There was little doubt that Commissioner Roger Goodell was an unwelcome guest among the NFL luminaries, dignitaries and guests who were in New Orleans to take part in the festivities before, during and after Super Bowl XLVII. His integral role in bringing down the hammer upon the New Orleans Saints in light of the BountyGate scandal certainly caused Goodell to be a persona non grata in The Big Easy throughout the buildup to the Super Bowl match-up between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens.
So much so that according to reports, Goodell was surrounded by a so-called “Iron Fence” of security while attending the Super Bowls, as were his many distinguished guests who shared the Commissioner’s suite inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Not only was Goodell heavily guarded by NFL security while attending Sunday’s game in light of the presence of perceived threats from unhinged and disgruntled Saints fans, a veritable who’s who of bigwigs from the worlds of sport and politics enjoyed the game in Goodell’s company. All while behind that aforementioned “iron fence” of security. Probably made them all feel all warm and fuzzy and safe and secure.
Among those in the Commish’s box, as reported by Page Six: Mike Ovitz, 9-year-old football sensation Samantha Gordon, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh, Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer and LSU coach Les Miles.” And from the political sphere were Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Attorney General Eric Holde. Christie was of course in attendance because of the locale of next year’s Super Bowl, MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Given the high profile nature of Goodell’s guests, fleets of security, both Secret Service and NFL, were on guard to protect the box. A source reports that when the lights went out during the power outage, “Everyone remained calm, but a discussion started about the possible cause. [Outgoing head of the Pentagon] Panetta mused about a cyber attack, but quickly ruled it out. Meanwhile, Gov. Christie said, ‘I hope this doesn’t happen in New Jersey.’”
Yeah, you got that right, Governor Christie. Might want to spring for some backup generators or something. Big ones.