ORLANDO, Fla. -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell commented for the first time on the coin-flip controversy that gave the New York Giants the honor of opening the new Meadowlands Stadium instead of the New York Jets.
Team representatives weren't invited to witness the coin flip, but Goodell insisted it happened -- and it came up heads.
"There was a coin flip," Goodell said at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes during his annual news conference at the NFL owners meetings. "I did it myself, so I know.
"We didn't call heads or tails. We used the head of the coin for the Giants because it says 'In God We Trust.' The 'G,' that's how I picked it. It's that simple."
As a consolation, the NFL has scheduled the Jets for the stadium's first preseason game in August and the season-opening Monday night game Sept. 13.
Jets owner Woody Johnson distributed a statement to express his dissatisfaction with Goodell's decision to stage a secret coin flip. Gary Myers of the New York Daily News reported Goodell was upset over Johnson's public insolence and that it could impact the Jets-Giants joint bid to host the 2014 Super Bowl.
"I don't know who's characterizing my reaction, but I didn't have a reaction to it," Goodell said. "I'm used to criticism. If you're not used to criticism, you better not be in this job.
"As it relates to how we solved it, we think we created a win-win for everybody. We offered both teams the same opportunity, and it appeared the two clubs wouldn't be able to resolve it on their own and, frankly, weren't even agreeable to the process of solving it. It was my decision to make. It was my authority, and I did so."