On one hand, what is the NFL really going to say about the no-call against the New Orleans Saints last week? No matter what it says, it’s going to sound bad.
Yet, it’s weird the league hasn’t said anything after perhaps the biggest officiating controversy in league history. If you somehow have not heard, a blatant pass interference, which would have practically sealed a Saints win and NFC championship, wasn’t called. The Saints kicked a field goal, the Los Angeles Rams had time to tie at the end of regulation and the Rams won in overtime to go to Super Bowl LIII. Whatever anyone wants to say about the Saints having other chances to win or the Rams making plays to get the victory, it also has to be acknowledged that if the correct call was made, we’d have a different team in the Super Bowl.
The entire NFL world is still talking about the non-call. And Saints tight end Ben Watson says NFL commissioner Roger Goodell owes New Orleans an explanation.
Ben Watson: Roger Goodell’s silence ‘unbecoming’ of his position
One part of Watson’s request for Goodell to make a statement should cut deep. It’s hard to go an entire Goodell news conference without him referencing the integrity of the game, or the league. Watson turned those words around on him, saying Goodell’s silence is “detrimental to the integrity of the game” and “unbecoming of the position you hold.”
And Watson is right.
Watson finished his note by saying, “From the locker room to Park Ave., accountability is what makes our league great. Lead by example. We are waiting.”
Watson is a respected NFL veteran
People are tired about the Saints complaining, but Watson’s words have extra meaning. He is a longtime respected NFL veteran, a Walter Payton Man of the Year finalist last season. He’s not some random lawyer looking for free publicity with a frivolous lawsuit, or a disgruntled fan.
Goodell will have his regular news conference during Super Bowl week in Atlanta. Presumably, he’ll be asked about the officiating controversy in New Orleans, which has overshadowed a pair of great conference championship games last weekend.
Goodell might not say anything meaningful, because he rarely does, but he can’t avoid the topic forever.
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