Ten days after what many consider to be the worst missed call in NFL playoff history, Commissioner Roger Goodell finally publicly addressed the pass interference no-call that helped decide the NFC championship game.
Goodell took the podium Wednesday during his annual Super Bowl week news conference and admitted what everyone already knew.
“It’s a play that should be called,” he said of Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman’s hit on New Orleans wide receiver Tommylee Lewis late in the Jan. 20 game.
“We understand the frustration of the fans. … Whenever officiating is part of any kind of discussion postgame, it’s never a good outcome for us,” the commissioner said.
“We understand the frustration of the fans…whenever officiating is a part of any kind of discussion postgame, it’s never a good outcome for us.”
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) January 30, 2019
But Goodell said something else that has drawn the ire of the Saints: He claimed he had spoken to Sean Payton and Saints players about the no-call.
“I’ve talked to Coach Payton, the team, the players,” he said. “We understand the frustration that they feel right now, and we certainly want to address that.”
Saints receiver Michael Thomas said that simply wasn’t true. “He ain’t talk to us,” Thomas tweeted Wednesday.
He ain’t talk to us
— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) January 30, 2019
Thomas has been one of the most outspoken players regarding the missed call and even called Super Bowl XLIII “Super Bowl XLIE” in a deleted social media post. But he wasn’t the only one who called Goodell’s statement into question.
Zach Strief, who played for the Saints from 2006 to 2017 and now works for the team as a radio announcer, said Thursday he had reached out to several players to see if the commissioner had spoken with them, including two of the most respected players in the entire NFL: Drew Brees and Benjamin Watson.
Strief said both players told him that Goodell didn’t talk to them, which makes you wonder if the commissioner talked to any Saints players.
Still waiting to hear what “players” @nflcommish spoke to. Certainly not any of the usual suspects. Odd that the guy who constantly discusses the integrity of the shield is so quick to lie to the whole world’s media at the Super Bowl.
— Zach Strief (@ZachStrief) January 31, 2019
??? and he has all my contact info
— Benjamin Watson (@BenjaminSWatson) January 31, 2019
Strief didn’t just imply that Goodell wasn’t telling the truth when he said he talked to the players. He flat-out called the commissioner a liar.
“The man literally stands up on a podium and just lies. It’s mind-blowing. He is the commissioner of the biggest sports league in the country, and it is totally cool with all the people who employ him, the 32 owners, that he just lies to everybody,” Strief said on WWL-AM in New Orleans.
The only Saint who we know talked with Goodell is Payton, as he mentioned it during own news conference Wednesday.
But even the head coach appeared to take his own subtle shot at the commissioner. Many have pointed out that it looked as if Payton wore the infamous Roger Goodell clown T-shirt during his press conference.
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