NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards that the NFL “treasures” its relationship with the city of New Orleans where it will hold its 11th Super Bowl in just a few years.
Goodell was responding to Edwards’ letter of a few weeks ago that asked the commissioner to look into the bad call that cost the Saints a chance at the Super Bowl and look for a way in the future to avoid similar problems.
The Saints were denied a likely chance in the Super Bowl when pass interference wasn’t called on a pass to TommyLee Lewis where cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman slammed into Lewis prematurely, and also had ‘helmet-to-helmet’ contact.
In a letter to Edwards, Goodell went over similar ground, saying that a penalty should have been called on the play, saying that he understands the frustrations of Saints fans, that the rules do not permit the Commissioner to overturn the result of a game and saying that the league is looking at procedures to “prevent a similar occurrence in the future.”
Edwards said he applauded Goodell’s response.
“Though it is cold comfort to New Orleans Saints fans, I applaud the Commissioner’s willingness to review the officiating error closely to determine if similar errors can be prevented in the future through rule or procedure changes. I appreciate his response to my letter,” he said.
What was new was Goodell’s reference to the league’s fondness for the city of New Orleans.
“I know that I speak for everyone in the NFL when I say that we treasure our relationship with New Orleans,” he said in the letter. “As you know, last year New Orleans was selected to host the Super Bowl for the 11th time – no city has hosted more Super Bowls – and we could not be more excited to return. I look forward to working with you to make the game a great success.”