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The big game is over and the fans have cleared the Superdome with their heads down. But the Los Angeles Rams v. New Orleans Saints ordeal appears to continue — in court.
Two Saints season-ticket-holders filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the National Football League, asking a Louisiana state court judge to order Commissioner Roger Goodell to invoke “an obscure rule” that could force players back to the field to re-play the final moments of Sunday’s NFC Championship game, ESPN reported.
The ticket-holders are claiming mental anguish, emotional trauma, "loss of enjoyment of life" and "distrust of the game which has become the National pastime" as a result of the loss stemming from a failure of a referee to call a penalty, according to the suit.
As recalled by ESPN, a referee failed to call a penalty after Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman hit Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis while a Drew Brees pass was in the air with fewer than two minutes remaining in a tie game. “A flag for pass interference would have given the Saints a first down and enabled them to run down the clock before kicking a potential game-winning field goal. Instead, New Orleans kicked a go-ahead field goal to take a 23-20 lead with 1:41 left. The Rams responded with a late field goal of their own and went on to win, 26-23, in overtime,” the sports news network reported.
But the saga didn’t end there: The Rams defensive back later admitted to reporters that his hit on the Saints receiver constituted pass interference, while Saints head coach Sean Payton said the NFL office acknowledged the missed call to him after the game. The referee in question, Bill Vinovich, told a reporter that the play was "a judgment call by the officials" and added that he had not seen what happened.
The suit claims that the NFL rulebook permits that the league commissioner "has the sole authority to investigate and take appropriate disciplinary and/or corrective measures if any club action, non-participant interference, or calamity occurs in an NFL game which the Commissioner deems so extraordinarily unfair or outside the accepted tactics encountered in professional football that such action has a major effect on the result of the game."
The remedies include a reversal of a game's result or the rescheduling of a game — in its entirety or from the point when the act occurred.
"Why is the rule there if it's not going to be implemented?" asked the attorney who filed the suit in state Civil District Court in New Orleans on behalf of the plaintiffs, Who Dat Nation among them. A second lawsuit, filed by another fan, followed.
An insurance company says it does not need to dip into defending Walmart Stores Inc. and Basic Grain Products Inc. over pita chips that a class action suit says were misclassified as all-natural when the chips contained unnatural, synthetic or artificial ingredients.