Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards received a response from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to the governor's letter expressing profound disappointment with the outcome of the NFC Championship Game, with a missed call that might have cost the New Orleans Saints a trip to the Super Bowl.
"I fully understand your personal disappointment, and the disappointment and frustration of Saints fans throughout the country," Goodell wrote in the letter. "As you know, immediately following the game, our head of officiating told Coach Payton that a penalty should have been called on the play in question. I have expressed the same view to both Mrs. Benson and Coach Payton, as well as during my press conference on Jan. 30."
Goodell said that league rules prevented him from overturning the result of the game, and he believed it would be wrong for him to do so.
He added that the league's replay rules will be reviewed to determine if there should be a change that would allow review of calls and no-calls of penalties on the field.
Goodell said his response to the governor's Jan. 22 letter was delayed because it arrived at the league office after he had left for the Super Bowl in Atlanta.
Gov. Edwards released Goodell's letter Monday, saying: "Though it is cold comfort to New Orleans Saints fans, I applaud the commissioner's willingness to review the officiating error closely to determine if similar errors can be prevented in the future through rule or procedure changes. I appreciate his response to my letter.
"New Orleans is a place unlike any other, as evidenced by the Saints fans who celebrated their team and their city in lieu of watching the Super Bowl and raised tens of thousands of dollars for charity in the process. It's the Louisiana way to be hospitable to guests, as I know we will be when the Super Bowl next returns to New Orleans in 2024."