After nearly two weeks of silence, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell finally shared his thoughts on the missed call heard around the world, during a Super Bowl press conference on Wednesday.
"We understand the frustration they feel," he said of Saints fans who are still not over the missed pass interference call from the NFC Championship game. "Whenever the officiating is part of a discussion, it’s not a good thing," Goodell said per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. "But we also know our officials are human. ... We will look again at instant replay, should replay be expanded?”
Goodell's response is not likely what Saints fans wanted to hear. After filing lawsuits and conducting unofficial investigations, they were probably hoping to hear a significant change to the review process, or—in a perfect world—a rematch against the Rams. Goodell did say that the league will "look again at instant replay,” but that's unlikely to soothe the pain of one of the most rabid fanbases in the NFL. One person who won't take solace in Goodell's words is Saints coach Sean Payton.
Payton recently admitted to staying in his room for three days after the loss, which he spent watching Netflix and eating ice cream. Despite the heartbreak, Payton says that he'll still tune in to Sunday's Super Bowl. “I don’t really think it’ll be difficult,” he said. “I’m sure I’ll watch it cause that’s what we do, but I hadn’t even gotten that far ahead relative to where I’ll be, I’ll be with family.”
Payton also discussed how his team is coping with the historically bad blown call. "Much like what we told the team, obviously there are disappointments you go through relative to your season and this one where it happened in the postseason," he explained. "We’ve got to be able to get past that and we will."
It was a bad day overall for Goodell, who also put his foot in his mouth when the conversation turned to quarterback-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick. Despite a recent players poll claiming that 95 percent of NFL athletes think Kaepernick would be effective in the league, Goodell insisted that Kaep isn't playing because teams don't think he's good enough.
"I’ve said it many times privately, publicly that our clubs are the ones that make decisions on players that they want to have on their roster," Goodell said during Wednesday's Super Bowl press conference. "They want to win, and they make those decisions individually in best interest of their club."
If Goodell wants to shed his reputation as one of the most reviled figures in professional sports, he's certainly going about it the wrong way.