Court orders testimony of Roger Goodell in Rams-Saints lawsuit

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Get your beignet-flavored popcorn ready.

According to the Associated Press, Judge Nicole Sheppard has ruled that Commissioner Roger Goodell and three game officials can be questioned under oath in the lawsuit filed regarding the blown pass interference call in the Rams-Saints NFC Championship game. The depositions will occur, barring a successful appeal, in September.

Late in the fourth quarter of a game the Rams won in overtime, L.A. defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman wiped out Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis near the goal line before a pass arrived. The non-call relegated the Saints to a field goal. If a flag had been thrown, the Saints would have been more likely to score a game-clinching touchdown.

Attorney Antonio LeMon filed the lawsuit, which seeks only $75,000 in damages in order to avoid the removal of the state-court proceedings to federal court. He said Monday that any proceeds will be donated to former Saints special-teams standout Steve Gleason’s charity promoting ALS research and supports ALS patients.

The difference between state and federal court decisions can be significant and, in many cases, outcome-determinative. State-court judges are elected; federal court judges are appointed for life. What better way for a Louisiana judge to ensure re-election in Louisiana than to exercise discretion in a way that supports Louisiana interersts?

The mere fact that federal law permits certain cases to be removed from state court to federal court acknowledges this reality of state-court home cooking. One of the two paths to federal court relies on the presence of exclusively out-of-state defendants and an amount in controversy of more than $75,000. By capping his potential recovery at $75,000, LeMon ensures that the case will remain in state court.

The NFL surely will pursue all avenues to appeal the ruling. Business executives like Goodell usually make for bad witnesses, especially when they have no legal training. They aren’t used to submitting to authority, they resent when they are required to, they get impatient and frustrated when asked tough questions, and they believe that they can talk their walk out of any jam.

The end result often is a swordfight that the witness thinks he’s winning until he realizes he’s been dismembered.

72 responses to “Court orders testimony of Roger Goodell in Rams-Saints lawsuit

  1. As a Saints fan I am both embarrassed by this and also EXTREMELY EXCITED at the prospect of Goodell humiliating himself in court

  2. The non-call specifically allowed the Rams to have enough time to tie the game back up. NOT that the Saints were guaranteed a TD on the possession.

  3. Rodger has it coming since the “FAKE Bountygate claim” in which all players were reinstated after the fact. Now, with the no call, the Saints were robbed of a berth in the Superbowl. Wish this was a live TV testimony with questioning. It would beat the rating of the tainted Superbowl.

  4. They didn’t care about a touchdown. They would have pretty much killed the clock and then kicked the field goal. The right call would have been a first down. This Saints fan is over it but if Goodell has to take the stand and squirm a little, I’m for it.

  5. All this because despite winning the coin toss the Saints managed to lose the game, unlike the current world champs.It was not the last play of the game.They had their chance to win and blew it.
    If I were a Saints fan that would annoy me more than the blown call.

    .

  6. And who is paying for this colossal waste of time? With all that is going on today, let’s clog up the court systems with useless cases. The party (ies) that filed this suit should have to pay ALL court costs incurred when they lose….

  7. If Goodell testifies I hope it’s televised. You think the Muellar Congressional testimony drew a big TV audience??? They’ll be letting the kids out of school in New Orleans to watch this!

  8. This is a farce. The plaintiff attorney is greasing his judge campaign, and the judge is greasing his re-election campaign. And they’re diminishing the image of New Orleans citizens and Saints fans in the process.

  9. Interesting quandary for the NFL. Put Fruadger and the game officials on the stand or risk the precedent of settling the type of suit that puts up a Hunting Season Open sign to get out of it. In an objective sense I like the idea of anything that exposes Goodell for the fraud he is but big picture this is a no win scenario for the game.

  10. Gamen is over. In the books. Don’t be like raider fans pining about the tuck rule 25 yrs later

  11. What can Goodell speak on? He is not involved other than being the commish. What can he speak on? Doubt he knows how the refs are hired / fired.

  12. Who’s interest does the lawyer have in mind? This seems self-serving to me.

  13. Hope Goodell’s testimony is “Next time run the ball 3 times when its 1st and 10 on the 13yrd line with 1:55 left in the game and the opposing team only has 2 timeouts. You could of had your chance to be Superbowl Champs, get Sean Payton and Drew Brees under oath and ask them how stupid they feel for that”

  14. So will everyone be ordered back on the field for a redux?

    Or will the record books be forced to cross out Rams in Patriots 13, Rams 3 and replace it with Saints:
    Patriots 13, Saints 3

  15. iberiasaint says:
    Rodger has it coming since the “FAKE Bountygate claim” in which all players were reinstated
    ———————
    Not quite. Williams admitted he offered bounties. The players, however, were able to show there’s no evidence they did the dirty. That’s why Fraudger took Brady to court twice – the first case showed NFL (yet again) lacked evidence (and showed Brady did offer his phone logs). So the NFL’s 2nd court effort was a de-novo (in effect a new, different case), not on Brady/psi but just the CBA and Fraudger’s right to suspend irrespective of any evidence.

  16. This is hilarious! Nothing like being “hometowned” by a state court judge. Roger wants to be judge, jury, and executioner in the NFL; I’m sure he’ll be a HORRIBLE witness when he has to step down from his ivory tower.

  17. The visual of Roger Goodell under oath is an instant classic. One would hope that the prosecutor has ample “punishment” ready for perjury violations. Goodell hasn’t spoken a word of truth in years.

  18. Saints fans need to get over it. they lost the game. it was a great catch and run by Diggs to win the game…. my bad that was the year before excuse.

  19. endtimesparty says:
    July 29, 2019 at 7:59 pm
    So will everyone be ordered back on the field for a redux?

    Or will the record books be forced to cross out Rams in Patriots 13, Rams 3 and replace it with Saints:
    Patriots 13, Saints 3
    ============================================

    You know, it would not shock me.

    Our society is deteriorating before our eyes.

    smh

  20. I have seen way worse calls the last decade in the favor of the Patriots and nothing has happened.

  21. streetyson says:
    July 29, 2019 at 8:45 pm
    iberiasaint says:
    Rodger has it coming since the “FAKE Bountygate claim” in which all players were reinstated
    ———————
    Not quite. Williams admitted he offered bounties. The players, however, were able to show there’s no evidence they did the dirty. That’s why Fraudger took Brady to court twice – the first case showed NFL (yet again) lacked evidence (and showed Brady did offer his phone logs). So the NFL’s 2nd court effort was a de-novo (in effect a new, different case), not on Brady/psi but just the CBA and Fraudger’s right to suspend irrespective of any evidence
    ++++++++++++++++
    Funny how the psi levels haven’t dropped since. I guess the weather must be warmer up there now during the winter months.

  22. It was the worst officiating gaffe in NFL history.
    The 2 officials didn’t “miss” the call…
    They both REFUSED to call any of the 3 fouls on the play ( DPI, Helmet to Helmet, Unnecessary roughness)
    Then, they REFUSED to discuss it among themselves. Nothing to even discuss?
    Just line ’em up for the next play like nothing happened.
    What is the obvious inference?
    That the fix was in.
    Explain THAT Mr. Commish.

  23. I love all the fans who comment about saints fans not being able together get a redo. Every article about this it’s the same ignorance. This isn’t about a redo. That was 7 months ago. This is about transparency behind the scenes of what happened before and after this non-call with no response from NFL until superbowl week. Every fan wants to see goodell squirm. Just on board and enjoy the show. And stop fooshly repeating nonsense about a redo

  24. The reason they’re suing for only 75,000 is because any larger amount the NFL could then fight it in Federal court and a federal judge would laugh this out of court and dismiss this case immediately. NO is a joke.

  25. FINALLY!!! An organization who doesn’t give a rip what anybody else thinks, and they won’t just roll over and take the nonsense that everybody else does from the NFL mafia and it’s head goon, Roger Goodell. Well done, New Orleans! !!!!

  26. “They aren’t used to submitting to authority, they resent when they are required to, they get impatient and frustrated when asked tough questions, and they believe that they can talk their walk out of any jam.”

    Sounds like you;’re describing 98% of the players in this league

  27. I guess whining pays off…smh. I still can’t believe that no call got so much attention. Even if the Saints were my team, I would have let that go. First, why even pass? Then you won the toss. Get over it.

  28. Go get ’em Roger. What is he gonna say other than the call was missed. Get over it New Orleans.

  29. Dude, bounties like $100 on a hard hit or interecrption, to players that make millions a year? That’s like offering me a nickel to do the job I’m suppose to do at work anyway. Bountygate was the biggest joke ever.

    And the lawsuit is what happens when you blow the most obvious PI in NFL history and 4 of the refs that blew the call live in the LA area….but nothing to see here…

  30. 13

    16

    flviking says:
    July 29, 2019 at 8:41 pm
    Saints fan, you know you are turning into pats fan. Let it go. And no it’s not a conspiracy against you.
    ________________________________

    Saints and Pats fans never forget (and shouldn’t).

  31. Opinions on PFT are always devisive but I suspect there is not one footballl fan that wouldn’t love to see Big Rog squirm a bit and be forced to provide a real answer to a question

  32. Just another example of how the judiciary system in this country is staffed with incompetent publicity seekers . This case should have never made it this far but why worry about the rule of law when you can get your name in the paper and your face on TV .

  33. Hopefully this lawsuit is successful by this attorney.it means every referees blown call in the future can technically be taken up in court in the form of lawsuits.this opens up a whole new can of worms for the nfl.I am ready to hire an attorney when my team gets screwed on a bad call and I will keep the nfls cash award when I win.

  34. redclaw1314 says:
    July 30, 2019 at 12:09 am
    13

    16

    flviking says:
    July 29, 2019 at 8:41 pm
    Saints fan, you know you are turning into pats fan. Let it go. And no it’s not a conspiracy against you.
    ________________________________

    Saints and Pats fans never forget (and shouldn’t).

    3 0 Rate This

    ———————-

    I am still trying to figure out why ANY NFL fan is in favor of a cheating commissioner. That sort of speaks volumes that non_Pats fans are approving of the obvious cheating by Goodell. No other sports league has this.

    Keep in mind, he tesitifed already in a federal court that Article 46 makes him above US Law. So, this is technically consumer fraud.

    They need to get his phone, emails, etc, and slap the cuffs on him once and for all.

    They also need those 2 refs on that stand, too. They were clearly ordered to rule on “anything close” to favor the Rams for more eyeballs on tvs in LA for money.

    No way on earth two paid refs like that can both miss such a call. No way. It’s an impossibility to be that blind or bad at your job that you’re paid that well for.

  35. vaphinfan says:
    July 29, 2019 at 9:28 pm
    I have seen way worse calls the last decade in the favor of the Patriots and nothing has happened.

    0 1 Rate This

    ——————

    You mouthbreathers see what you want to see. NE has had last play of the game calls go against them in such obvious cheating fashion, I’ve lost count.

    2011 in Buffalo mwith Sergio Brown in underneath position in the end zone on Scott Chandler on a ball underthrown by 15 yards. 1st and goal from the 1. LMAO,. Pats lose.

    2012 in Baltimore, kick was wide right by Justin Tucker. There are fans in the seats on their cell phones on You Tube reacting to it going mostly over the upright to the right.

    2013, twice….Once vs Jets on a bogus FG block call in OT where NE followed the rule to the T, but Goodell changed the rule after the game ended and Blandino was caught changing out the rule on NFL.com by Tom Curran……and once in Carolina on MNF where Gronk was mauled by Kuechly…emember that one? All of these games affected seeding to favor the other AFC team for the 1 seed.

    2015, NE in Denver on a bogus off PI call on Gronk who was simply running his route. Goodell had to get Manning homefield!

    Shall I keep going?

  36. jmdanieli says:
    July 29, 2019 at 6:32 pm
    All this because despite winning the coin toss the Saints managed to lose the game, unlike the current world champs.It was not the last play of the game.They had their chance to win and blew it.
    If I were a Saints fan that would annoy me more than the blown call.

    ————–

    In other words…..Saints’ fans can’t handle admitting that Brees choked

  37. fishfan77 says:
    July 29, 2019 at 7:53 pm
    Give it up Saints fan…. Newsflash.. YOU LOST!!! You had other chances to win this game and you didn’t.

    44 56 Rate This

    ———————

    While true, it does not excuse his cheating. WHy is this so hard to grasp for you people?

  38. thetownedrunkard@yahoo.com says: “And the lawsuit is what happens when you blow the most obvious PI in NFL history and 4 of the refs that blew the call live in the LA area….but nothing to see here…”
    ———————-

    Um, these refs called 7 penalties for 64 yards (3 automatic 1st downs) against LA and only 3 penalties for a measly 20 yards against the Saints…

  39. Funny how the psi levels haven’t dropped since. I guess the weather must be warmer up there now during the winter months.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Ahh, yea they most certainly have. There’s a reason you have not heard one peep about PSI levels since Deflategate since the actual readings would tell you how in pretty much every game from October onward in NE, footballs lose PSI. Its 6th grade science.

  40. Can’t believe there is a court in this country actually entertaining this ridiculous case. You would think that they have more important matters to deal with

  41. zeke2517 says:
    July 29, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    “so glad my taxes are paying for this”

    They aren’t.

    ———————–

    They absolutely are. The judge’s salary is not covered by “Court costs”. The use of the building, all of the employees in the court house, security… all of these things are supplemented by court costs, but not covered. Moreover, court costs are really intended to cover paperwork more than the other jobs anyway.

    Sure, lawyers are paid for by the plaintiffs and defendants. But the rest of these costs are not free.

    So I second “I’m glad our tax dollars are going to this…”

  42. I would love to see the worm Roger on the stand. They could convict him of perjury because we all know he never tells the truth.

  43. kev359 says:
    July 30, 2019 at 5:37 am
    Opinions on PFT are always devisive but I suspect there is not one footballl fan that wouldn’t love to see Big Rog squirm a bit and be forced to provide a real answer to a question

    10 1 Rate This
    ——
    And you’d be wrong. That one down vote is either Roger or his wife, Jane Skinner.

  44. “By capping his potential recovery at $75,000, LeMon ensures that the case will remain in state court.” – And here I though Florio was actually a lawyer.

    This case will be thrown out for standing, or removed to Federal court.

  45. Nobody has been screwed out of more super bowls than the Raiders, the Rob lytle fumble, the immaculate reception, the tuck game, and many more! It sucks when it’s your team doesn’t it!

  46. Why is the NFL even defending the case? They should let a default judgment for $75K be entered, write a check, and move on.

    Goodell is being deposed because the NFL has a rule letting the commissioner overturn the results of a game in extraordinary circumstances. Plaintiffs want to know why the wrong team going to the SuperBowl isn’t an example of that.

  47. Everyone complains that nobody holds Roger accountable. Someone tries to hold him accountable. Everyone complains that all fans of a team are pathetic when one fan of that team tries to hold him accountable. Its hilarious.

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