Welcome to the Jungle

Commissioner Roger Goodell signs autographs and mingles with fans outside Paul Brown Stadium before the Steelers-Bengals game. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

CINCINNATI – Lot E outside Paul Brown Stadium was tailgate central Monday afternoon as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spent some quality time with Bengals fans prior to the Monday night Steelers-Bengals game.

As Geoff Hobson details on Bengals.com, Goodell signed autographs with fans and answered questions — touching on topics ranging from an 18-game schedule to player to safety to … Pete Rose.

Earlier in the day, Goodell took part in ESPN’s Monday Night Football Chalk Talk at Cincinnati Music Hall, featuring ESPN talent and several former Bengals and Steelers players – including Jerome Bettis and Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz. With a group of local veterans on hand, the event also served as an opportunity to salute the military in advance of Veteran’s Day on Thursday.

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Wrapping up a memorable trip

Sitting aboard the Madden Cruiser, John Madden and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reflect on the road trip that took them to five training camps in three days, landing them in Canton, Ohio, for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremony.

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Signing for fans at Colts camp

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell left Canton, Ohio, early Saturday morning to visit the Indianapolis Colts at Anderson University in Terre Haute, Ind. Goodell will head back to Canton after the Colts’ Blue and White game for tonight’s Hall of Fame ceremony.

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Birthplace of pro football

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell poses in front of a plaque in downtown Canton on the spot of Ralph Hay’s Hupmobile showroom, where plans for the pro football league that became the NFL first began. The two names on the plaque: Hays and Jim Thorpe.

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Sign of the times

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell signs autographs for fans outside of the McKinley Grand Hotel in downtown Canton on Friday. (Ben Liebenberg / NFL)

CANTON, Ohio – One thing that was evident on the training camp tour with Roger Goodell and John Madden: The commissioner of the NFL appears to be as popular as some of the league’s players. Everywhere we went, fans flocked to get his autograph.

Even though Goodell grew up a big fan of the game and worked his way up through the NFL ranks starting as an intern, he remains very humble and doesn’t like to talk about his rock-star status. And believe me, it’s rock-star status.

“I don’t really look at it that way,” Goodell said. “People just love the game of football, and they want to get close to anybody involved in the game. I’m privileged to be the commissioner of the NFL and that comes with a lot of responsibility. It’s a privilege to do what I do, and it’s an honor.”

Still, there’s no denying Goodell’s popularity. Outside the McKinley Hotel here in Canton on Friday morning, fans waiting for autographs from the Hall of Famers, sought out the commissioner as well. And the veteran autograph seekers who bring specific photos of the Hall of Famers they want signed, actually had Goodell glossies for him to sign.

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Goodell with Gil Brandt on Sirius Radio

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Commish Tour photo gallery

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and John Madden made it to Canton late Thursday night after a busy three-day training-camp tour in which they visited the training camps of the Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Redskins, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Cleveland Browns.

Check out this photo gallery from the trip.

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Goodell with Mike Holmgren

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The gang’s all here

BEREA, Ohio — Commissioner Roger Goodell’s crew arrived at Cleveland Browns camp in time for the start of Thursday afternoon practice — and we’ve got reinforcements too.

In addition to the NFL.com crew (well, me and Matt Lathrop) embedded on the Commissioner’s Camp Tour, NFL.com writers Vic Carucci and Pat Kirwan are here as well. Carucci just finished a sitdown interview with team president Mike Holmgren for a story he’ll write for us; Kirwan is here on his Sirius NFL Radio camp tour, and he’ll be filing his Browns camp postcard for NFL.com later today.

Goodell will meet with fans, media and players after practice, then we’re off to Canton.

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Next stop: Cleveland Browns

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