The venerable folks at Sports Illustrated have compiled a "Power Issue" for the March 11, 2013, issue and on the cover is NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Weilding a sword. On the iron throne.
Settle down, James Harrison. It appears to be just a drawing and it doesn't look like Goodell is an active participant in this caricature:
Instead, it simply appears SI has anointed Goodell the most powerful man in sports. And, again, given him a giant sword.
"Power resides where men believe it resides," Steve Rushin writes, quoting Thrones, in the intro to the mag's column. "It's a trick, a shadow on the wall. And a very small man can cast a very large shadow."
Personally, I would slide their No. 13 choice, CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus, up about 12 spots. But I might be biased.
And in reality, it's hard to argue with Goodell up top. He runs the most powerful professional sports league in the world. He's had, for a long time, something resembling absolute power.
Were it not for Goodell facing a massive concussion lawsuit from former players and kind of botching the whole Saints bounty scandal thing, he'd be pretty untouchable at this point.
Even if you don't like him -- whether you're a fan or one of a reported 61 percent of NFL players -- it's hard to argue with the trump card that is the growth of the NFL in recent years when you talk about being able to wield a big sword.