Unapologetic: NFL Admits Referee Errors in NFC Championship, Blames Humans

Posted on: January 29, 2019, 06:56h. 

Last updated on: January 29, 2019, 06:56h.

The NFL is finally admitting referee errors occurred in the NFC Championship game that greatly improved the chances of the Los Angeles Rams advancing to Super Bowl 53. But for New Orleans Saints fans looking for an apology, the league says there will be none.

NFL Super Bowl odds Goodell
The NFL says the blatant pass interference no-call should have been a penalty. (Image: Gerald Herbert/AP)

Responding to a lawsuit filed on behalf of Saints season ticket holders against the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell, the league admits a key pass interference call that should have went against the Rams was missed late in the fourth quarter. Instead of New Orleans having first and goal, they were forced to settle for a field goal and tie the game.

They would lose in overtime 26-23.

Because the officials on the field are humans, like the players and coaches, errors will happen,” NFL attorneys responded. “The NFL parties do not dispute … that one or more penalties — for pass interference or illegal helmet-to-helmet contact — were mistakenly not called late in the NFC Championship Game, and that the NFL would like its officials on the field to make these calls.”

The NFL is requesting that the US Eastern District Court of Louisiana dismiss the lawsuit. “At its essence, this suit was filed because the plaintiffs, fans, and ticketholders of an athletic event disagree with the outcome of that game,” the NFL argues.

League lawyers say fans have no “cognizable rights” to sue.

Patriots Still Favored

Saints fans will struggle to get over the NFC Championship, but for the rest of the football universe, the big game must go on. The New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams kickoff Super Bowl 53 this Sunday at 6:30 pm ET in Atlanta, Georgia.

Despite several oddsmakers saying they believe the Rams are the most complete team, the betting public isn’t willing to go against coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, who together have won five Super Bowl rings.

The general consensus in Las Vegas has the Pats spotting the Rams 2.5 points. A half of a point on either side can be found from time to time.

Now through Sunday evening will be the busiest betting time for Super Bowl 53. Several key oddsmakers including the Westgate SuperBook’s Ed Salmons believes the spread will tighten.

“A lot of us believe that the Rams are just a better team,” Salmons stated. “I really believe this line will come back and go more towards 1.5 and even one.”

If Salmons is correct – and he usually is – then those still on the sidelines who plan to bet on the Rams should get their tickets printed asap.

Sports Betting Revenue

Super Bowl 53 will almost certainly attract the most legal wagers in US history. Last year, full-scale sports betting was permitted in only Nevada. Today, regulated sports wagering can be found in Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Mississippi, and New Mexico.

Despite the expansion, the American Gaming Association says almost 95 percent of all bets on Sunday’s spectacle will be placed through illegal channels.

Last year’s Super Bowl between the victor Philadelphia Eagles and Patriots generated the largest handle in Nevada history with more than $158.58 million bet.