HOUSTON — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell defended his handling of Deflategate and said there is no awkward tension between him and the Patriots.
"I would tell you that it's not awkward at all for me," Goodell said Wednesday during his annual Super Bowl news conference. "We have a job to do, and if there's a violation, we apply the process and the discipline. And we came to a conclusion that was supported by the facts and by the courts."
With Patriots owner Robert Kraft in attendance, Goodell defended his decision not to attend a game at Gillette Stadium the past two seasons, including the playoffs, going to back-to-back games in Atlanta instead.
"I was in Boston two seasons ago for consecutive playoff games, just as I was in Atlanta this year. That happens," Goodell said. "If I'm invited back to Foxborough, I'll come. I have no doubt that if I wanted to go up to a Patriots game and I asked Mr. Kraft, he would welcome me back."
On other matters:
• Goodell said owners are trying to understand a 10 percent drop in TV ratings but with a straight face said fans love Thursday night football because of the high quality of play.
• He confirmed the Patriots and Raiders will play a game in Mexico City next season.
• He said no decision has been made on Las Vegas as a potential site for a team.
• He feigned ignorance on why satirical, pro-Patriots website Barstool Sports was not credentialed for the Super Bowl and said he didn't know why all responses to questions during the teams' news conferences about President Donald Trump were redacted from the NFL transcripts.