OK, in the pantheon of world problems, the New Orleans Saints getting hosed in their attempt to reach the Super Bowl really is not at the top of the list. Crippling national debt, a terrible cultural divide, dysfunctional federal government and social media tearing the country apart are real problems. But as we have seen, there doesn’t seem to be any solutions to those — at least not any solutions anyone is willing to enact.
There is something we all can do — Saints’ fans and non-Saints fans — and that is send the NFL a message. On Feb. 3, find something else to do when the “Big Game” comes on TV. Rent a movie, take a walk, run a marathon, hug your kids, go bowling. Do not turn on CBS at all that day. The consumer in the end has the best bargaining tool there is — support.
The NFL, by its egregious mistake on Sunday — whether it be incompetence or something more sinister, which carries with it some credence — has not earned your viewership. Worried about missing those expensive commercials? Just go online after the game has ended and watch the commercials. Can’t take missing the halftime show featuring Maroon 5? Go to YouTube and find yourself some Maroon 5 videos to watch.
A quick refresher. With time ticking away, the Saints were oh-so-close to hitting a chip-shot field goal that would have sent the team to the Super Bowl. On a third-down pass, a Los Angeles Ram committed what in most countries would have been a felony assault against a Saints’ receiver. Two officials were staring at the play. One grabbed for his penalty flag before he inexplicably took his hand off the yellow hankie and called the play incomplete instead. The Saints ended up kicking a field goal, but left the Rams with enough time to tie the game and then win it in overtime.
As of this writing — two full days after the worst no-call in the history of professional football — the league has remained silent. The longer the league stays silent, the more and more theories that something more sinister was at the heart of the no-call. Could it be that Los Angeles is the second-largest TV market with a fledgling fan base that the NFL is desperately trying to solidify? Were the officials who did not make the call swayed by their California residency? Were the officials paid off by nefarious characters who had big dollars on the line? Maybe one of the official’s children was being held hostage … Outlandish? Maybe. But without even a scintilla of an explanation outside of “we blew it” uttered by the head of officials and “I didn’t see it,” said by the referee, we may never know.
An online petition calling for a redo has more than 600,000 signatures. Every football fan outside of Los Angeles should sign it. The possibility of the two teams picking up from the point of that play is less than zero. Having a complete redo of the game has even less of a chance. The day is done and the play is in the history books.
The message, though, can still be delivered to those in the NFL — tell them to take their Super Bowl and shove it up Canal Street. Refer to it as the asterisk bowl. Oh, you can still have a party. The South is still in the middle of Mardi Gras season and that is reason enough to party.
So, who’s in? We are. And you should be, too.
It might not change the world for the better, but at least our voices can be heard. They certainly aren’t being heard on issues that really do matter. So why not?