It has become customary in the NFL for the first game of the regular season to be hosted by the defending Super Bowl champion. It is also customary that Commissioner Roger Goodell personally attends the first game of the season.
It just so happens that game will be in New England this year, which is a place Goodell has seemingly avoided at all costs since Deflategate began during the 2014 postseason.
But just like Goodell was forced to present Patriots owner Robert Kraft with the Lombardi Trophy in February in Houston, Goodell said Tuesday at the league meetings in Phoenix that he will be attending the season opener.
“I plan to be at the kickoff game,” Goodell said.
Goodell has reportedly not attended a game in New England since the AFC Championship in 2014 that sparked the Deflategate controversy. Goodell’s postseason appearances last year came in Atlanta for their Divisional Round game against the Seahawks and NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers.
That New England drought is now set to end on Sept. 7 with the Patriots home opener.