At his annual pre-Super Bowl press conference Rob Havenstein Jersey
, Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked a question about the extent of his power. Surprisingly, Goodell claimed that he has less power than the rulebook seems to give him.Goodell quoted verbatim a portion of Rule 17, Section 2, Article 2 in support of the contention that he has no authority to order a game to be replayed from a certain point or to alter the outcome of a game if an officiating error would be sufficiently egregious to justify it.“The Commissioner will not apply authority in cases of complaints by clubs concerning judgmental errors or routine errors of omission by game officials,” Goodell said.To best understand the rule, it’s important to consider the rule. Titled “NO CLUB PROTESTS,”聽Article 2 states as follows: 鈥淭he authority and measures provided for in this entire Section 2 do not constitute a protest machinery for NFL clubs to avail themselves of in the event a dispute arises over the result of a game. The investigation called for in this Section 2 will be conducted solely on the Commissioner鈥檚 initiative to review an act or occurrence that the Commissioner deems so extraordinary or unfair that the result of the game in question would be inequitable to one of the participating teams. The Commissioner will not apply authority in cases of complaints by clubs concerning judgmental errors or routine errors of omission by game officials. Games involving such complaints will continue to stand as completed.鈥滸oodell took the language he quoted out of its broader context. As written, the rule expressly slams the door on the ability of teams to file protests regarding outcomes influenced by judgment calls. The Commissioner retains the power Authentic David Edwards Jersey
, as vested in him by Article 1 and Article 3, to take action in the event of extraordinary unfair outcomes, whether or not the result of an extraordinarily unfair exercise of judgment. Article 2 is aimed not at limiting the Commissioner’s power per se, but at keeping the teams from using Rule 17 as a device for protesting games.To avoid this interpretation (possibly in light of pending litigation premised on it), Goodell has voluntarily and willfully restricted his authority based on the answer he provided on Wednesday. Unless and until, of course, he decides to exercise his power in the way that Rule 17 seems to grant it. The Saints and Rams square off on Sunday, for the first time since one of the most controversial playoff games in league history — an outcome so significant that it prompted a major change in the rules.The non-call of defensive pass interference against the Rams still resonates as the rematch looms. On Wednesday David Edwards Los Angeles Rams Jerseys
, Saints quarterback Drew Brees was asked how long it will take him to forget the non-call and the loss it caused.“Still haven’t, never will,” Brees told reporters. “But when you say ‘forgotten about,’ you have to find a way to compartmentalize it to the point where you can move on in a positive way. I found a way to do that, but as far as just the events, you live and learn and sometimes things don’t go your way and you’ve got to find a way to come out better on the other side.”In a visit last month with the #PFTPM podcast, Brees offered up an idea for getting over it.“Go win it all,” he said with a laugh. “That’s the only way you get over something like that. That’ll always sting. More so just because you know that that team will never exist anymore. You lose a guy like Mark Ingram Los Angeles Rams Jerseys Stitched
, Max Unger retires, you lose a few others. That team, even though you have a lot of the same guys on this year’s team, will no longer exist. You wanted it so bad for that team. We felt we had worked so hard to get to that point. We had earned that right. But it didn’t happen.”The fact that it didn’t happen then against the Rams doesn’t matter to whether it happens now, however.“I don’t look at it like we’ve got all this added fuel to the fire,” Brees told reporters on Wednesday. “There’s already fuel to the fire. We’re just going to go out there and play our game and let the chips fall where they may.”The chips fell in a very bad way for the Saints last year, but the only relevance this game has to the NFC Championship is that the winner on Sunday will have a better chance of hosting the next one.