NFL commissioner Roger Goodell embroiled himself in yet another controversy last weekend when he chose to attend his second Falcons home game of the playoffs rather than take his chances at Gillette Stadium in New England.
Goodell has not attended a Patriots game in Foxborough since the AFC Championship game in 2015 that served as the jumping off point for DeflateGate. Now they are returning to their second Super Bowl in three seasons, and Goodell’s absence from the New England sideline has gone from suspicious to downright outrageous.
On Wednesday, Goodell called in as a guest on “The Herd w/ Colin Cowherd,” and the outspoken host predictably dove head first into the controversy. Here’s what the commissioner had to say:
Roger Goodell explains why he didn’t attend the AFC Championship Game in Foxborough pic.twitter.com/dFRIPsCRwx
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) January 25, 2017
“We had two great games,” Goodell said of last week’s schedule. “I was in Boston two years ago for the divisional and the championship games. I try to get to as many stadiums as I can. But we had two great games, and you’ve got to choose. And frankly, the focus should be on the players, the coaches and the great game. And that’s the way it was this weekend, and the way it should be.”
What Goodell fails to grasp here is that the media circus surrounding DeflateGate and the investigation and suspension that followed is almost completely his fault. Any distraction that surrounded the AFC Championship game and his failure to attend is a direct result of his behavior in the wake of the incident two years ago, and the subsequent overreaction by the league.
It’s his responsibility to recognize that fact and rectify it by ending the speculation so that we can all move on with our lives.
Of course if he’s not going to do that then he should at least come up with a better arsenal of excuses; or any excuses at all, for that matter. So in the interest of my own sanity and that of the internet, I’ve compiled a short list of available excuses that would have been infinitely better than “I was in Boston two years ago.”