I have to stipulate up front that I might feel differently if I lived in the city that is home to a pro football team that got the shaft in the biggest game of the year . . . to date.
I don’t, so I’m not going to get all that lathered up over what happened this past weekend to the New Orleans Saints in their NFC championship game against the Los Angeles Rams.
You know what I’m talking about.
The Saints were marching down the field. NOLA Quarterback Drew Brees took the snap at the Rams’ 13-yard line and threw a pass to TommyLee Lewis; Rams safety Nickell Roby-Colman mugged Lewis while the receiver tried to catch the ball. The official didn’t call pass interference or the helmet-to-helmet hit that occurred. The pass fell incomplete. The score was 20-20 at the time. Both teams kicked field goals in regulation, but the Rams won it in overtime. Had the field judge called the play correctly, the Saints could have scored to go ahead in the final seconds and won the game, yes?
I have listened to extensive commentary on this mess. Yes, it’s a mess. One official committed a disastrous non-call on what looked to the entire football game-watching world like pass interference. Some sports pundits talked on NPR about theories of conspiracy, the possibility that the “fix was in.” Sheesh!
Why not get too worked up?
Because the official is a fallible human being, just like all the rest of us. Fallible creatures make mistakes. That’s how it goes, man.
Look, I’m not even a fan of instant replay, or “official review” of these calls. I don’t hate them the way I hate the designated hitter in pro baseball, but I just wish we could rely on human beings to make the best calls they can in the heat of competition.
Besides, when you consider all the calls these folks make during the course of a 60-minute professional football game, I remain mightily impressed with the overwhelming number of correct decisions they make.
Would I feel differently if I lived in New Orleans and saw this play? Would I spit my gumbo out if I watched the official fail to make the obvious call?
That’s a hypothetical question, but yeah, I probably would go ballistic. However, I have no particular interest in the NFC championship game, other than wanting the Saints to win. They lost.
Besides, if the Saints were the better team that day in the Superdome, they should have put the game away in front of the raucous Big Easy crowd.
Now, let’s just get ready for the Super Bowl.