In his wisest move in months (years?), NFL commissioner and internet punching bag Roger Goodell will not attend the New England Patriots’ season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
An NFL spokesman stated that Goodell “believes the focus should be on the game on the field and the festivities celebrating the Patriots’ Super Bowl championship.” Instead, the commissioner will reportedly watch the game from the comforts of his own home, rather than be the most hated man at Gillette Stadium.
This is a break in tradition for the NFL commissioner according to ESPN.
Goodell traditionally has attended the Thursday night opener, which is played at the home of the previous season’s Super Bowl winner.
Of course, this has been no ordinary offseason for the NFL. Goodell fined the Patriots $1 million and took away two draft picks from New England for the team’s role in Deflategate. He also tried to suspend Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for four games but Judge Richard Berman overturned Goodell’s suspension on Thursday (the NFL is appealing the decision). With that in mind, it’s reasonable that Goodell wants no part of the Patriots or their fans right now.
Still, the news is disappointing if only because Goodell should just embrace his role as the NFL’s heel and welcome every single boo and jeer that is thrown his way. The man’s reputation is pretty much beyond repair anyways.