Pine Whispers

NFL pass interference rule


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The National Football League season is officially over with the conclusion of the Super Bowl and the New England Patriots being crowned victorious once again. The New Orleans Saints got a front row seat at home on their couches as they watched the Rams take on the Patriots. The Saints however, maybe shouldn’t have been the ones at home watching.

A late game pass interference no-call by the Rams has been one of the most talked about topics around the country in the last few weeks.

Drew Brees, quarterback for the Saints, dropped back to pass on a third and goal and looked for his receiver, Tre’quan Smith, down the sideline. The defender on the play, Nickell Robey-Coleman seemed to have gotten away with one of the most blatant penalties that will be remembered.

The no call gave the ball back to the Rams who ended up winning the game. Outrage sparked from across the NFL raised over the situation, unfortunately for saints fans, A penalty, by rule, is not allowed to be reviewed. Junior Tobias Johnson weighed in on the issue.

“I think the NFL needs to change the rule to have penalties like that be reviewable, Johnson said. “It’s insane that a penalty that should’ve been called can cost a team a season.”

 Throughout the years, we have seen both no calls and calls that didn’t need to be made and it just seems like part of the game. As referees aren’t perfect and everyone knows they make mistakes. It just so happens that this mistake has gotten a ton of attention.

The Saints players including superstar receiver Michael Thomas, have been very vocal about their thoughts and feelings. The players have called out the NFL commissioner saying he needs to do something as soon as possible about the rule and has gone so far as Saints coach Sean Payton wearing a shirt with the commissioners face on it dressed as a clown.

It’s pretty fair to say that the Saints got robbed of playing on that special Sunday, ready to take down Tom Brady. To add insult to injury, The Rams only scored 3 points in what turned out to be the lowest scoring super bowl of all time.

The rule of reviewing penalties is being looked at as a possibility after this crisis, and the league will have to do something to make sure something like this never happens again.

Referees play a huge role in games and they can have the power to dictate the ending to some games like we witnessed a few weeks ago. No one is doubting that their job is hard, but sometimes they can have too much power. Football coach Rod Dunlap weighed in on the issue.

“I like that the game is in the hands of the officials: Dunlap said. “It keeps the authenticity of the game and keeps the human elements to such a difficult team sport.”

The NFL season concluded in a load of controversy heading into the off season as players and fans are expecting a change. The NFL is too big and too popular to have this kind of controversy surrounding it and when there is too much going on other than just playing football a referees judgement cost a team a super bowl appearance this year and hopefully never again.

Photo provided by the Washington Post

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NFL pass interference rule