More than 600,000 people have signed a petition to have the NFC Championship game between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams re-done after a missed pass interference call.
During Sunday’s game, Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw a pass to wide receiver Tommylee Lewis in the fourth quarter.
Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman hit Lewis before the ball got to him, and many believed it was a blown call.
The blown call, some have contended, changed the outcome of the game, leading to the Rams’ victory.
— For The Win (@ForTheWin) January 21, 2019
If the pass interference call was made, New Orleans would have been able to run the clock down before making a likely game-winning field goal attempt during a tie game.
Instead, the game went into overtime, and Brees threw an interception, leading to the Rams’ game-winning field goal and a trip to the Super Bowl in February.
Saints fan Terry Cassreino started a petition online to get a rematch.
“Refs missed a blatant pass interference call against the Los Angeles Rams late in fourth quarter of Jan. 20 NFC Championship Game, possibly costing New Orleans Saints a trip to the Super Bowl. Due to refs’ inability to properly officiate at the game, we the undersigned want a rematch against L.A. on Sunday, Jan. 27. It’s the only fair solution to this travesty of epic proportions,” Cassreino wrote.
Me: “Hey, Siri….Whats pass interference?”
— Rob Knight (@RobKnight35) January 21, 2019
He added: “Let’s let the NFL know about this travesty in which the Saints lost a possible Super Bowl berth thanks to game officials.”
As of Jan. 22, more than 600,000 people signed it.
A number of former and current NFL players reacted to the play.
Unreal missed call.
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) January 20, 2019
How about we just take pass interference calls out of the @NFL
Every P.I call from here on now will be compared to that no call
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) January 20, 2019
Robey-Coleman admitted that the play was pass interference. “Hell yeah, that was PI,” he told reporters.
“I did my part,” Robey-Coleman said, USA Today reported. “Referee made the call. We respect it.”
“I thought it was a bang bang type play,” said Rams coach Sean McVay. “The one thing I respect about the refs today is they let the guys compete and they let the guys play. Nickell Robey made a nice play.
“I thought it was a competitive type play, and certainly I’m not going to complain about the way it was officiated. … I thought they let the guys compete within the framework of the rules, and that’s part of what NFL football is about.”
Robey-Coleman elaborated on his feelings after the play.
“Came to the sideline, looked at the football gods, said ‘thank you,'” he told the news outlet. “It is what it is.
“When you catch breaks in this league, you gotta take advantage. This league is too hard to get a break and you not take advantage of it. The door opened, the door closed—just that quick.”
Saints vs. Rams was recreated in Madden…and the refs called pass interference 🤷♂️
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 22, 2019
Meanwhile, referee Bill Vinovich said the play was a “judgment call” by the official. He added that he hasn’t seen the play, according to USA Today.
In an analysis of the game’s outcome, Sports Illustrated reported that Saints head coach Sean Payton an unnamed NFL official admitted to him that the referee crew made an error by not calling pass interference.