Saint’s Blown No-Call


Tammy Anthony Baker

Tammy Anthony Baker Wikimedia Commons

Ashton Mckinney, staff writer and photographer

With ninety seconds left in the NFC Championship Game, the score is tied at 20 a piece. The New Orleans Saints are at the Los Angeles Rams 10 yard-line on a third down. Everything the Saints worked for has come to this moment. The ball is thrown down the sideline, but the wide receiver is hit a full 2 seconds before the ball is there. Everything is fine because the fans in the stadium know the refs will throw the flag, and ensure the Saints a victory to go to the Super Bowl. But no one sees the  flag. The Rams are shocked themselves to see no flag, the fans are going completely ballistic, and Head Coach Sean Payton is screaming at the top of his lungs at the refs on how you could miss such a blatant call. Now instead of a trip to Atlanta, the Saints only have a three point lead at 23-20. The next drive the Rams march right down the field, tie the game, and take it to overtime. Luckily the Saints manages to score a touchdown after winning the toss, sending New Orleans to Super Bowl 53.

In reality, Everything leading up to the overtime is true, but instead of throwing a touchdown, Saints QB Drew Brees throws an interception giving the Los Angeles Rams manageable field position to kick the game winning field goal. Before I mention anything about the no call, the Saints had plenty of missed opportunities to get them the win, such as going to the red zone five times and only scoring a touchdown twice. But this is no excuse for the refs. An NFL player works as hard as they possibly can the whole year, knowing if they’re the better team, they will win. But the Saints didn’t lose because they were the worst team. They lost because Referee Phil McKinnely couldn’t do one job in the biggest stage of the year.

You can guess that Saints fans did not hold back when they spoke their mind. Billboards have been set up in Atlanta, (where Super Bowl 53 will take place), saying things such as the “Saints got robbed”, and the “NFL Bleaux it!”. Bets have been called off because it was such a lopsided call, and over 700,000 people have signed a petition to replay the last 1:49 of the game.

However, there will not be a redo, and fans should come to terms that the Saints will not be going to the Super Bowl this year. As a Saints fan, I’ve come to realize this. But that doesn’t change the fact the I don’t believe the Rams should be there. As seen above, the Rams have received plenty of backlash from fans and Saints players alike. Seen in a Twitter video, it looks as if Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas threw away his Super Bowl 53 Tickets in the trash, and has recently criticized the excuse NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had on the no call. After his press conference on CBS Sports, Goodell went on to say “We understand the frustration of the fans…whenever officiating is a part of any kind of discussion postgame, it’s never a good outcome for us,” and would later say he had great communication with the Saints after the no call pass interference. However, Michael Thomas did not feel the same way. Shortly after the press conference, Thomas tweeted out “He ain’t talk to us.”

Joby Johnson, a Sophomore here at AHS, says the Rams had an incredible year, but don’t belong in the Super Bowl. He believes every Saints fan has the right to be infuriated because they were cheated out on a trip to the Super Bowl.

However, Logan Bruss,another sophomore and Rams fan, said he could see how the ref could’ve missed the call. With the angle at which the ref was at, he says it is a possibility. Logan also says that in that stage of the game, a ref would have a very hard time making the call with the spotlight on him.

If that’s the case, Phil McKinnely shouldn’t be in the NFL. He has one job. I know that human error is inevitable, but when it comes to going to the Super Bowl or going home, you have got to make that call. Luckily for the Saints, many of their star players such wide reciever Michael Thomas, running back Alvin Kamara, and all-time great quarterback Drew Brees, along with a great supporting cast will be returning to make a Super Bowl run next season.