A longshot lawsuit aimed at a possible do-over of the NFC championship game is bogged down in a jurisdictional issue: whether it belongs in Louisiana state court or in federal court.
Had a penalty been called, the Saints would have had the ball in field-goal range and a first down, with the ability to conceivably run down the clock before attempting a potential game-winning field goal. A play that if called correctly, would have likely helped the Saints win the game and go on to Super Bowl 53.
In a court filing submitted Monday, the National Football League admitted its referees missed Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman interfering with Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis in the last minutes of the game on the Rams' 5-yard line last Sunday.
New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan made his entrance to this year's Pro Bowl with a customized T-shirt featuring messages for National Football League officials: "Blow whistles not games", and "Make calls not apologies".More news: Man arrested after alleged assault at yellow vest protest in Hamilton
The Rams defeated the Saints, 26-23, in overtime. It's hard for our fans to take, so I understand the hurt. Clearly that was pass-interference.
However, he notes, "in a league constantly trying to safeguard the integrity of the game, there are some privately wondering how four officials with Southern California roots wound up officiating a conference championship game that involved a Los Angeles team". "We're not trying to keep the Super Bowl from going forward", he said.
Schefter explained the four officials were also the ones mostly responsible for the non-call on Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman's helmet-to-helmet hit on Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis.
Lead official Bill Vinovich, who was heckled Thursday while working a basketball game over 1,000 miles away from the New Orleans catastrophe, lives in Newport Beach, R.I.