NEW ORLEANS — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the non-call at the end of the NFC Championship was “a play that should be called.”
Goodell addressed the media at his annual State of the League press conference held prior to the Super Bowl. Goodell talked for about five minutes before taking questions and a handful were asked prior to the subject of the end of the Saints-Rams contest, where an obvious pass interference and ‘helmet-to-helmet’ penalties could have been called, giving the Saints are likely shot at winning.
“I understand the emotions… It’s important to hear that emotion. I understand the stage, the importance of this to New Orleans,” he said.
Goodell said that he has talked to Saints head coach Sean Payton and team owner Gayle Benson, but that he wouldn’t disclose the details of the personal conversations.
Goodell, when asked directly, said that he never considered asking for the extreme remedy of replaying all or part of the game, saying that judgment calls are not part of what can be overturned.
“When people are talking about officiating, it’s not the outcome anyone would want,” he said of the game.
With 3rd down deep in Rams territory, Drew Brees launched a pass for Tommylee Lewis. Rams’ cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman hit Lewis well before the ball arrived. The non-call was universally panned. The NFL fined Robey-Coleman $26,000 for the hit.