HR Strange But True!
June 10, 2010
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently drew on his own job searching experience to inspire graduates from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His story was one of persistence and perseverance.

In his commencement address, Goodell explained that after he graduated from Washington & Jefferson College (PA), he wrote letters to every team in the National Football League looking for work.

"I wrote more than 40 letters to the NFL," Goodell said. "The results: a big pile of rejections. Some plan, huh? But I was determined and persistent and kept writing. Finally, there was a polite but somewhat dismissive reply from a weary executive at the NFL to, quote, 'Stop by if you're in the area.' So I told him, 'I'm in the area.'"

Actually, Goodell was in Pittsburgh, but he drove all night to New York and was on the executive's doorstep the next day. "Six months later, 12 or 13 more letters later, they offered me a three-month internship," Goodell said. After spending nearly 30 years with the NFL, he realized his long-term goal of becoming NFL Commissioner. "So it doesn't matter how you get in that door. Just get in that door," he says. "The lesson: Seize every opportunity."


Sports Illustrated
University of Massachusettes Lowell

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