Joe Thomas CLEVELAND, OH – DECEMBER 24: Joe Thomas #73 of the Cleveland Browns shakes hands with Kaleb Eulls #71 of the San Diego Chargers in the first half at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 24, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

It is no well-guarded secret that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is short of fans from inside the league he oversees. When it came time to see Goodell face the music and hand over the Lombardi Trophy to the New England Patriots following an overtime Super Bowl victory, it wasn’t just Patriots fans who took pleasure in watching the Commissioner go through the uncomfortable motions.

Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns admitted on Thursday’s edition of Pro Football Talk Live to taking some pleasure in watching Goodell get out of the way of the Patriots celebration as quickly as he possibly could.

“I especially enjoyed how over-eager Roger was to smile at all the Patriots and give them a big handshake, but then as soon as he gave them the trophy he scurried off the stage like a rat,” Thomas said. “It was awesome.”

Thomas said before the Super Bowl he was pulling for the AFC champion Patriots in the Super Bowl, not for conference pride, but specifically to see how Goodell would handle it. Goodell has long been the target of criticism from the Patriots and Patriots fans following his weighing in on the Deflategate issue by suspending Tom Brady for four games. Goodell was even the target of a pun in a commercial filmed by Brady months ago.

Were others around the league sharing similar emotions and reactions as Thomas in watching the Commissioner squirm through a trophy presentation on Sunday? Given the growing list of outspoken critics of Goodell, it is probably safe to assume Thomas was not alone in his joy following the Super Bowl.

[Pro Football Talk]

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.