NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was taking part in the Jim Kelly Celebrity Golf Classic for the first time on Monday. Goodell, who was born in Jamestown, NY, was happy to be back in Western New York and called Bills Hall of Famer Jim Kelly a good friend for many years. Goodell also said he learned something from Kelly and his 90’s Bills teammates when he was an NFL intern 25 years ago.
Back during Buffalo’s four straight Super Bowl appearances, Goodell was just starting off as an up and comer in the NFL offices. One of his assignments was the Pro Bowl, which back then was played after the Super Bowl. He was assigned the task of picking up Pro Bowl participants who had just played in the Super Bowl to take them to the airport to fly to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl the following week.
“I got to know a lot of these guys from the great years of Bills football teams,” Goodell said. “I’d have to pick them up the morning after the Super Bowl and drive them to the airport and we’d fly to Honolulu. I’d always say to Jim and the rest of the guys that I learned a lot from that. Here these guys the discipline that they had that Monday morning, they were all class acts, every single one of them. They obviously were disappointed (after losing), but professional, couldn’t have been better. That bus came at 4:30 or 5 in the morning and they were all there and jumped on the bus and we were off. I learned a lot from that.
“The fact of doing what it takes to be a professional. You may be disappointed with the outcome of a game and that’s hard to deal with, but they had another obligation which was to get to the Pro Bowl. And they got there on time to be on the bus and they were glad to be there. They treated everyone the same way they would’ve if they won I think. And one thing I’ll say about Jim and it’s one of the things I’ve loved about Jim is he treats me the same as he did when I was that young intern in the NFL as he does right now as Commissioner, which I appreciate.”
Tags: Jim Kelly, Pro Bowl, Roger Goodell
Posted in Inside the Bills