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Should Condi Succeed Goodell as NFL Commissioner?

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

(News Analysis)

Former Secretary of State and Alabama native Condoleezza Rice is a woman of many interests and talents. In addition to her love of politics and country, she also loves football. In fact, Rice gave an interview with with the New York Times in 2002, saying that she would like to be commissioner of the NFL one day. As we reported back in 2014, Rice might actually be a good fit for the job. The question is, is now the time for a change?

Roger Goodell is not the most popular man in the country right now, or in football for that matter. Goodell took over the NFL’s top spot in 2006, and his leadership has been called into question on multiple occasions. In 2014, Goodell was ridiculed for his handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal. Now, he can’t seem to keep anything straight as he attempts to handle the controversy surrounding national anthem protests by players.

Goodell has switched sides multiple times throughout the debate. On one hand, Goodell has stood up for players who choose to kneel during the national anthem, saying they aren’t trying to be “disrespectful to the flag.” However, on Wednesday, he announced that the NFL wants all players to stand.

“We just had two days of conversations with our owners of which this was a fair amount of the conversation and I think our clubs all see this the same way,” Goodell said Wednesday, as reported by USA Today. “We want our players to stand. We’re going to continue to encourage them to stand. And we’re going to continue to work on these issues within the community.”

As it seems Goodell doesn’t know how to pick a side, many have called for a change in leadership.

Insert Condoleezza Rice.

In the New York Times interview mentioned earlier, Rice had this to say regarding the job as NFL commissioner:

“I think it would be a very interesting job because I actually think football, with all due respect to baseball, is a kind of national pastime that brings people together across social lines, across racial lines. And I think it’s an important American institution.”

Growing up in Sweet Home Alabama, Rice was almost destined to become a fan of the game. Her father, John, was a high school football coach in Birmingham, and taught her to love the South’s favorite pastime.

However, Rice doesn’t just love the game, she knows the game. In 2014, she landed a spot on the prestigious College Football Playoff Selection Committee, and quickly earned the praise of her fellow committee members who are mostly ex-coaches and players.

“I really consider myself a student of the game,” Rice said. “I find the strategy and tactics absolutely fascinating. I find the evolution of the game really interesting. Again, as it relates to military history. Military history has swung back and forth between advantage to the offense and advantage to the defense. When the offense has the advantage, then a new technology will come along that will temporarily give the defense the advantage and vice versa. Football has that kind of pattern, too.”

There is no doubt that if given the opportunity to take the reins of the NFL, Rice would continue to do what she does best – make Alabama proud. So, is it time for a change?

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