After nearly two weeks of not being able to write or talk about the NFC Championship game (due to being emotional distraught), I thought I would share some of my observations and thoughts on the situation.
Over the course of the last two weeks I have seen many Who Dats on Twitter expressing their thoughts and feelings on the outcome of the Championship game. Many Saints fans have dubbed the NFL as the “new WWE”, or believe a conspiracy theory that the NFL wanted the Rams in the Super Bowl.
While this feels good to say, the NFL is not the WWE, but could be well on their way. How could the NFL allow four officials with Southern California ties officiate a CHAMPIONSHIP game in which their hometown team was participating? At the very least, there was a MASSIVE oversight on the league’s part. At the worst…
Following the game, it was well documented by local and national media that the response from the league was… non-existent. The fact that the league did not say a word shows the lack of respect that they not only have for their fans in general, but the New Orleans community and franchise. The silence was deafening, but it reminded many sports fans of the response Umpire Jim Joyce made after botching a perfect game. Jim Joyce publicly apologized, and admitted his mistake on the call.
Detroit hated him, and continues to do so, the baseball community still holds some respect for him. The NFL and its new wave of incompetent officials have not done anything of the sort during this era of football. Furthermore, there has been little accountability of NFL officials (at least publicly), while the accountability for players, coaches and teams has never been higher.
In the case of the 2018 NFC Championship, the NFL staying silent has spoken volumes. The NFL, especially Roger Goodell, seems to have a bias against the Saints franchise and it’s coach. Goodell made it well known during “Bountygate” following the 2011 season that he was going to make an example out of the Saints. His crusade against the Saints was seen by many to help alleviate his image that he did not care about player health and safety. The Saints were merely his scapegoat. The no-call and lack of response in the NFC Championship game only helped to bolster the claim that Goodell has had it out for the Saints.
The man makes 40 million dollars a year. Over the course of the last five years he has been embroiled by controversy after controversy to include: player drug issues, DWI, domestic abuse, social justice, child abuse, sexual assault, and I’m probably missing nearly a dozen more issues that he has stayed silent on. He is the face of the NFL, and the fact that NFL owners are okay with that is cause for concern.
Finally, during his Super Bowl presser he only took questions from one NOLA reporter, and dismissed the rest. He qualified the mistake by chalking it up to “being human”. Probably the biggest lowlight of the presser was his claim that had talked to numerous Saints players. However, it turns out that he hadn't. Goodell later came out and said that his words had been mis-characterized and that he had not actually lied. The fact he had to even come out with a rebuttal says a lot too.
The Saints fans deserve a little bit more than what the NFL and Roger Goodell have given them. The game will never be replayed, and Super Bowl LIII will go on as planned. Had the NFL pulled a Jim Joyce, maybe they too would still hold some respect in the city of New Orleans.