The last time that Roger Goodell attended a Patriots home game was New England’s 2015 AFC Championship Game victory over the Colts, which has since gone down in infamy as the fateful night that kicked off the never-ending Ballghazi scandal. A quick recap: After discovering that the Patriots may have used deflated balls, Goodell went all extralegal on Brady and suspended him for four games. A federal judge overturned that suspension, but Goodell kept fighting it and eventually got his way, as Brady missed the first four games of this season.
Goodell conspicuously avoided Foxborough throughout last season’s playoffs, choosing instead to attend two straight Falcons games. He had to eat a little bit of shit when he handed the Lombardi trophy to Brady and owner Robert Kraft after the Patriots won Super Bowl LI. And because the Patriots won the Super Bowl, they get host 2017's kickoff game. As much as Goodell seems to want to avoid hordes of angry Patriots fans, he can’t exactly skip out on a season opener.
“I plan to be at the kickoff game,” Goodell said, chuckling at a somewhat lighthearted question regarding his plans for five months from now.
Before the Super Bowl, Goodell said he’d gladly go back to Foxborough if he were invited. Kraft said Goodell didn’t need an invitation, which was a very courteous way of saying “Fuck you.” The kickoff game will likely be Sept. 7. Count on Pats fans to bring the boos.