Saints Fans Sue, Want Do-Over of Controversial Game

And other fallout from NFL's NFC championship game
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2019 6:32 PM CST
Saints Fans Sue, Want Do-Over of Controversial Game
A billboard protesting a controversial call in the Sunday's NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams is shown along Interstate 75 near Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The New Orleans Saints are probably still smarting over what has been called "the worst no-call in NFL history"—and their fans definitely are. Two of those fans, season ticket holders Tommy Badeaux and Candis Lambert, have filed a lawsuit the AP calls "the legal equivalent of a Hail Mary pass." They want a judge to order NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to do something about Sunday's NFC championship game, in which the officials' failure to call pass interference during a crucial play may have helped the Los Angeles Rams win, sending them to the Super Bowl. The suit cites Rule 17, Section 2, Article 1 in the NFL rulebook, the Houston Chronicle reports; the gist of the rule is that the commissioner can reverse the result of a game or reschedule a game (or a portion thereof) due to "extraordinarily unfair acts." More on the suit, and other fallout from the game:

  • Attorney Frank D'Amico, who filed the suit on behalf of Badeaux and Lambert, wants to basically go back to the moment after he believes pass interference should have been called; he's asking for the final 1:49 of the game to be replayed, with the score tied at 20 and the Saints with the ball and a first down. Had that happened Sunday, fans believe the Saints could have run down the clock and then won the game with a field goal. But the former vice president of officiating for the NFL tells the AP he doesn't believe the rule cited in the lawsuit applies in this case. A hearing is tentatively scheduled for Monday, six days before the Super Bowl.
  • Even if nothing can be done to reverse the outcome this time, two sources tell the AP the NFL will consider expanding replay reviews to include certain penalties, including pass interference. "Considering the current climate after what happened in New Orleans, yes, that's something the committee once again will strongly look at," says one. "It gets talked about each year, but it's not been something the ownership or the league has gone for."
  • Maybe the referees just need their vision checked? Multiple practitioners are offering NFL officials free eye exams, KTRK reports. "In light of the atrocious lack of calls during the New Orleans Saints game we would like to extend free eye exams and glasses to any NFL referee in need. You know who you are," tweeted Crystal Vision Center. And Louisiana Family Eye Care posted on Facebook, "After having time to consider things we will GLADLY provide no cost eye exams to all NFL officials prior to next season to prevent the atrocity that occurred tonight. We would hate for someone else to feel our pain. #eyeexamsforallNFLofficials."
(The Rams will be welcomed to Atlanta with billboards protesting the outcome of the NFC championship game.)

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