Roger Goodell has had a hard time keeping his name out of the news this year -- and not in a good way. For that, the NFL commissioner has been named a finalist for the Time Person of the Year award.

Before you spit out your coffee, consider what the award is intended to accomplish. This isn't an award for the world's greatest person. Rather, it's a distinction given to the person who Time Magazine decides has been the most influential on the news in 2014.

And for that, Goodell certainly has a compelling case.

From the botched punishment of Ray Rice and larger oversights on handling domestic violence, to the startling trends of violence and law-breaking among NFL teams, to the ongoing concussion lawsuits that have painted an image of villainy for the NFL, Goodell has faced the heat in a highly public forum -- and, too many times, he has failed to properly respond.

Things got so bad for Goodell that, at one point, critics openly wondered whether he would be forced to resign his position.

At the moment, the NFL waters appear to have been relatively calmed, although Goodell's headaches are sure to continue into the future: A proposed settlement on the class-action concussion lawsuit filed by former players has yet to be officially resolved, and observers are still waiting to see how Goodell handles any further suspension for Adrian Peterson.

Meanwhile, the league's image remains sensitive to any other scandals that should break out in the near future. And Goodell has been the face of the action -- and too often, the face of an organization that many feel has too much power and not enough accountability.

When you consider all of that, Goodell certainly has the resume as one of 2014's most notable individuals.

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