Goodell contains seven letters, but for much of his tenure as the commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell's name might as well have been a four-letter word to the league's rank-and-file guys - the players.
Many of them, particularly those who found themselves staring across Goodell's desk at the commissioner after committing some nasty transgression on or off the field, are convinced he is too heavy-handed in his approach to disciplinary matters.
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison has been one of Goodell's most vocal critics and he is far from alone. Harrison, a multiple offender when it comes to taking egregious - read: cheap - shots at opposing players, has been slow to come to terms with the commissioner's message:
The NFL is changing and the players are going to buy into it willingly or they're going to buy into it with large chunks of their paychecks or some unpaid time off.
Harrison and his fellow headhunters - and even the league's off-the-field problem children - might not realize it today, but Goodell actually made a decision Wednesday that NFL players as a whole should applaud.
The commissioner hammered the New Orleans Saints for the team's bounty program, in which defensive players were paid for delivering hits that knocked opposing players out of games. Coach Sean Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was banned indefinitely. Goodell also suspended Saints general manager Mickey Loomis for eight games and assistant coach Joe Vitt for six this season.
But Goodell didn't stop there. The Saints also were fined $500,000 and lost their second-round draft picks in 2012 and '13.
If this was the Old West, Goodell would have left the Saints' bullet-riddled corpses in a store front on Main Street.
We're more civilized today - some of us are, anyway - so there was no need to go that far. But make no mistake about it, Goodell delivered a message in dropping the hammer on a New Orleans franchise that was the NFL's feel-good franchise as recently as early 2010, after the Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.
The Saints used up all that good will quickly, when word of bounties on opposing players like Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers first trickled into NFL headquarters.
Payton, in fact, lied when he claimed he was totally unaware of his then-defensive coordinator's bounty system. Williams - who contributed money to the bounty system and kept records about it - and Vitt also later admitted misleading league investigators during a 2010 probe. Loomis admitted he didn't do enough to determine if there was a bounty system in place or stop it.
All too often, it's not the crime. It's the coverup.
And even worse, the Saints were warned. They were given the chance to quietly stop what they were doing and they still chose to take their chances against the biggest law-and-order commissioner professional sports has ever seen.
Any number of NFL players - including Harrison - could have told the Saints what happens when you cross Goodell.
Once the Saints ignored orders to stop targeting opposing players by paying cash bounties, this wasn't going to end well for them.
Goodell had no choice. After playing hardball with so many players over the years, he couldn't very well give a rogue franchise and its top officials a pass. Not while the the NFL is being sued because it allegedly looked the other way when perhaps hundreds of players were collecting life-altering concussions for decades.
The commissioner has taken it upon himself to drag the league - kicking and screaming if necessary - into the 21st century when it comes to the safety of its players. That's why Harrison and his colleagues in uniform ought to be grateful that Goodell applied the same sort of punishment to the Saints that he has to players who ran afoul of the rules in recent years.
The rules have changed. Goodell didn't just spring that on the players one day and he didn't sucker punch the Saints on Wednesday. Payton, Williams and others in the organization knew what they were doing was wrong and thought they were above the law.
They've got no one to blame but themselves. Goodell gave them what they deserved.