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NFL admits to blown call in court filing

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Lots of little nuggets here.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

As you well know by now, two New Orleans Saints season ticket-holders filed a lawsuit against the NFL, seeking a court order requiring NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to replay the final minute and a half plus of the NFC Championship Game due to the referee’s blatant no-call of defensive pass interference that effectively cost the Saints a trip to the Super Bowl.

As a Saints fan and a lawyer, personally, I believe this lawsuit will get thrown out in relatively short order. However, the NFL is legally required to file a response to the lawsuit. In it, the NFL acknowledges the missed call:

The NFL parties do not dispute that they have previously advised the Saints, including the club’s head coach, that one or more penalties - for pass interference or illegal helmet-to-helmet contact - were mistakenly not called late in the NFC Championship Game, and that the NFL would like its officials on the field to make these calls.

This is despite the NFL refusing to issue any public statement on the matter, despite Saints players and their fans practically demanding a public stance from Goodell.

It is almost as if Goodell and Co. don’t care about providing any vindication or closure for Saints fans. The best Saints players and fans will get is probably this passing line in the NFL’s filing:

[T]he putative class of Plaintiff ticketholders and fans’ disappointment and even anger over the outcome of last week’s game is entirely understandable[.]

Even if(/when) this lawsuit gets dismissed, at least the NFL is recognizing that the underlying call is wrong and the reaction of Saints’ fans is justified.