With artificial snow flakes fluttering behind, flanked by the gleaming Lombardi Trophy and helmets of the Super Bowl XLVIII teams -- the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos -- Commissioner Roger Goodell gave his annual Super Bowl week state-of-the-NFL address Friday inside the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center.

Goodell was asked by USA TODAY Sports about how the controversy over the Washington Redskins name has ramped up this past year. His stance and the team's stance are known. What is not known, however, is whether Goodell would feel comfortable addressing an American Indian as a "Redskin" to his or her face?

"I spent the last year talking to many of the leaders of the Native American community," Goodell said. "We are listening and we are trying to make sure we understand the issues.

"But let me remind you: This is the name of a football team, a football team that has had that name for 80 years. That has presented the name in a way that is honorable to Native Americans. We recognize that many don't agree with the name. And we respect that.