NFL commissioner Roger Goodell set himself up for this one.
In 2022, the league’s officials struggled mightily at times. Missed calls abounded in both the AFC and NFC championship games, the league’s biggest contests outside of the Super Bowl. Bizarre roughing-the-passer calls were frequent. Existential discussions about the state of officiating, from potential biases to the role of replay, ran rampant.
To Goodell, however, this season constituted success, as he expressed at his press conference Wednesday ahead of Super Bowl LVII.
“I don’t think it’s ever been better in the league,” Goodell said in regard to officiating. “There are over 42,000 plays in a season. Multiple infractions could occur on any play. Take that out or extrapolate that. That’s hundreds if not millions of potential fouls. And our officials do an extraordinary job of getting those. Are there mistakes in the context of that? Yes, they are not perfect, and officiating never will be.”
For his opinion’s sheer inconsistency with events this past season, Goodell was roundly mocked on social media.
Some couldn't help but laugh:
Some merely expressed disbelief:
And some humorously contrasted Goodell’s praise with fines often levied on players and coaches who criticize officials: