NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Mauricio Gutierrez with Challenger
Super Bowl Host Committee chair and CEO Rick Campo, Mo Campo, Houston Texans president Jamey Rootes
Mayor Sylvester Turner, Mauricio Gutierrez with Challenger
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, Austin-based lobbyist Bill Miller
Sen. Ted Cruz, Mauricio Gutierrez with Challenger
Radiating star power in the McNair suite at NRG Stadium Sunday afternoon, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell simply could not say enough good things about Houston as he chatted up Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Sen. Ted Cruz, and others among the A-listers that filled the posh owner’s aerie.
“We had an incredible experience here with the Super Bowl and the people of Houston did us so proud,” he tells PaperCity. “Their hospitality and everything was fantastic. So thank you Houston for that.
“We did not have a single complaint. And that’s an amazing thing at an event like that, so it’s a tribute to the people here in Houston.”
Goodell posed for photos with fans and took advantage of an opportunity to be photographed in the suite with Challenger, the eagle that soars through NRG stadium during the “Star Spangled Banner.”
His presence in Houston was spurred by the city’s handling of Tropical Storm Harvey and the NFL’s widespread support of the recovery effort. He began tweeting on the subject at the end of August and has continued regular posting on the NFL’s commitment to provide aid, now both in Texas and Florida.
“I wanted to be here today, very simply, to support this community for the way they’ve responded and the way they have inspired us all in this country,” he says. “I think you all are remarkable and we are behind you 100 percent.”
Indeed. Following the inspiration perhaps spurred by Houston Texan J.J. Watt, whose relief fund has surpassed $31 million, the NFL has contributed handsomely to recovery efforts across Texas. None could be prouder of that fact than Houston Texans president Jamey Rootes.
He took time out from making the rounds through NRG to comment on the effort. “When you take all of the NFL-related flood relief recovery contributions directly, take Bob McNair’s, the Texans, J.J. Watt and the NFL Foundation and all of the other NFL clubs, the number is over $50 million in relief and recovery support from Corpus Christi to the Golden Triangle and all points in between,” Rootes notes.
“That’s a staggering number in just a short period of time and kind of a testament to what an NFL team can mean to a community and to a region.”