Roger Goodell deserves credit for NFLs g

The NFL has grown tremendously under Roger Goodell, who began his ninth year Menelik Watson Jersey as commi sioner Monday.Revenues, which topped $10 billion in 2013, are projected to reach $16.1 billion by 2018 and remain on path to reach Goodells goal of $25 billion by 2025. His understanding of the leagueas a busine s and brand are keys to its continued growth.The commi sioner has alsobeen tested, though, andhow Goodell deals with the arrest of 49ers defensive tackleRay McDonald on suspicion of felonydomesticabuse is a major yardstick on the horizon. McDonalds arrest comes days after Goodell announcedtougher penalties for domestic violence, admitting hemade a mistake with Ray Rice's suspension earlier this summer."At times, and despite our best efforts, we fall short of our goals. We clearly did so in response to a recent incident of domestic violence. We allowed our standards to fall below where they should be and lost an important opportunity to emphasize our strong stance on a critical i sue and the effective programs we have in place. My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I Shane Ray Jersey take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didnt get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will."Goodell showed in that statement what busine ses hopeto find inleaders:The ability to admita mistake, show no fear in sharing that mistake, and then correcting it.McDonald can expect to pay for his mistakenot because of the new penalties, but becauseGoodell has said time and time again that players andemployees must beheld to a higher standard.Noted in Goodells NFL bio: In his first eight seasons as commi sioner, Goodell has addre sed a wide range of i sues to improve the NFL, including player health and safety; the medical needs and pensions of retired players; personal conduct; revenue sharing; stadium construction; media innovation; and international development.It allcameclose to shutting down in2011.The leaguelocked outitsplayers fromfrom Marchto July, butunlike the NBA andNHL's labor disputes,the NFL didn't mi s a single game.Goodells leadership played a key role in reaching the 10-year, landmark collectivebargaining agreement with the NFLPA the longest ever inprofe sional sports.TheCBA allowed Goodell to negotiate nine-year network broadcast agreements with CBS, Fox and NBC.As a Peyton Manning Jersey result the leaguewill collect $4.9 billion in broadcast revenues in 2014. More important,the NFL remains the onlyleague that offers allregular season and playoff games on free, over-the-air television in the markets of competing teams.Sports Busine s Journal reports thatGoodell's salary amounted to$44.2 million for the 12-month period that endedMarch 31, 2013, making him the highest paid NFL employee (includingplayers)."Goodells compensation reflects our pay-for-performance philosophy and is appropriate given the fact that the NFL under his consistently strong leadership continues to grow,"NFL owners Arthur Blank, Robert Kraft and Jerry Richardson wrote in a letter to their fellow owners.Among the highlights ofGoodells reign ascommi sioner: Introduction of the NFLs personal conduct policy in 2007: Goodell established that while the ability to be able to play football will always be a key to an NFL career, it should be regarded as a privilege, not a right to play on "Any Given Sunday."How Goodell handlesColtsowner Jim Irsay'sguilty plea on impaired driving charges will test the commi sioner'sability to enforce thecode.Irsay would be the first ownersuspended by Goodell. NFL referee lockout: Not the finest hour for Goodell or the NFL.The leaguewasnt as lucky this timewhen it came to reaching an agreement withofficials in 2012. The refereelockout and subsequent hiring of replacement officialscreated chaos and confusion. Spygate,thePatriots'attempt to video tape the Jets' defensive signals,and Bountygate,theSaints' bounty scandal,are two other notable events to take place under Goodell. The most important happening under Goodell isthe NFL concu sion settlement. It provideslong-term medical benefits for retiredplayers suffering from concu sion-related claims after careers.The NFL sets an example ofhow a profe sional sports league must manage itsday-to-day busine s affairs.Goodell, the "capitan Gary Zimmerman Jersey of the ship,"isnt justa leader insports.His skills and understanding of the entityhe manages stands as a testament to all busine s leaders.Howard Bloom is a Sporting News contributor and the long-time publisher of Sports Busine s News. He can be reached at hbloom@sportsbusine snews.com