Many fans looked on in disbelief as the referees missed a major call that may have changed the outcome of the New Orleans Saints vs. Los Angeles Ram game. During the game played on January 20, 2019, the Saints had the ball on the 13-yard line. They had a third-and-10. A first down would have left them the option of going for a touchdown or kicking a field goal.
New Orleans’ quarterback Brees threw the ball to Tommylee Lewis. Seconds before the ball arrived Ram’s player Nickell Robey-Coleman knocked Tommylee Lewis down. Almost everyone in the stadium could not believe that the officials were not quick to throw a flag. According to disgusted fans, referees should have called pass interference or helmet-to-helmet contact.
The Rams took advantage of the lack of a call to regain control of the ball and score sending the game into overtime. The Rams went on to win the game 26 to 23 in overtime.
Some Saints’ fans, however, are not quick to accept that their team lost the game. Instead, they have taken the National Football League to court claiming that the league is not abiding by their own rules.
One of the suits was filed by attorney Frank D’Amico Jr. with the Civil District Court of Orleans Parish. The lawyer asked the court to rule that Commissioner Roger Goodell follow NFL Rule 17 Section 2 Article 1 that states “The commissioner has the sole authority to investigate and take appropriate disciplinary and/or corrective measures if any club actions, non-participant interference, or calamity occurs in an NFL game which the commissioner deems so extraordinary unfair or outside the accepted tactics encountered in professional football that such action has a major effect on the result of the game.”
The lawyer says that the game should be replayed starting at the point that fans claim that the referee missed the call. At least two other layers have sent letters to the NFL commissioner asking him to invoke NFL Rule 17 Section 2 Article 1.
Another lawsuit has also been filed by Darrell Guillory against the individual referees and the league. In it, Darrell Guillory says that the league broke promises to ticket holders that an ethical game would be played. He claims that officials favored the team that was likely to give the league the biggest payout at the Super Bowl.