Roger Goodell was a unanimous decision to replace Paul Tagliabue as NFL's commish. Not really a surprise, as Goodell has been Tags' right hand man for years and was the frontrunner the moment Tagliabue announced his retirement. As Tags' COO, he's had his hands in a lot of the league's affairs already and has a very small learning curve.
He takes over a good situation. This past spring, Tagliabue made his final work the current CBA....which was difficult to get to. So there is labor peace. Also, the upcoming 2006 season is under the new TV deals....which has Sunday Night football on NBC, Monday night football on ESPN and Thursday games on the NFL Network. This is also the world's richest sports league.
But there are some hurdles upcoming soon. That CBA that was pounded out earlier this year...has an out clause during the 2008 season. And some owners don't like the deal they made...and may want to dump it. Also, that CBA hasn't been officially written and there are some things that are still being discussed - mainly revenue sharing. Revenue sharing is also a big deal...since it was a major problem between the owners themselves and certain forms of revenue the players want to get their hands on. There is also the Los Angeles situation. It is a big stain on the league [how can the NBA have a team in Sacramento....the NHL have a team in Raleigh...but the NFL can't get in LA??]. The costs of development are already insane...and if anything actually gets done....it will take another mint.
He also replaces two of the most effective commissioners in any sport. Pete Rozelle was the Inovator of the NFL....bringing in television, new franchises, the AFL merger and the Super Bowl among many other things. Paul Taglibue fine tuned all of that and made the business of the NFL into a top priority and the league into a $6 billion a year biz.