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Montage: As NFL Ratings Plummet, Roger Goodell Develops Odd Verbal Tic
Over two short press appearances, the NFL commish could not stop repeating the same two words

Without a doubt this is already an NFL season Roger Goodell can't wait to drop kick into distant memory. As players' political activism increasingly encroaches onto the playing field, ratings are getting blitzed.

Over the first six weeks, NFL ratings are down 7.5 percent as compared to last season, per Nielsen. They're down 18.7 percent from the 2015 season. (Commenting last year on the decline, Goodell punted, blaming the presidential election for America's fading interest.)

Faced with such awful stats, it's incontrovertible that if Goodell were himself a player, he'd have already been cut.

But Goodell is clearly intent on retaining possession of his commissionership. His game plan appears to be encouraging players to remain committed to "the issues in their communities" while also telling fans he agrees these athletes should stand for the national anthem. 

Over the last two days Goodell has huddled with NFL team owners and the Players Association. Speaking to the press about how he intends to salvage the season, Goodell came up incomplete. As he fumbled for words, a very odd verbal tic emerged. 

Over the course of about 20 minutes before the press, Goodell used the same two words no fewer than 45 times. 

Watch the montage above to see this bizarre verbal tic in action. 

Here's an excerpt from the unofficial transcript: 

Issues in the communities, communities, issues, communities, communities, issues, issues, communities' issues, the issues in our communities. Issues in the communities, communities, issues, communities, issues, communities, issues, issues, communities' issues, the issues in our communities. Issues in the communities, communities, issues, communities, communities, issues, issues, communities' issues, the issues in our communities. Issues, issues, issues. Issues in the communities, communities, issues, communities, communities, issues, issues, communities' issues, the issues in our communities. Issues in the communities, communities, issues, communities, issues, communities, issues, issues, communities' issues, the issues in our communities. Issues in the communities, communities, issues, communities, communities, issues, issues, communities' issues, the issues in our communities. Issues, issues, issues.  

This isn't Goodell's first time turned over his leadership to talking points. After the Ray Rice scandal in 2014, when the league was accused of effectively running a cover defense for domestic abuse, Goodell developed another verbal tic