The New Orleans Saints weren’t in Super Bowl LIII but Who Dat Nation definitely made their voices heard on Sunday.
Super Bowl LIII had the lowest Nielsen TV ratings in over a decade, thanks in large part to the boycotting of Who Dat Nation.
Nearly 98.2 million people tuned in on CBS to watch the Patriots defeated the Rams 13-3, which was the lowest figure since Super Bowl XLII in 2008 (97.4 million), according to figures released on Monday via ESPN. The preliminary household rating (41.1) was the lowest since Super Bowl XXXVII in 2004.
A combination of angry Saints fans and a low-scoring Super Bowl contributed to the low ratings. The Patriots were ahead 3-0 at halftime, with the Rams not getting on the board until making a field goal with 2:11 left in the third quarter. The 16 total points between both teams set a Super Bowl record.
The Saints lost 26-23 in overtime to the Rams in the NFC Championship Game in part because of what is now regarded as an infamous non-call.
With 1:45 left in the regulation on 3rd-and-10 from the Rams’ 13-yard line, cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman bulldozed Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis and made helmet-to-helmet contact before the ball arrived.
The game was tied at 20 at that point. The no-call resulted in the Saints kicking a field goal to only go ahead 23-20. Afterwards, the NFL’s head of officials confirmed to Saints coach Sean Payton that they “blew the call,” according to ESPN.
The public outcry from Who Dat Nation now has the NFL considering beginning next season “a plan that would allow limited coaches’ challenges for incorrect judgment calls that also could include a penalty or time run off if the coach is wrong, per a league source.” according to ESPN.
Just 26.1 percent of the a usually rabid New Orleans market watched this year’s Super Bowl, based on the Nielsen overnight figures. This is easily the lowest percentage since New Orleans became a metered ratings market in 1998, according to ESPN.
#NOLA has spoken.
Super Bowl LIII earned a 26.1 rating in New Orleans, the lowest of of any market and the lowest ever in New Orleans.
— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) February 4, 2019
In comparison, New Orleans had a 53.0 rating for Super Bowl LII last year. The only lower rating than this year was two years ago (48.4) when the rival Atlanta Falcons lost to the Patriots.
Instead of watching the biggest game of the year, Who Dat Nation threw a huge protest party as thousands lined the streets of New Orleans.
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) February 3, 2019
Fans had a blast at the “Boycott Bowl” concert, “Blackout and Gold” second-line parade in the French Quarter and “anti-LIE Bowl” block party uptown, according to ESPN.
The Saints second line that's consuming the streets uptown. pic.twitter.com/UDvGOoFz7I
— Chris Hagan (@ChrisHaganTV) February 3, 2019
Some Saints players took particular delight in misery of the Rams, per a collection pieced together by USA Today:
— Ted Ginn Jr (@TedGinnJr_19) February 4, 2019
— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) February 4, 2019
Didn’t watch a second of the game but I’m here to say 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂costed us our run at it !
— Justin Hardee Sr. (@jhardee_19) February 4, 2019
Hopefully Who Dat Nation will have a Super Bowl championship parade to celebrate as redemption next season.