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Roger Goodell
NFL Commissioner
Commencement Speech at UMass-Lowell, 2010


"It is very common ... to tell graduates: dream and dream big. I say do more than that. When you dream you are in an unconscious state. It ends. You wake up. Itís not real. You need to create a vision. This takes determination, and a plan that takes your dream to a destination. "

In preparing for this speech Goodell poll the graduates to find out what they would like him to talk about. Here is what the graduates wanted to know:
How did you get started and developed your career?
How do you make decisions?
What do you wish someone have told you when you have graduated?

In the speech Goodell shares plenty of advice and an inspirational story of how he actually sent 40 letters to the NFL office in New York City looking for a job in 1981. Forty rejections came back. But more letters to NFL headquarters followed, until one day a weary league executive invited him to "stop by when you're in the neighborhood." "I told him I was in the neighborhood," recalled Goodell, who then drove all night from Pittsburgh to New York City to apply for what was supposed to be a three-month internship. Twenty-five years later, Goodell was appointed to his dream job: commissioner of the National Football League.

Besides being commencement speaker, he accepted an honorary doctorate in the name of their late father, former U.S. Sen. Charles E. Goodell of New York. His father, was one of the first members of the U.S. Congress to publicly oppose the war in Vietnam. That earned him a spot on Richard Nixon's "enemies list" and effectively ended his political career. "He was a tremendous influence on me and my brothers," Goodell said. "The world needs to hear the story of my father, who encouraged us to speak up and do what is right."

"Donít let yourself get comfortable. Avoid the comfort zone. Being uncomfortable will motivate you and cause you to grow faster. "



Sent in by: Cristina
Posted on: 02.22.2011