The New England Patriots destroyed the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game, 36-17. The win and the performance of wide receiver Chris Hogan will be the story...for now. But the narrative will quickly pivot towards the moment Football fans have been anticipating for several months - a reunion on the biggest stage between NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

An unflattering history

There was no reason for antagonism between Brady and Goodell until the AFC Championship Game a few years ago. It was there that it was alleged the Patriots quarterback and some of his team's staff members under inflated footballs in search of a competitive advantage against the Indianapolis Colts.

Thus, Deflategate, one of the biggest scandals in recent league history, was born.

Since that fateful AFC Championship, the two have been in a litigation fight for the ages. Goodell attempted to suspend Brady, which the quarterback seemingly fought at every level of the American justice system, almost up to the Supreme Court. Finally, he relented and served his four-game suspension at the beginning of this season before returning to the team and playing at arguably the best level of his career.

Looking towards the Super Bowl

The vitriol between Patriots fans and the commissioner of the NFL is at an all-time high. Fans at the AFC Championship Game held signs taunting Goodell for his protracted fight with the biggest superstar in football.

Meanwhile, Brady attempted to ward off any controversy, despite the commissioner passing on the logical chance of being at the Patriots game this week.

They won't be able to avoid each other any longer, though. In two weeks, they will both be in Houston for the Super Bowl, where questions about their history will anticipate the moment their paths cross once again.

If Goodell was smart, he would probably try to set up a meeting with Brady in the interim; it would be really embarrassing for their first moment to be the commissioner handing the star quarterback the Lombardi Trophy.