NFL moves Commissioner's Super Bowl press conference to Monday

If you want to attend Commissioner Roger Goodell's Super Bowl press conference, you'd better get to Las Vegas earlier. And you'd better hope for an invitation.

This year, the NFL is moving the Goodell press availability to Monday.

For years, it was on Friday of Super Bowl week, when maximum media were in town — and they were present for the shotgun-style Q&A. Several years ago, or longer, it moved to Wednesday. Now, it's moving to Monday.

It's also an invitation-only event. I did not get an invitation.

If invited, I would have tried to ask a version of the same question I posed on Tuesday to NFL executive V.P. of communications, public affairs and policy Jeff Miller, especially with the Super Bowl being played for the first time in the epicenter of American gambling.

"Mr. Commissioner, in 2012, you said this: 'If gambling is permitted freely on sporting events, normal incidents of the game such as bad snaps, dropped passes, turnovers, penalties, and play calling inevitably will fuel speculation, distrust and accusations of point-shaving or game-fixing.' In nearly six years since the Supreme Court opened the floodgates for state-by-state legalized sports betting, do you believe that speculation is happening, and what is the NFL doing to counter it or prevent it?"

It's a fair question. It's a necessary question. Whatever the precise wording, Goodell needs to be pressed on the efforts made by the NFL to protect not only the integrity of the game but also the perception of the integrity of the game — specifically as it relates to the perception that officiating has been horrendous this year. Which only causes people to think the fix is in.

More people than ever believe the fix is in, thanks to legalized gambling. What is the NFL doing about it? Will the NFL even acknowledge that it's happening?

It is. I'm on the front lines of fan interaction, every hour of every day. People think the games are rigged. That the outcomes are predetermined. That the red and purple Super Bowl LVIIi logo meant the 49ers and Ravens would meet in the Super Bowl, until the NFL decided that it wanted the Chiefs and Taylor Swift in the Super Bowl instead.

It's crazy. It's nutty. It's happening.

Will the Commissioner admit that it's happening? And what is the Commissioner doing to stop it from happening?

Hopefully, someone who got an invitation will ask him.

At a time when many regard his primary job duties as keeping the owners happy and also acting as a pin cushion for criticism that otherwise would be aimed at him, he should be spending much of his time coming up with ways to get people to believe that it's not fixed.

Because it's not. It just isn't. In large part because it requires a level of competence and coordination that the NFL would not be able to muster.

Think of all the people who would be involved. Think of how hard it would be to keep them all quiet.

No, it's not fixed. Yes, more people than ever think it is. Because of legalized gambling.

On Monday, the Commissioner needs to have his own words from 2012 read back to him. And he needs to be asked what he's doing to address it.

I'd ask the question, if I was invited.

Maybe that's one of the various reasons why I wasn't.