On Friday, Roger Goodell went nearly half an hour before taking a question about anything other than the violent game over which he presides.
And it's easy to see how little Goodell has ever had a chance. He did this to himself.
His instinct when problems arise is to create a public relations Band-Aid. This might work once, but after a time the Band-Aid on top of another Band-Aid on top of another creates a wad of adhesive that doesn't stick. This has happened with player conduct and player safety, and every other issue that has come along. The response has been an instant policy without clearly planned solutions.
But Goodell, who probably thought he was stepping into the sunny world of Tagliabue, never saw the firestorm racing over the hills. None of them did around the NFL. By the time it hit, they were powerless to do anything. Now football's very existence dangles on the brink.