Gail Sideman Publicity


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NFL commissioner Goodell let public speak for him

It’s been nearly two weeks since the egregious no-call during the Rams-New Orleans NFC Championship game, and league commissioner Roger Goodell still hasn’t spoken publicly about this and other officiating mistakes.

It’s a topic that PR and other sports communications professionals should use as case study for years to come.

The late-game no-call was most daunting because it likely contributed to the outcome of a game, and most of all (because the Saints had other scoring opportunities) two officials were standing in close proximity to the play.

That said, Goodell is about to take the stage at Super Bowl LIII for his annual State of the League address to media. Because the officiating issue hasn’t been addressed, I place the over at two for how many questions it will take until the subject comes up.

It didn’t have to be that way. Had Goodell come out and made a comment publicly soon after the game, fans and media would have focused on the Super Bowl matchup the last two weeks, not a blown call. He didn’t and as a result, everyone outside 345 Park Avenue set the narrative.

In the future, I suggest that NFL team owners, emphasize the PR value of discussing issues earlier than later instead of letting millions of others create your story. Insist that the commissioner speak quickly and proceed with the game’s annual celebration.


©Gail Sideman, gpublicity 2019

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