In what could likely be described as the worst call, or non-call, in NFL history the officials in the Saints-Rams NFC Championship game missed obvious pass interference and helmet-to-helmet hits that should have been called on the Rams during a third down play with under two-minutes to go in the NFC Championship game.
The optics of that moment, perhaps the worst singular moment in NFL history, continue to get worse. There are many fans, and even some inside the NFL itself, who have believed for a long time that the league tilts its officiating to favor the bigger markets and the league’s preferred franchises. Those conspiracy theorists are watching fuel being dumped on that fire tonight.
Sean Payton said he called the NFL league offices and asked for an explanation. They said it wasn’t one blown call, but two. Missed pass interference call and helmet-to-helmet hit.
— Seth Dunlap (@sethdunlap) January 20, 2019
Both on-field officials involved in the fateful play have ties to Los Angeles. Back judge Todd Prukop is from Ladera Ranch, California — just south of Los Angeles. Side judge Gary Cavaletto is a lifelong resident of Santa Barbara, California. Cavaletto was standing just feet from the play where Tommylee Lewis was run over and didn’t call either obvious penalty.
The league’s officiating day of reckoning is likely here and it’s not going to be pretty. Not sure how any fan, coach, player, or media member can believe in the integrity of the #NFL after this mess
— Seth Dunlap (@sethdunlap) January 21, 2019
How the NFL allows all these men to officiate a conference championship game where they have geographical ties to the franchise is beyond comprehension. Having both of these men involved in one of the worst officiating blunders in sports history makes this bizarre scenario even more unfathomable.
The NFL, officiating czar Al Riveron, and commissioner Roger Goodell should face serious scrutiny in the coming days. If the league was facing an officiating crisis before this game, it’s likely the day of reckoning has now arrived.
Source: “Los Angeles” – Google News