve the equipment. We always say that the helmets are for protection. They’re not to be used as a weapon.

Ripa: [Not] as a weapon. Right.

Commissioner Goodell: We have to make sure we train our players the right way and our coaches the right way to teach the right way.

The last thing is research. We’re investing millions of dollars, frankly, hundreds of millions of dollars, to try to find answers to some of the difficult questions. We just don’t know about the brain. That [research] will help not only football but help every other sport and frankly, our military.

Strahan: Yeah.

Ripa: That’s interesting.

Strahan: You also started the Heads Up football program, which I am a part of, to teach different tackling techniques starting with little kids so they learn from the grounds-root up. It’s really interesting because so many parents are afraid to let their kids play football now.

Commissioner Goodell: I understand that. This Heads Up football program is something we’re rolling out nationwide this year. Already, 30,000 coaches have signed up to be certified so that they know the proper techniques and they know how to teach young kids. You know this. You have to learn how to play the game and you have to learn how to do it safely. We want to make sure the coaches understand that and the players understand that. We believe we’ll have 1,000 leagues across the country that will have signed up for this program. I hope people will let their kids play football but make sure they’re supervised properly.

Ripa: Now the NFL Draft starts on Thursday. You give each player a big bear hug and you whisper something in their ear. What are you saying?

Commissioner Goodell: [Laughter] You know, Kelly, I’m not sure if it’s me giving the big bear hug or if it is them giving me the big bear hug.

Ripa: There’s an embrace, a warm embrace and whispering.

Commissioner Goodell: It’s one of the great things about my job because at that moment, these young men have worked so hard to become NFL players and this is the moment when they become an NFL player. It’s just an awesome time.

Strahan: I never got it, though.

Commissioner Goodell: I have got a chance to fix that, Michael. See, I have something right here.

Strahan: What?

Commissioner Goodell: I have two.

Ripa: Wait, I made the cut?

[Cheers and applause]

Oh my gosh!

Commissioner Goodell: I’m not sure which one’s which, right? [Laughter]

Ripa: This one’s mine.

Commissioner Goodell: Kelly, you’re now officially a first-round draft pick.

Ripa: Thank you. What do you want to whisper in my ear?

[Commissioner Goodell and Ripa hug.]

Commissioner Goodell: Good luck. Good luck.

Ripa: Thank you. Thank you so much.

Commissioner Goodell: And you big guy, you never got it.

[Cheers and applause. Commissioner Goodell and Strahan hug.]

First rounders!

Ripa: This is so exciting!

Commissioner Goodell: You look good in that.

Ripa: Oh my gosh, this is the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to me. When do I report to practice?

Commissioner Goodell: Let’s go right now. You actually want to get the contract first.

Strahan: I have one more request: On behalf of all the NFL players, can I tackle you?

Commissioner Goodell: Let’s go.

[Crowd laughs. Cheers and applause.]

Ripa: Hey, listen. For more information about the Heads Up football program, go to our website. Of course, the 2013 NFL draft is this Thursday on ESPN and NFL Network starting at 8:00 P.M.

Roger Goodell everyone!

[Cheers and applause]

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