The (No) Call
Greetings from the Booth!
First, a quick shout to Shenandoah University track standout Shamyra Wilkerson, who was named ODAC Track Athlete of the Week this past Monday by the league. The 4-time All-ODAC senior finished first in the 200 meters and second in the 60 meters at the recent Collegeville Invitational meet. It’s always nice to give some love to Track & Field, so congrats, Shamyra, for a job well done!
So, what are we going to do without football this weekend? Before you respond with, “don’t forget about the Pro Bowl,” let me say again , “what are we going to do without football this weekend?”
Sometimes a topic drops right into your lap, and such was the case this morning when I read that Louisiana Congressman Cedric Richmond wants NFL “Commish” Roger Goodell to appear on Capitol Hill to talk about the blown pass interference call in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams. Saints fans are up in arms, because had that call been made, the Saints more than likely would have been able to milk the clock down to almost nothing and kick a game-winning field goal. Instead, the Rams, despite giving up a field goal, had enough time to tie the game and eventually win it in overtime.
Really!?! Do we really want Congress, in the midst of a crippling government shutdown, to spend their time talking about blown calls in an NFL game? They’ve gone nuts down in the bayou. This is sports we’re talking about, not life and death, and workers not getting paychecks. Yes, if you’re a Saints fan, you’re upset, but you move on. As a Redskins fan, I know what I’m talking about.
I’m not sure what would be accomplished by Goodell appearing before Congress. Technically, he has the power to reverse a call, or even have the game replayed from the point of the no-call. That would open Pandora’s Box for the NFL. As it stands, the league’s Rules Committee will probably implement some changes in the upcoming season that will allow pass interference calls to be reviewed (look out, here come 5-hour games!). That doesn’t appease the fans in New Orleans, like Harry Connick, Jr., who wrote a letter to Goodell saying he was “out” as a fan until things changed.
Get over it. No game comes down to one play, even though some plays are more magnified. The Saints can point to several things that prevented them from going to Atlanta and Super Bowl 53:
Their failure to score touchdowns in the early going and settling for 2 red zone field goals. With a 21-0 lead, the Saints probably cruise to a victory and aren’t even throwing the ball in the fourth quarter.
And is it a given that the Saints win, even if the PI call had been made. More than likely, they would have. But who’s to say they don’t fumble the ball, or even miss the field goal?
And, I would remind the fans in the Crescent City that the Saints, after the no-call, did take the lead 23-20. It was then incumbent upon the New Orleans defense to stop the Rams, which they didn’t do.
The outcome stinks for the fan base of the Saints, for sure. But do we really need lawsuits by fans and Congressional hearings? What’s next…the Oakland Raiders suing the NFL for “emotional distress” and “loss of dynasty” as a result of the Steelers “Immaculate Reception?”
Let’s take a breath and move on.
That’s in from the (not review) Booth. Until next visit,