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August 22, 2014

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NFL commissioner called paralyzed bouncer after strip-club shooting

A local bouncer who was shot and paralyzed last February in a melee involving Tennessee Titan Adam "Pacman” Jones says the commissioner of the National Football League contacted his family last spring and offered assistance – but failed to follow through.

Commissioner Roger Goodell called former bouncer Tommy Urbanski in the spring, and reached his wife, Kathy. Goodell, she said in an interview with the Sun today, asked how her husband was feeling and then asked the family needed anything.

“At that point, I wasn’t even thinking of the mortgage. I was thinking of Tommy,” said Kathy Urbanski, as she entered a local Sprint store Tuesday afternoon to get phone records that she says would prove a representative of the NFL contacted her.

A month later, she said, Goodell called again. And again, she wasn’t worrying about the mounting bills. Goodell asked that their correspondence be kept on the down low. Urbanski agreed.

But by summer, that had become a concern. So her family called the NFL office on New York’s Park Avenue, and reached Goodell’s secretary, Kathy Urbanski said.

Goodell called the Urbanskis on one or two occasions "to express his sympathy and to see how they were doing," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. "No financial offer was made."

Goodell never returned the summer phone call, Kathy Urbanski said.

“I thought he really cared because he called me,” she said. “Why would he call me?”

Aiello said he couldn't confirm that summer call.

Now, attorneys for the Urbanskis are trying to hold the Titans and the NFL liable for Tommy’s injuries. But a District Court judge recently rejected their bid to tie the Titans to the incident. The Urbanskis plan to appeal.

“As far as I’m concerned, this isn’t over,” Kathy Urbanski said.

The disclosure of her conversations with Goodell coincides with the NFL’s media day in Glendale, Ariz., which is the site of the Super Bowl on Sunday. All players on both teams, the New England Patriots and New York Giants, must be available to thousands of journalists.

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