Had a chance encounter with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell today. Random, I know.
I bumped into him -- literally -- at the Country Club of Buffalo, where I was covering the final round of the Buffalo District Golf Association Junior Tournament. He turned the corner coming around the starter’s hut -- where I was headed to get a cart -- and we ran into each other.
Goodell was here to play in a yearly family golf outing. He was headed to the first tee, so he politely declined an interview. The commissioner is the nephew of Nancy and Myron Hunt of Williamsville (think Hunt Real Estate Corporation).
Chomping on a cigar and dressed in a dark blue golf shirt emblazoned with the NFL logo, he posed with family for a picture on the first tee. Nancy told me he makes it up here every year to play.
Goodell teed off a litt1e before 1:30. His first drive found the trees on the right, so he pulled a mulligan. He put the next one right down the middle. Goodell finished up the round about 6:10. I know because I came back to the course about 5:30, hoping he’d have a change of heart about the interview.
I’d spent the afternoon preparing questions just in case, because chances for a one-on-one interview with the commissioner of the most popular sport in the country don’t come along too often. I was hoping persistence would pay off.
I caught up with him on the back patio at CCB and asked him how the round went.
“Not too good,” he said. “I haven’t had a lot of time.”
Unfortunately, that was the only question I got in. Goodell politely declined a second interview request.
“Not today, sir,” he said. “We’ve got the whole family in town.”
Maybe another day.
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