Thanks to Andy Reid and Saints nation, whining is the new national pastime of the 'No Fair League'

Dan WetzelColumnist

Amid the grandstanding politicians, the attention-seeking lawyers and the wailing masses equating poor officiating to the murder of their first born, this actually happened.

Normally sensible Kansas City coach Andy Reid was discussing Sunday’s critical offsides penalty on Chiefs defensive lineman Dee Ford. The flag negated a Tom Brady interception that would have all but assured K.C. advanced to the Super Bowl.

Ford, however, was lined up across the line of scrimmage when the ball was snapped. New England went on to win.

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Reid acknowledge that, yes, it was a penalty.

“I thought it was legitimate,” Reid said, noting the Chiefs’ own cameras also caught the infraction.

That should have been it.

Only Reid didn’t stop there because this is 2019 and this is the NFL – the No Fair League. Everything and anything is worthy of whines and cries and legal briefings about the officials, the rules, overtime setups and any other transgression real or imagined.

The entire damn league has gone so snowflake that even Andy Reid decided to join them.

“Normally you’re warned,” Reid said. “And the coaches are warned if someone is doing that before they throw [a flag] in a game of that magnitude.”

Sorry, Andy Reid, all the passive-aggressive complaints in the world aren’t changing Dee Ford’s offside penalty vs. the Patriots. (Getty)
Sorry, Andy Reid, all the passive-aggressive complaints in the world aren’t changing Dee Ford’s offside penalty vs. the Patriots. (Getty)

And there you go. We are down to complaining (passive-aggressively) that the referees should warn the highly paid players and the highly paid coaches of something as obvious as setting up on the wrong side of the line of scrimmage.

The NFL is now kindergarten flag football.

Sorry, but the official did the absolute correct thing, dropping the flag immediately upon the snap. Was Tom Brady going to get warned that Ford had an illegal advantage and thus might be more capable of sacking him, pressuring him or altering the play?

If the ref had refused to call the penalty, then he would have been choosing to ignore a clear violation out of what … sensitivity to the inevitable hurt feelings of Dee Ford since this was a game of a certain magnitude? Please.

Yet here we are, not disputing the actual call but the pre-snap kindness and courteousness of the refs.

Whining is the new national pastime. Or maybe it’s just an old one. It’s certainly popular these days. The refs stole this. The refs stole that. The refs are corrupt. The league office is dictating the calls. The TV networks want this team to win or that team to win.

Nothing is fair. Nothing is true. Everyone’s a victim.

Mom? Mom? Mommy?

“People have been led to believe the games will be fairly played and the NFL will enforce the rules without trying to determine the outcome,” New Orleans attorney Frank J. D’Amico Jr. said in a statement about some kind of litigation he is going to bring against the NFL because a no-call in the NFC championship really, really, really hurt his feelings.

People have been “led to believe?” Well people have also been led to believe all lawyers are smart.

Poor guy, though. Get Frank J. D’Amico Jr. a safe space, a warm hug and some milk and cookies. We need to protect this kind of innocence in the world. It’s kind of sweet that a grown man still believes life, let alone professional football, is true and fair and perfect, not to mention that if you make it to the end of the rainbow you get your own super-cute unicorn named Princess. She has a purple mane and everything.

Not that D’Amico is alone. There are other lawyers in Louisiana getting involved because the Saints didn’t get a critical pass-interference call against the Los Angeles Rams.

It was a terrible no-call. No question about that. Be upset. Call into a local talk show to vent. Pretend you’ll never watch football again. Whatever. Just know that a ref making a mistake isn’t the same as the league “trying to determine the outcome.” The latter would be a federal offense.

It seems like everyone who supports the Saints, from fans to lawyers to politicians, has vowed litigated vengeance against the NFL for the infamous no-call late in the NFC championship game against the Rams. (Getty)
It seems like everyone who supports the Saints, from fans to lawyers to politicians, has vowed litigated vengeance against the NFL for the infamous no-call late in the NFC championship game against the Rams. (Getty)

If you’re the Saints, it stinks. But it happens. Often. There were dozens of missed calls in Sunday’s game on both sides because there are dozens of missed calls in every game because (gasp) this is football and (gasp) it’s played at a violent and frenetic pace and (gasp) referees are human and (gasp) sometimes things get messed up.

And a reminder: No one play is more important than another because the beauty of football is each play builds off the previous one, causing the game to alter course. There is no telling where things would have gone if the play prior had gone differently.

By the way, no Louisiana lawyer has yet to file suit against Drew Brees for throwing an interception in overtime. Maybe the refs should have warned Brees to pay closer attention to which players were in Rams jerseys and which were in Saints jerseys.

New Orleans owner Gayle Benson did promise “aggressive action” over the non-call and stated that the NFL must commit to “fairness and integrity,” recklessly implying that the non-call was rooted in an absence of integrity, i.e. dishonesty.

New Orleans city councilwoman Helena Moreno declared, “What we saw on Sunday broke our hearts. I don’t accept that there’s ‘nothing we can do.’ I want answers. … We want to ensure that no other team or fanbase will suffer the consequences of the same type of inexcusable mistake in the future.”

An injustice anywhere is ….

When did the State of Louisiana become so soft?

Gov. John Bel Edwards is such a sensitive soul he sent a letter of complaint to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell expressing his “deep disappointment” in the officiating and vowing “we will not forget it.”

Goodell is, no doubt, quaking in his Berlutis.

We get it, New Orleans. The Saints lost and there was a blown call. And we get it, Kansas City. The Chiefs lost and one time the refs said Brady was roughed up and he wasn’t, and another time the ref didn’t warn your guy that he was about to do something stupid, and, oh, of course Patrick Mahomes didn’t get the chance to touch the ball in overtime!

It’s just so unfair, those long-ago written rules about how playoff overtime works. So, so unfair.

But, sure, whatever comforts you at night as you weep into team-logo’d pillows about this cold, cruel NFL world, while pretending Rob Gronkowski didn’t get mugged on every route he ran.

Here’s a scoop of ice cream. Mom will be here soon to pick you up.

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