By SKIP TUCKER, Alabama Daily News Featured Columnist
Roger Goodell as commissioner of the National Football League is paid $35 million a year. Many think he is not worth a sparrowpoot in the midst of Katrina. Number me among them.
For those who might’ve been away, on Mars or somewhere, NFL referees fresh from the School for Blind and Mute failed to penalize the LA Rams for an obvious and scurrilous infraction of the rules of fair play.
With a couple of mere minutes remaining in a tie game in the Superdome in NOLA, Saints QB Drew Brees spun another great pass downfield. The large part of sports fans agree the receiver would have caught the ball and set up the Saints in a failsafe position to win the game and advance to Super Bowl LIII.
Had not the receiver been mugged. A Rams defensive back smacked the Saints receiver with a vicious hit before the pass arrived. All commentators agree it should’ve been a twin penalty…unnecessary roughness for helmet-to-helmet contact and also pass interference.
That penalty, in the pros, would’ve given the Saints a first down at about the Ram 10-yard line with 1:49 to play. The Little Sisters of the Poor could’ve won the game from there.
The Saints should be playing in Super Bowl LII.
Apparently, the only people in the world who didn’t see pass interference were those not watching and the game officials. I cannot find a single sane person who thinks that was not pass interference.
The Ram defensive back admits it. The referee admits it. The NFL admits it. Even Boomer admits it.
Here’s the thing. The three refs on the field are all from the Los Angeles area. One actually played for the Rams. I have tried to learn the process by which they were selected for the game, and I have yet to find it. Shouldn’t there be their own red flags within the ref association.
The ref who was supposed to make this kind of call was less than 25 feet away, looking right at it.
There is something very wrong here.
I’ve seen but two sports reporters try to defend this awful thing, and they did it awfully. Their sage advice and overview simply was, “Get over it. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened.” Is that supposed to be a deterrent?
It’s like telling that to a gut-shot soldier to get over it.
Some things are being done. A NOLA lawyer is suing the league (the ref should be sued, as well). Harry Connick has petitioned Goodell. A NOLA city councilman has called for a parade celebrating the team’s season. During the Super Bowl.
An optometrist is offering free eye exams to the officiating crew. The list is long and includes a callout to boycott the Super Bowl.
Here’s another thing: there is a rule, from Back in the Day but still official, still in the rule book, which says the NFL commissioner has the authority, under extraordinary circumstances, to order a replay of the game.
To which Sparrowpoot Goodell has said….nothing. A no-call as egregious as the other.
I stopped watching the NFL many moons ago when its values became the polar opposite of mine.
Obviously, I love the Saints. I decided to watch, and look what happened.
I won’t be watching Super Bowl LIII. Nor any other NFL game for a long, long while. Except maybe the Saints.
(Next week: The Alabama DOT Faces A Bridge Too Far?)