Who Dat Nation has launched a wide-scoping campaign to bring awareness to the plight of the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints lost 26-23 in overtime and the Los Angeles Rams are headed to Atlanta to face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII.
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.
"Just getting off the phone with the league office … they blew the call."
Sean Payton expressed his frustration at the missed pass interference called in his postgame presser. pic.twitter.com/S9RcBV3heP
— ESPN (@espn) January 21, 2019
Now fans are leaving no stone unturned about letting their voices be heard. On behalf of the Saints fans, two lawsuits have been filed from local attorneys imploring NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to replay the final 1:49 of the NFC Championship Game, according to ESPN.
The fans are citing the “Extraordinarily Unfair Acts” as grounds for the game to replayed and as of Tuesday afternoon have almost 600,000 signatures for a petition on Change.org.
It states in Rule 17, Section 2, Article 1, that the NFL commissioner has the “sole authority to investigate and take appropriate disciplinary and/or corrective measures if any club action, non-participant interference, or calamity occurs in an NFL game which the Commissioner deems so extraordinarily unfair or outside the accepted tactics encountered in professional football that such action has a major effect on the result of the game,” according to ESPN.
Unfortunately for Saints fans, Article 2 says, “The Commissioner will not apply authority in cases of complaints by clubs concerning judgmental errors or routine errors of omission by game officials. Games involving such complaints will continue to stand as completed,” according to ESPN.
Saints superfan Matt Bowers, who owns car dealerships throughout the Southeast, is wielding his power by plastering Atlanta with 16 billboards in seven locations.
Matt Bowers, a diehard Saints fans who owns car dealerships throughout the southeast, has rented billboards in seven locations in and around Atlanta with 16 placements to voice his displeasure with the NFL. “And I’m not done yet,” he told ESPN. pic.twitter.com/ZHh0un2Xie
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 22, 2019
“And I’m not done yet,” Bowers said to ESPN. “I’m going to do my best to bring as much attention to this as possible — and I’m not going to stop until I make them miserable.”
Saints running back Alvin Kamara gave Bowers major props on social media.
— Alvin Kamara (@A_kamara6) January 22, 2019
New Orleans area businesses are having anti-Super Bowl parties and made their own creative signs as a form of protest. A local bakery is selling cookies with a red slash through referee Bill Vinovich.
— Josh Katzenstein (@jkatzenstein) January 21, 2019
The Saints haven’t pursued any action against the NFL yet, according to ESPN.
However, Saints owner Gayle Benson released a statement on Monday that she has “been in touch with the NFL regarding yesterday’s events and will aggressively pursue changes in NFL policies to ensure no team and fan base is ever put in a similar position again.”
THIS JUST IN: On the Pontchartrain Causeway… pic.twitter.com/32LNrYw28b
— WWL-TV (@WWLTV) January 20, 2019
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards wrote a letter to Goodell, calling the injustice a “deep disappointment” and something Saints fans will grow to get over but “we will not forget.”
“The very least that any fan of the Saints, or any other team, should be able to expect from any game is that the result will be decided by the players on the field,” Edwards said according to ESPN. “By missing the obvious, blatant and intentional penalty at the end of the game, the referees in Sunday’s game undermined that expectation and unfortunately were allowed to determine the winner.”