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Roger Goodell: Hail Mary call may have pushed deal-making along

September 27, 2012|By Sam Farmer
  • A controversial call in the end zone on the final play of the Green Bay-Seattle game Monday night may have helped resolve the labor dispute between the NFL and its regular officials, said Commissioner Roger Goodell.
A controversial call in the end zone on the final play of the Green Bay-Seattle… (Stephen Brashear / Associated…)

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday that the damage done to the league’s image by Monday night’s blown call in Seattle was outweighed by the significance of inking an eight-year deal with officials.

“You’re always worried about the short-term impact on your brand and the long-term impact,” Goodell said in a conference call with reporters. “Obviously this hasn’t been positive.”

Goodell was watching from home when the Green Bay Packers lost to the Seattle Seahawks on a controversial Hail Mary pass, the culmination of a night of horrendous calls and noncalls that benefited both teams.

He did not characterize that game as the impetus that forced the league to get a deal done with the locked out officials, but acknowledged it “may have pushed the parties further along.” He said the league and officials have been engaged in “intensive negotiations” the past two weeks, culminating with the agreement reached late Wednesday night.

But the sides still don’t agree on every aspect of the dispute. While both the officials union and players union said having replacements on the field constituted a safety risk for players, that’s not the perspective of the league.

“I do not believe that this posed any greater risk to the players’ health and safety,” Goodell said. “There’s no data to back that up.”

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