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Roger Goodell: 'Would be an honor' to hand Lombardi Trophy to Tom Brady

By The Sports Xchange
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Roger Goodell: 'Would be an honor' to hand Lombardi Trophy to Tom Brady
New England Patriots Tom Brady holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy next to Head Coach Bill Belichick (R) after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 to win Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, February 1, 2015. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who suspended New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for four games to start the season over the Deflategate scandal, said it would be "an honor" to hand the Lombardi Trophy to him if Super Bowl LI unfolds that way on Feb. 5.

Goodell was asked by FOX Sports' Colin Cowherd on Wednesday whether it would be an awkward moment for him after a long court battle between the league and Brady.

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"Not for a second. These are great teams. I'm going to be thrilled," Goodell said in an interview on "The Herd" radio show.

"Tom Brady is one of the all-time greats. He has been for several years. He's on the precipice of at least potentially winning his fifth Super Bowl ring. He's an extraordinary player, great performer, and a sure-fire Hall of Famer. So it would be an honor."

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If New England defeats the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl at NRG Stadium in Houston, Goodell also could have an awkward moment handing the trophy to Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who has been critical of the league's handling of Deflategate.

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"I wouldn't be doing my job if somebody wasn't unhappy with a decision that you make or where you're doing it," Goodell said. "Robert and I can disagree about things. We have a healthy respect for one another, but that's true with any owner. That doesn't affect my relationship or the fact we work together to try to make the NFL better. That's the most important thing going for us.

"I can't agree with everybody at every moment and I shouldn't. ... It's not personal. It's professional and it's to make sure we're doing everything to protect the great game we have and to promote it."

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Goodel attended Sunday's NFC Championship Game between the Falcons and Green Bay Packers -- the second straight week he was in Atlanta -- instead of the AFC title game pitting the Patriots against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Foxborough, Mass.

The commissioner hasn't attended a Patriots' game at Gillette Stadium since before Deflategate.

"Listen, Colin, we had two great games," Goodell told Cowherd. "I was in Boston two years ago for the divisional and the championship games. I try to get to as many stadiums as I can. We have two great games, and you've got to choose.

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"Frankly, the focus should be on the players and the coaches and the great game. That's where it was this weekend, and that's where it should be."

Fans chanted "Roger, Roger, Roger" and "Where is Roger" at Gillette Stadium during the Patriots' 36-17 win over the Steelers as the 39-year-old Brady threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns.

The Patriots advanced to a record ninth Super Bowl -- and the league-high seventh for the coach-quarterback tandem of Bill Belichick and Brady in their bid for a record five Super Bowl rings.

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