Roger Goodell and the Hugs at the NFL Draft

Today marks the start of the 2013 NFL Draft. The New York Times has a great story on how the commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, has started giving out hugs at the Draft. It all started out in 2010 with Gerald McCoy:

When the Buccaneers selected him with the No. 3 pick in the 2010 N.F.L. draft, McCoy did something no player had done. He strode across the stage and embraced Commissioner Roger Goodell, a spontaneous show of emotion that proved significant: McCoy had broken the hug barrier.

“I wasn’t aware that I was the first when it happened,” McCoy said by telephone, “but I am now.”

Inspired by McCoy, Goodell has become a proactive hugger. But there are hugging rules:

In his predraft briefing with players, Goodell now includes hug-specific instructions. They can hug him for as long as they want, with one caveat: try not to break his ribs. A couple of players have come close. Such are the perils of “bringing it in” with 300-pound offensive linemen.

Wonderful.

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