Saints Super-Fans need to stop suing the NFL and move on.
With the Super Bowl just on the horizon, football fans will get to watch history unfold. This matchup includes the battle-tested New England Patriots, who look to avenge last season’s Super Bowl loss and the star-studded Los Angeles Rams.
Even with this great matchup just a day away, the recent sports headlines have focused on a different subject. New Orleans Saints fans are demanding that the NFL reverse the missed pass interference call late in the NFC Championship against the Rams. The dispute has gone on long enough and Saints fans need to move on.
To offer some background, Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis was hit by Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman while attempting to catch a pass during the closing minutes of the game. It was clear that Robey-Coleman made contact with Lewis without attempting to make a play on the ball, this constitutes a 15-yard penalty and fresh set of downs for the offense. Had a penalty been called on this play, the Saints could have potentially sealed their victory with little to no time remaining on the clock. Instead, the Rams won in an overtime thriller 26-23.
This prompted two Saints season ticket holders, Tommy Bradoux and Candis Lambert, to sue the NFL to overturn the call on behalf of the fan base known as Who Dat Nation.
Their case is that the NFL should invoke Rule 17, which states in Section 2, Article 1, “The Commissioner has the sole authority to investigate and take appropriate disciplinary and/or corrective measures if any … calamity occurs in an NFL game which he deems so extraordinarily unfair … that such actions has a major effect on the result of the game.”
To put this into context, Saints fans are fighting for the call to be reversed and the win to be taken away from the Rams. This is one of the boldest demands in sports.
It is understandable when fans feel their team was cheated out of a win. Dallas Cowboys fans can attest to the Dez Bryant catch that was ruled incomplete in the 2014 NFC playoff game, which has since been ruled a catch by the NFL. However, that did not prompt Cowboys fans to sue the NFL. The league made the change with the catch rule that plagued the NFL, and now there is a clearer definition of what a catch is. There is no reason to believe that the NFL can’t resolve the issue stemming from the NFC Championship Game.
When the NFL admits its mistakes, the fans should be more understanding. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell publicly addressed the “no call” from Atlanta during the yearly state of the NFL press conference before the Super Bowl where he admitted that the call was missed.
As far as using Rule 17, Goodell made it clear that was never an option. In the hearing for the lawsuit against the NFL, lawyer Gladstone Jones made the case that Rule 17 isn’t in place for that particular circumstance.
Goodell also added that technology won’t be added to prevent human error in the future. To think that some fans want the game to be officiated by robots is ridiculous. If football is a game played by humans, it should be officiated by humans. The game requires judgment calls, technology can’t process those calls like the human mind can
The reality of the situation is that the game comes down to much more than a simple call. To pin the entire game on a missed call is not the way sports works. It was an incredible game that will be remembered for a long time.
The call was missed, nobody is disputing this. However, to demand that the commissioner use his power to take the win away from the Rams and change who plays in the Super Bowl is beyond ridiculous. Even if the correct call had been made, the Saints still could have lost. So, Who Dat Nation, enjoy the Super Bowl and hope for better officiating next season.