NORTHBROOK, Ill. (Aug. 8, 2006) -- The transition was swift and smooth -- and unanimous.
Roger Goodell, who never stopped rising through the ranks during his lifelong devotion to the NFL, was chosen by the league's 32 owners Tuesday in a vote that took only three hours to complete.
Favored for months to win the job, Goodell was the unanimous choice on the owners' fifth ballot, and said he expects to begin serving a five-year contract before the regular season starts.
"I spent my life following my passion," said Goodell, who becomes the league's fourth commissioner since 1946. "The game of football is the most important thing. You can never forget that.