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Irate Saints fans start petition demanding NFC title game be replayed; NFL could theoretically make it happen

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After watching their team lose the NFC Championship due in large part to one of the worst no-calls in NFL history, Saints fans are bitter and they’ve decided to let the league know it. 

In the aftermath of New Orleans’ 26-23 loss to the Rams on Sunday, one fan decided to start a petition and that petition has one goal: To get the NFL to schedule a rematch between the Saints and the Rams, with the winner going to Super Bowl LIII to face the Patriots

From the Change.org petition:

“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.”

In the 24 hours since the game ended, the petition has gained some serious steam around the country as more than 230,000 fans have signed it so far.

If you somehow missed the pivotal play that the petition is referring to, here’s what happened: With 1:49 left in the fourth quarter of a 20-20 game and the Saints facing a third-and-10 from the Rams’ 13-yard line, Drew Brees dropped back and threw a pass to TommyLee Lewis, who got assaulted by Rams’ defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman

Despite the obvious interference, there was no flag thrown on the play. 

Fans were highly upset with the no-call during the game …

…. And that anger only got worse after the Saints went on to lose in overtime. 

If you still haven’t marked your calendar for the Super Bowl, the game will be kicking off from Atlanta on Feb. 3 and will be televised by CBS and you can stream it right here. If you’re thinking about buying a new TV for the big game, CNET has you covered. They shared their best picks for every budget.

Although the NFL will almost certainly ignore the petition, the crazy thing is that the league actually has the power to do something about the controversial no-call. As Will Brinson wrote about Monday morning (via Pro Football Talk), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell can actually order that a game be replayed if he feels that something “extraordinarily unfair” happened. 

“The Commissioner’s powers under this Section 2 include … the reversal of a game’s result or the rescheduling of a game, either from the beginning or from the point at which the extraordinary act occurred,” Rule 17, Section 2, Article 3 of the rule book states. 

The only question now is whether or not a botched pass interference no-call qualifies as “extraordinarily unfair.”

The NFL has already admitted to Saints coach Sean Payton that the officiating crew blew the call by not making a call, and really, the only thing the league hasn’t done at this point is to make a public statement about why such an obvious call was missed. Although the league will almost certainly release a statement at some point this week pertaining to the no-call, it’s highly unlikely the NFL will use that statement to call for the came to be replayed. 



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