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Hines Ward on Super Bowl: NFL has to be 'cheering' for Seahawks following Deflate-Gate

As NBC football analyst Hines Ward sees it, the Deflate-Gate controversy has turned NFL officials into closet Seattle Seahawks fans in the Super Bowl this weekend. 

"The best-case scenario for the league is to have the Seattle Seahawks win this game,'' Ward told Savannah Guthrie on TODAY Friday. "That way they don't have to deal with all the chaos afterwards. They probably won't say it out publicly, but they have to be cheering for the Seahawks to win the Super Bowl. That way they don't have to deal with all the issues." 

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to face questions on Friday during his annual Super Bowl press conference about the allegedly deflated footballs violating league regulations that were speculated to have been used by the New England Patriots in their 45-7 win over the Colts in the AFC championship. 

More from Ward: 

  • His Super Bowl pick: "I'm going to go with Seattle, just because of the defense,'' he said. "I think they really can control [the game]. But Tom Brady, to get this black cloud from over his head, he wants to go out and throw the ball 50 times and really have an impact on this game." 

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