Can Roger Goodell return to New England?

The NFL Commissioner has not been to a Patriots home match in over two years

BY Daniel Kelly 11:35 Saturday 4 February 2017, 11:35 4 Feb 2017

Roger Goodell. Picture by David J. Phillip AP/Press Association Images

The relationship between the New England Patriots and the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is not the strongest.

Despite being one of the best teams in the NFL, Goodell has not attended a Patriots home match in over two years. His last game in Gillette Stadium was when the Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts to book their place in Super Bowl XLIX.

That game against the Colts, was the game the spawned the Deflategate scandal. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was accused of knowingly having footballs slightly deflated on game day in the 45-7 win.

Brady was eventually banned for four games at the start of the current season, despite previously having his ban overturned. Since the incident over two years ago, Goodell has become a figure of ridicule in Patriots fandom.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft, has confirmed that Goodell will be invited back to Gillette Stadium if the team win their fifth Super Bowl on Sunday.

"A lot of our fans have asked me about Roger coming back to our stadium," Kraft told USA Today. "If we win Sunday, I think people would like to see him in Foxborough."

"If we win on Sunday, I’m inviting him formally to come to our opener next season."

Before the scandal, Kraft was widely seen as one of Goodell's strongest fans among team owners, but that has changed in recent years.

If the Patriots are to win on Sunday night, fans of the team may gain more pleasure from Goodell handing over the trophy to Kraft, Brady and head coach Bill Bellichick than the actual win itself.

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