Great NFL Officiating Robbery In The Big Easy

Written by: Tim Daly

There is nothing worse in sports when poor officiating impacts the result of a game.  It is magnified when it happens in a game that decides who plays for the championship.  The NFL is dealing with just this problem tonight, as Pete Morrelli’s crew totally dropped the ball with their erroneous calls that led to a New Orleans Saints overtime victory and a spot in the Super Bowl.

Vikings Robbed By RefereesSaints Fans Rollick In Delight

During the overtime period, Morrelli’s crew had five erronous calls over a stretch of five plays where poor judgment was displayed, each time in favor of the Saints.   The first error occurred on the spot of a Devery Henderson catch that gave the Saints about an extra half yard to the first down marker on third down.  Despite clear evidence that it was a beneficial spot, backed up by Fox’s Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, the booth review didn’t change the spot.

On the very next play, fourth down, Pierre Thomas dive-bombed over top his line at what appeared to be a clear first down with forward momentum.  Hold the phone.

Replays showed that Thomas lost secure control of the ball, meaning that forward momentum no longer applied.  After a booth review, and again there is clear evidence that Thomas lost secure control, no change of spot occurred on the ball.

Now with a fresh set of downs thanks to the gratuitous nature of the officials, Brees drops back to pass.  First, Minnesota Vikings DE Jared Allen is tackled from behind by Saints guard Jhari Evans.  A textbook hold that they teach NFL officials the first day of training.  No call.

To make matters worse, the referees decided to call a pass interference on the play against Ben Leber.  First, Leber never even made physical contact with the intended receiver, David Thomas.  Slow motion replay shows no contact occurred and Fox’s Aikman questioned whether contact was made.  Second, the ball was overthrown by seven yards.  Thomas turned to make the catch at the 30 yard line, the ball landed on the 23 yard line.  This is what the rule book terms uncatchable.

After planting Reggie Bush into the ground for a 5 yard loss, the final nail was placed into the coffin by the referees.  Brees delivers a pass over the middle to Robert Meachem.  The pass was ruled a catch on the field.  Clear replay evidence shows that Meachem never caught the ball, only trapped it against his leg before the ball touched the ground.   Again textbook rule says no catch and once again, Fox’s Aikman says the pass should be ruled an incomplete pass.

Not today folks.  Booth review rules that it was a catch, setting up the Saints for the game winning field goal that Garrett Hartley would knock down the middle.

Nothing disappoints fans more than watch athletes that give their all be robbed by officials.  Even worse when it happens and decides who plays in the Super Bowl.

Obviously, Roger Goodell will be mum on this and support his officials.  It would just be so politically incorrect to be mean to the people of New Orleans.  They’ve suffered enough.

Congrats to the folks in the Big Easy on winning your first NFC Championship…asterisks and all.

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143 Responses to “Great NFL Officiating Robbery In The Big Easy”

  1. Michael says:

    p.s. The NFL is less likely to have an agenda here than you do, Tim. What would you say if I argued that you generated this hit piece on the Saints just to get more traffic to the site and make more money from ad revenue sharing? It certainly does appear to be a haven for all the whiners out there.

    • Nathan says:

      That’s not plausible; ad revenue on smaller sites is peanuts, and marginal increases are almost unnoticeable.

      In any case, whether it is conspiracy, incompetence, or just a group of refs who had thought a little too much about what a Super Bowl berth would mean for New Orleans, we all saw what happened, and fans of 31 NFL teams admit that it was a robbery. The referees consistently called a favorable game for New Orleans, starting by simply ignoring the rules and allowing the Saints 20+ illegal hits on Brett Favre that went uncalled. The officiating disparity only became more pronounced as the game went on, culminating in the painfully transparent decision to ensure a Saints win in OT with the series of blatantly and inexcusably incorrect calls.

      All real fans will remember the Saints’ rings as illegitimate.

  2. Tim Daly says:

    Michael, Brett Favre’s career is over. The New Orleans Saints have many years in front of them. The league moves on with teams, not players. The NFL in the long-run benefits from parity and getting smaller markets to be successful. That’s the bottom line for their business. The Super Bowl is going to generate great ratings no matter who is in it.

    Revenue sharing agreements by the NFL and NBA need to come under significant scrutiny. It bring forward a hint of impropriety that the leagues are colluding for entertainment value. Did you know that after Memphis gave Pau Gasol to the Los Angeles Lakers that the NBA increased revenue sharing percent to small market teams? The guy that led the push for increased revenue sharing…suprise, surprise…was the owner of the Memphis Grizzlies.

    Sorry if I am bursting your bubble with pessimism, but the NFL is running by a group of multi-millionaires who didn’t get to where they were with shrewd business behavior. When I see obvious errors that should have been overturned unaddressed, I like many others have lost some faith in the NFL.

  3. KJ says:

    The fans of the NFL were robbed by the one-sided officiating from seeing the best team in the NFC facing off against the best in the AFC. If anyone argues that, they are simply another Saints fan with their hands out still. The Saints coaches and players are dirty…as is the welfare city that they play for.

    • Louis says:

      Some people here in New Orleans may have their hand out for help, lets hope you or your city don’t go through the devestation from a Major Hurricane or Oil spill like we have,becauuse your city will have its hand out too. And I don t believe you are fighters like we are,you all seem like a bunch of cry babies.

  4. betting line says:

    There are faux fans on these sights spreading dis-information. This is the only way someone can argue an indefensible position. A real football fan wants his or her team to win but not at any cost. If their team is beat fairly they admit it. When they get beat unfairly they feel a deep down disgust in their gut. Watch the game as a football fan, not a fan of the saints or Vikings. Farve was clobbered. Everyone knows it. Warner was clobbered the week before. But Farve was being intentionally hit late over and over again. Darren Sharper stated on Showtime NFL that he had never seen Farve take such a beating. The refs let it happen to balance the game in favor of the Saints. They risked Farve’s health for this. They didn’t protect him as they should have. Watch the game. Our eyes, even in the light of a favorable editing job by the network still shows it. It is a crime and if you see the footage in the production truck you would feel sick to your stomach. This wasn’t football as we know it. The refs and Saints cheated. Their should be a federal investigation. The media is a partner with the league and will never police this issue. They simply edit the worst infractions out of the final edit. It’s so simple. Anyone arguing otherwise is either an NFL shill or an idiot! Football is a great sport but it’s being corrupted continuously. If the players weren’t making so much money, and the tv channels as well as the owners they might have an incentive to correct the problems. But as long as they can simply place an opposing view on a sight like this and have idiot readers shrugged this off, you’ll never have anything fixed. The pervasiveness of corruption is everywhere. Only fools believe in the tooth fairly, santa and a corruption free zone in the NFL! Don’t be a sucker, question, complain and spread the word. That’s how the WWE eventually was forced to admit they were scripted.

  5. Brian says:

    Why not head back through the entire game and point out every blown call for holding, pass interference, late hits, you name it, they got it wrong at least once. If we want to blame outcomes on the officiating, let’s examine the fact that it was through the course of a game rife with poor officiating that the score was tied at the end of regulation, and I defy you to prove that the Saints actually benefited, over the course of the entire game, including the overtime, from bad calls more than the Vikings did.

    Here’s another quick one for you: Booth and Official reviews are weighted in favor of the call made on the field. If the review doesn’t prove, beyond a doubt, that the call on the field was incorrect, the review can’t overturn the call. Thomas loses control of the ball, negating forward momentum, but the review can’t prove that he didn’t advance the ball once he got it back under control and before he hit the ground, so the call stands. Meachem catches the ball in the air, falls to the ground, and somehow gets his hand underneath the ball before it touches the ground. The review couldn’t prove that the ball was actually in contact with the ground, on account of his hand was clearly underneath it, so the call stands.

    These are the rules for the reviews; if you want to relax the restrictions on the review process so that a 51% certainty is sufficient to overturn a call, fine, but don’t call it poor officiating and don’t pretend it actually mars the game.

    • Tim Daly says:

      See Brian, an official making bad is not the same thing as a Booth Review refusing to apply rules. The purpose of instant replay is to correct errors made by officials on the field. The booth reviews I noted in this post were 100% indisputable in relation to the rule book.

      Your debating point on Thomas is comical. He lost the ball and you admit it in your comment. He can’t advance it, his knee is down Brian when he resecures it. You can’t advance a ball when you are down. He got driven back at least 1.5 yards, which is why I embedded video. When he recovers the ball, he’s down. You cannot advance the ball when you are down. The booth review should have addressed that, it is a basic NFL rule.

      On Meachem, the video replay shows he didn’t get his hand underneath the ball, so lets not make up fantasyland situations that didn’t occur. Aikman and Buck said during the telecast that it wasn’t a catch based on the replay. The review clearly showed his hand over top the ball, pinned to his leg, ball touches ground and then hands cradles underneath. Based on rule book, that is not a catch.

      Booth reviews are supposed to address very clear errors. In this circumstance, they did not. This doesn’t mean the Saints still wouldn’t have won the game. Favre might have come right out and thrown another interception. Saints fans should be just as upset as Vikings fans, as most NFL fans don’t think they deserve to be in the Super Bowl because of these errors. It just places an asterisk on a game when you could have gotten the win without it.

  6. Shirley says:

    LOL That’s right Tim he didn’t have the ball in his hands at all in was pinned to his legs and it hit the ground and I think they should change somethings in the NFL with the Ref’s and more

  7. Jason says:

    Is it that much of a strectch to at least wonder if football could be used to prop-up a city that’s “down on its luck”? I don’t think this is always the case, but consider the Patriots win post 9/11. Can you think of a better way to elevate the spirits of a cities peoples in dire straits???

  8. Hey, i have enjoyed reading thank for sharing your story Greeting. :)

  9. Lilliana Zam says:

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  10. Hey just thought I would tell you something. This is twice now I’ve landed on your blog in the last 3 days searching for totally unrelated things. You’ve done a great job promoting your site. Love it!

  11. Geo says:

    Come on! What a smear campaign against the NFL officials. Viking fans are just sore losers. Get over it! It’s done. If it wasn’t that the VIkings have a history of choking and not winning a SUper Bowl you might have gotten a call here or there but the team was beat period!

  12. WarSkule says:


    Miami was a blast, wish you could’ve been there. Well, actually no I don’t. Go Saints!!!!! SUPER BOWL CHAMPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Louis says:

    We the people of New Orleans are a proud people not a bunch of cry babies because we lost a game. Do you know how many bad calls went against the Saints in times past and games that the Saints lost because of them? Grow up and get over it

  14. Mick says:

    I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen calls go against the Saints in the past. And the response was to whine about it. Get over whining. I’ve been an official, and I can tell you beyond doubt that officials do everything they can to call a fair game. I never knew this until I did it myself. The refs want one thing: a fair game as much as possible. They know they are human, but they also know they do everything possible to call the game fairly. There simply is no such things as a fixed game in which the refs have an interest in the outcome. It doesn’t happen. They are there for a reason: the officials deserve to be there because they have proven time and again that they are the best at what they’re doing. When you see a call up close you can be mistaken, but most of the time you’re not. The replay is for those times when you are possibly mistaken. Earlier in the game the refs called a personal foul for running into Favre, on a HANDOFF! The Vikes proceeded to march down the field and score their first touchdown. Was it the right call? Probably was. But I wasn’t on top of it. If you want to start picking it apart there are as many instances in which questionably calls went for the Vikings. The Saints won the game. Grow up. Deal with it. You’re not an official and you have no idea of the extensive training and expertise these guys possess. It simply comes to this: Vikings fans are whining. And that is that!

  15. tredog1995 says:

    can you all please get over it? they lost! nfl network did “holding the ball correctly 101″ by using a.p. as the wrong way to do it. it’s in favre’s dna to throw a stupid pick. everyone’s dna shows up eventually. saints won, no asterisks. they should change your names to the female dog vikings.

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  25. Packers Unite says:

    Even I will admit the Saints had a lot of ref help. Worst I have ever seen. I hate the vikings but they got robbed.

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