Edit: An NFL spokesperson has confirmed that Goodell will stay at Gillette Stadium for the game.
During Super Bowl week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that he would attend the season opener of the New England Patriots if he’s invited. The Patriots called his bluff and Robert Kraft immediately invited Goodell to the game. It turns out that Goodell’s attendance will be nothing more than ceremonial and he’ll leave the field before fans arrive.
“In an effort to mitigate the negative reaction from fans in Foxborough, Goodell will finish up his pregame duties on the field early and will be off the field before the majority of Patriots fans are inside the stadium,” Sports Illustrated’s Kalyn Kahler reports. “The Patriots will not flash to any shots of the commissioner during the game on the video screens inside the stadium, and Goodell will not be sitting in Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s suite.”
Patriots fans are expected to wave tens of thousands of turquoise towels emblazoned with Goodell’s face wearing a clown nose. Apparently Goodell doesn’t want to be around for those festivities.
Perhaps Goodell will stick around in a secret room in the stadium, or something, since the report is that he won’t be on the field or in Kraft’s suite. He clearly doesn’t want to be seen. Goodell didn’t attend the Patriots opener after New England won Super Bowl XLIX, either. This shouldn’t be a surprise.