Super Bowl LIII between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams is just days away, but people are not done talking about the Rams’ controversial win to punch their ticket to the big game in Atlanta.
L.A. topped the New Orleans Saints 26-23 in overtime in the NFC Championship Game after an apparent pass interference went uncalled late in the fourth quarter when Nickell Robey-Coleman plowed into Tommylee Lewis well before the ball arrived. A penalty would have all but locked up a Saints win. Instead, it became the no-call seen around the world.
But the league office remained quiet on the matter. That was until Wednesday, when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell publicly addressed the call for the first time when he spoke to the media for his “State of the League” address in Atlanta.
“We understand the frustration of the fans,” Goodell said, via Yahoo! Sports’ Charles Robinson. “I’ve talked to coach Payton, the team, the players. We understand the frustration that they feel right now. And we certainly want to address them.
“Whenever officiating is part of any kind of discussion post-game, it’s never a good outcome for us … but we also know that our officials are human. We also know they are officiating a game in which they often have to make snap decisions under difficult circumstances. And they’re not going to get it right every time. As I say, they’re human.
“We have worked very hard to bring technology in to try and make sure we can do whatever’s possible to address those issues. But technology’s not going to solve all those issues. The game is not officiated by robots.”
Goodell went on to say that changes to replay review will be discussed again in the offseason. Payton, immediately following his team’s elimination, called for replay on pass interference plays.
The commissioner is correct that the referees never are going to be perfect, but that is little solace for a Saints fan base that thinks they belong in Atlanta right now.
Thumbnail photo via John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports Images