Lawyer Now Getting Involved in Saints-Rams Blown Call


Bad losses due to suspect officiating happen in sports.

With just a cursory thought, events like the 2002 NBA Western Conference Finals, 2003 Fiesta Bowl, the 2006 NBA Finals and “The Tuck Rule” game will always live in infamy.

Without question, the 2019 NFC championship game will join their ranks.

In case you missed it, with the game tied deep in the fourth quarter between the hosting New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams, a major swing in momentum occurred when a rather obvious pass interference call was somehow “missed.”

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Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman clearly tackled Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis before the football was anywhere near them.

Regardless of who you were rooting for, or if you had no rooting interest at all, it’s inarguable that that was pass interference.

And it would’ve been a monumental call, too. The game was tied at 20-20 with 1:49 left to play, so a first down via penalty would have given the Saints the chance to run down the clock before a chip-shot field goal attempt, leaving the Rams with mere seconds on the clock. It likely would’ve been the end of the game.

Even Rams coach Sean McVay conceded that a call had been missed.

Do you think the lawsuit has any merit?

But now some residents of “Who Dat” nation seem to be going a tad bit overboard with their response to the ending of that game.

WDSU-TV is reporting that attorney Frank D’Amico filed a lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of that dubious ending.

D’Amico wants NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to enforce a provision in the league’s rulebook that “could, in the right circumstances, allow the commissioner to take extreme action in the face of a grossly unfair result,” according to his news release, which quotes NBC Sports’ Mike Florio.

“Consider Rule 17, Section 2, Article 3,” Florio wrote. “‘The Commissioner’s powers under this Section 2 include … the reversal of a game’s result or the rescheduling of a game, either from the beginning or from the point at which the extraordinary act occurred.’

“Basically, the Commissioner has the power to turn back time to the spot of the penalty that wasn’t called, put the teams back on the field from that point in the game, give the Saints first and goal at the spot of the foul, put 1:49 on the clock, and let the game proceed, tied at 20, with the Rams having one time out left.”

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That seems … excessive.

Yes, Goodell does technically have the authority to replay or restart a game from a certain point. It’s an incredibly rare power that should only be wielded in the most extreme of circumstances.

As egregious as that no-call was, this is not one of those extreme circumstances.

First and foremost, yes, the PI call likely would have iced the game, but it didn’t. The Saints, who were at home, won the coin toss and got the ball first in overtime after the Rams tied the game at 23-23 as time expired. If you’re the championship team that New Orleans fans seem to think this squad was, you win overtime games in your own building, especially when you get the ball first.

Should the game have reached that point? Probably not. But it did, and the Saints had the perfect chance to end the game, much like the New England Patriots did in their AFC title game that went to overtime against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Second, yes, it’s awful for the Saints that the team had no say in the missed PI. But you know what they did have a say in? Their two opening drives deep into Rams’ territory, only to settle for field goals instead of touchdowns.

Finally, let’s not pretend like there was only one bad call in the entire game and it only favored the Rams. The referees were abjectly terrible during the game, but it was fairly equal in terms of who benefited from the calls.

Now, if some evidence arose that the NFL referees were conspiring to rob the Saints of a win, yes, this lawsuit might have merit. From the looks of it, however, it was just sheer referee error.

Sorry, Saints fans. It was a heck of a year, but when the team needed one touchdown drive to go to the Super Bowl, the Saints couldn’t do it.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
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