No need to go over the unbelievable missed calls in the 2019 NFC Champsionship in the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The whole world must know by now how the game would’ve ended. With less than two minutes on the clock, had the call been made all QB Drew Brees would have to do is kneel the ball three times and kick a field goal that a Middle School kicker could make with his eyes closed and the New Orleans Saints would be on their way to their second Superbowl appearance.
Pundants have said no game should come down to one call. That’s not true. Most Championship games go down to the wire. Each player feeds off each other and as the clock winds down, the losing team almost always gets a supernatural force of power to resurge themselves back into the win possibility. Which is exactly what happened Sunday. The Saints didn’t blow an early lead. That’s just how a championship game is played by two teams which want to win very badly.
However, it was QB Drew Brees who controlled the last five minutes of the game to strategically put his team in the Red Zone with the exact amount of time left on the clock to win the game. On a play that would control the clock for the remaining time of the game and give his team a 99% chance to win, a major missed call by NFL Officals not only stripped 52 players of their life dreams but it instantly proved the lack of integrity and accountability in the NFL.
Here the basic facts…
- It was a Pass Interference but also a Helmet to Helmet. The NFL has even admitted it privately, according to Coach Sean Payton. If you admit it you should also be willing to do the right thing in response to it.
- The defender who made the early hit from the Rams admitted to hitting him early, not looking back at the ball, and even expected a flag. When he didn’t get the flag he admitted he was shocked by the no-call. If a thief steals, tells you he did it and he was expecting you to arrest him but you don’t do it, he’s not the crazy one… you are. (Just an example. The player is not literally a thief.)
- At least two of the referees are from Los Angeles. They should have never been officiating a game of this magnitude. We would all like to believe we have real integrity but at the end of the day we’d all lean towards a city or a team we have ties to. That’s why you don’t even test people in positions they can easily make a judgemental mistake. They should’ve been assigned the AFC game, not this one.
- The Saints receiver’s life was endangered. The hit on the Saints receiver was so flagrant that the receiver actually flipped in the air and the helmet to helmet hit could be heard beyond the sideline. Nickel Robey-Coleman, the Rams Defender, admitted he didn’t look for the ball and intentionally tried to ‘whack his ass’ as he stated. Noting was done at all for his behaviour. The player should be suspended for at least 4 games next season for the action and shouldn’t be allowed to play with the Rams in the Superbowl. For a league that’s so demanding on Players’ Safety, this hit was absolutely intolerable and still unanswered with a consequence.
Why Rams Players shouldn’t sleep easily…
These players played very hard. They deserved to be in the NFC Championship. However, they didn’t actually win the NFC Championship. Most players are first class. They are very competitive and hardly any athlete wants a trophy in which he/she knows in their heart they didn’t completely earn. Who wants an Olympic trophy in which the whole world saw you didn’t win fairly? Who wants to be Valedictorian if everyone knows your grades were changed for you by a school official? Only the poorest individual would feel proud of something that wasn’t completely earned outright. If the Rams somehow go on to win the Superbowl they will forever be remembered as the team who shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
They may as well put an asterisk by Superbowl 53 because the participation of one of the teams playing is absolutely questionable… and not that they couldn’t get there (they most certainly have the talent)… the question is, SHOULD they even be playing in the Superbowl at all? This is like proposing to your girlfriend with a stolen ring. No woman wants a ring that her man stole from another woman? It’s actually not yours.
How the NFL could make it right…
It’s unlikely the NFL will overturn this game even though Commissioner Roger Goodell has the authority to do so. According to NFL policy, he also has the right to require both teams to play the game over or start from the point of the infracture. Neither scenario is likely to happen. The wound may never heal for Saints fans but here are a few suggestions to at least bandaid the pain.
- The New Orleans Saints lost a first round Draft Pick to a trade. Reward the Saints with a First Round Draft Pick. A First Round Pick would not replace the Superbowl, but it’s a start.
- Award the city of New Orleans the next open year to host the Superbowl in their city as a repayment for the missed opportunity to play in it this year. It won’t fix this problem, but it’s a start.
- Award the Saints an extra Home Game next season since the advantage of a Home Playoff Game was stolen from them this year. It won’t fix it, but it’s a start.
- Put an asterisk by Superbowl 53 so it is forever remembered as the most questionable game in NFL History.
One thing is for sure, the viewing of this year’s Superbowl will most likely be lower than usual. For the past two seasons the Who Dat Nation has been in the Top 3 NFL Viewing Bases. This year, it was the Who Dat Nation which saved the NFL several weeks. The Saints Vs Atlanta game was the highest viewed game of it’s kind this season. The Saint Vs Cowboys game reached 52% viewership among Gulfcoast viewers. What’s interesting is the Superbowl itself, last year, only reached 53% in those areas. It means, this game attracted almost equal the attention that the league’s biggest game gets in the Louisiana-Mississippi-Alabama-North Florida region. That’s something profound to be said about the extended impact the New Orleans Saints franchise has become throughout an entire region.
The league has yet to make a statement. They have to yet to even publicly apologize to the Saints fans and all the people who spent thousands of dollars on tickets to support the NFL product. The lack of integrity and accountability is sitting front and center and the world has learned what this league truly stands for.
The Rams should feel proud. The players themselves played a great season. It landed them a spot at the NFC Champsionship and now in the Superbowl. However, the Saints players should feel equally proud. They have earned the same opportunity except they were unfairly deprived. The Rams organization will rejoice but they will never sleep peacefully. They will always be reminded, over and over and over again… ‘they didn’t really earn it fairly’.