voters named Roger Goodell as the biggest sports villain

The NFL commissioner decisively defeated Alex Rodriguez in the championship.

Roger Goodell Patriots NFL Super Bowl
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference after the football league meeting in 2018. –AP Photo / LM Otero

The saga of “Deflategate” lives on, at least in the minds of Patriots fans.

This point was made clear in the results of’s bracket to determine Boston’s biggest sports villain. In the end, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell won easily. The vilified executive, who oversaw the league’s investigation and punishment of the Patriots for allegedly deflating footballs, chalked up more than 10,000 votes on his way to victory.

The bracket posed a simple question to readers: Who is Boston’s biggest sports villain? The field of 64 included past villains, such as Bill Laimbeer and Ulf Samuelsson, as well as contemporaries like Goodell. It also carried names of players who Boston fans might have respected but nonetheless feared (such as Magic Johnson).


Amid the panoply of names, Goodell was the only one who was never seriously challenged as an ultimate villain. Across the six matchups he won to stand atop the bracket, Goodell won by at least 1,000 votes each time.

In the championship, he faced Yankees infielder Alex Rodriguez. While Rodriguez – who isn’t exactly beloved by Boston fans either – managed to accrue the second most votes overall, it was no match for Goodell.

Check out the full results of the bracket, including the upsets like Eli Manning’s victory over his brother, Peyton, in the round of 32.