In his State of the NFL address today, Roger Goodell finally spoke personally on the no-call that many feel cost the Saints the NFC Championship and a trip to the Super Bowl.
“We understand the frustration they feel,” Goodell said of Saints fans, players, and coaches. “Whenever the officiating is part of a discussion, it’s not a good thing.” However, Goodell went on to say that the officials are human.
He also sidestepped questions of whether the blown call tainted the Super Bowl, saying only, “We are proud to have the Patriots and Rams here.”
Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the NFL since the Saints loss of the NFC Championship. However, in a New Orleans’ federal court on Monday, New Orleans-based NFL lawyer Gladstone Jones stated that the NFL has never invoked Rule 17, and argued that the rule does not apply calls made by referees during a game.
When asked, Goodell stated that he “absolutely did not” even consider using his power as NFL Commissioner to overrule the controversial call, in spite of the fact that the NFL has admitted that the call was blown.