Speaking at a Super Bowl media event, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has finally broken his silence about that missed pass interference call.
It’s a moment that will live on in the memories of NFL fans for generations. In the final minutes of the NFC Championship match, the New Orleans Saints were driving down the field. They were in the red zone when Drew Brees decided to throw a pass on third down. Nickell Robey-Coleman ensured that the ball did not reach its intended receiver, committing pass interference and possibly a roughing the passer penalty in the process.
But their penalty wasn’t called.
Instead, it became fourth down and the Saints were forced to kick a field goal. The Rams put together a drive of their own and also scored a field goal, forcing overtime. The Rams went on to win.
Saints fans have done nothing to hide their anger over the call. They’ve taken out billboards in Atlanta, filed lawsuits against the league, and local bars and restaurants announced they will not be showing the Super Bowl. Earlier today, Sean Payton conducted his end of the year press conference while possibly wearing a Roger Goodell clown shirt.
Today, Roger Goodell finally broke his silence on the missed call. Speaking to the press in Atlanta, Goodell acknowledged that the league needed to do better, but denied the need for any further action in this instance.
“We understand the frustration of the fans,” Goodell said. “I’ve talked to coach [Sean] Payton, the team, the players. We understand the frustration that they feel right now.”
“We have the best referees in the world,” Goodell said later on. “The refs in New Orleans made a big mistake at a lousy time. I feel awful for the Saints. But I don’t question our officials integrity or intentions. It was an honest mistake.”
The commissioner’s reaction is unlikely to dispel the anger and bitterness felt by Saints’ fans. Goodell said he would not consider replaying the game, but the league would revisit the video replay system this offseason.