If Roger Goodell was sitting on Santa's lap right now - and wouldn't that be an Instagram photo you'd love to see -- and was asked what he'd most like for Christmas, my guess is his first request would be that the new movie "Concussion" be every bit the box-office bomb that "Draft Day" was.

"Draft Day," of course, was a 2014 pro-NFL film starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner. Both the producers of the movie and the NFL thought it would be tremendously popular. It wasn't.

"Concussion" isn't a pro-NFL flick. It's a big-screen adaptation of PBS's 2013 Frontline investigative documentary "League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis." It removes the league's shoes and puts its feet over a hot fire.

If you saw the impressive Frontline report, which dealt with the NFL's unconscionable foot-dragging with respect to the link between multiple head injuries (concussions) and long-term brain disorders, you can just imagine how much more powerful it's going to be on a 65'X65' screen at your local multiplex.

In the past, the NFL has reacted to criticism of the way it has handled the issue of concussions by putting a roll of nickels in its hand and coming out swinging.

As you may have seen in the Frontline documentary and as you'll see in the movie, that turned out to be a very dumb idea. Arrogance doesn't play well with the American people.

This time around, Goodell and the league are doing the smart thing. They're keeping their mouths shut and their heads down and are going to wait out the storm. They are saying absolutely nothing about the movie.

While "Concussion," which will open in theaters on Christmas Day, is expected to be very popular and subject the league to even more criticism for its reluctance to see - or want to see -- a problem that was right there in front of its nose, the fact of the matter is, that no matter how popular it turns out to be and no matter how much more criticism of the NFL it spawns, it will have little or no effect on the extraordinary popularity of the league or the game.

Sure, some parents will think twice about letting their nine-year-old put on a helmet and play football. But if you didn't already know that football is a violent game, I don't know what to tell you.

"Everyone knows the risks of this game," said Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, who suffered his first-ever concussion last month and sat out one game. "We've known them since we started playing. I know the things that can occur to me playing this game."

I asked Ertz if he planned to see the movie.

"No," he said. "It is what it is. I know the things that can occur to me playing this game. I don't need a movie to spell it out for me."

Other players are a little bit more apprehensive about the down-the-road ramifications of multiple concussions.

Eagles wide receiver and special teams ace Seyi Ajirotutu was knocked unconconscious while covering a punt in a Week 1 game against Atlanta.

Missed one game but has played in every game since.

"You always think you're fine," he said. "But it's scary. You think to yourself, 'I'm OK. I'm better.' But are you really.

"It definitely makes you think about down the road because of all the stuff that's been coming out. Because if you get another one, you've got to worry about your health."

More players are thinking about the long-term ramifications of concussions. And as time goes on, there no doubt will be a few more players like former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland, who retired after just one year in the league because of his concern about suffering long-term brain damage.

But most will be like Ertz and Ajirotutu. They'll heed the warnings and trust that when they're 50 or 60, they'll still remember their kids' names.

Kent Bradford played football at the University of Oklahoma in the late '70s. Now, he spends his weekends watching his son, Sam, play quarterback for the Eagles.

Sam has had three concussions in his football career, the most recent this season in a game against Miami. But his most severe one actually was his first. It came when he was a sophomore in high school.

"We were playing on that old-school AstroTurf where it was kind of like carpet on top of concrete," Sam said. "I got hit and fell back onto my head. After that, I had no clue what was going on. It was pretty scary. I was only 15 or 16 at the time. I couldn't remember anything. I didn't know who people were. It was kind of freaky."

Said his father: "I think there's still a lot of unknowns (with concussions). How many can a kid have? Is there such a thing as a mild one?

"Yeah, I do worry. But in the same light, he's playing the sport he loves. And ultimately, it's his call."

If you want to believe something enough, you can convince yourself it's true. For years, the NFL wanted to believe that there was no link between multiple head trauma and long-term brain damage. They wanted to believe it for the same reason cigarette company executives once wanted to believe their product couldn't possibly cause lung cancer.

They put league yes men in charge of their concussion research - which is one of the many reasons former commissioner Paul Tagliabue never, ever will get my Hall of Fame vote - and attacked anyone whose opinion was contrary to theirs.

They underestimated the indestructability of their product and were afraid the truth about concussions would bring the NFL to its knees.

It wouldn't. It didn't. If they had realized that 20 years ago, a lot more former NFL players would still remember their kids' names right now.