I swear to you I never thought I’d say this. I really feel bad for the NFL’s commissioner, Roger Goodell. With the New Orleans Saints driving the ball late in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship game, the referees missed what a sixth grader knows is a pass interfere call. Failing to do so makes for a very ugly crisis PR situation by any definition.  

I gotta give the league credit, though. By the time the game was over, Sean Payton, the coach of the New Orleans Saints was immediately on the phone to the NFL voicing his objection and NFL officials told him right away the call was blown. Period. End of story. There’s just nothing else they can do about it.

Now, the situation isn’t going to end for the NFL there. This crisis PR scenario will last for several weeks, if not months as they try to answer the question how the referees who make on-average $173,000 for calling what amount to 20 games a year can blow something that bad. At least in the first round of this crisis PR event, though, the NFL’s on the right track. The league didn’t try to sugarcoat it. They didn’t try to justify the actions of the referees. The fact is the tens of thousands in that stadium and the millions watching on TV and streaming video knew what the refs didn’t, that it was pass interference and ultimately was a catalyst to the New Orleans Saints losing that game and the Rams going to the Super Bowl.

NFL, I’d like to see you continue along this path but so far, so good. Keep it up. You’re gonna need it.