In his Netflix special “Annihilation,” comedian Patton Oswalt quoted his late wife who often reminded him when he got upset about cruel things that happened in the world — “It’s chaos, be kind.”
The first instinct that most Los Angeles Rams felt after the blown pass interference call was a mix of denial and a happy shrug. Yes, it was obviously egregious and if the flag was called, the New Orleans Saints would most likely have sealed the game and gone onto the Super Bowl.
Pretty unreal fan angle of the Blown PI call in the Saints Rams game. pic.twitter.com/7MVa4MM45t— Lover of @arbys (still, but now on a diet. thanks) (@Ryanwtking) January 21, 2019
The internet and the talking heads on radio and TV literally exploded into anger at what some have called “the worst call in the history.” Head coach Sean Peyton even said that the Saints will ‘never get over’ this call. For Rams fans, it quickly shifted to a defensive position. What about all the other bad calls during the game?
One could argue that the entire game was officiated with a absolute failed sense of consistency and fair judgement that affected both sides negatively.
BOTH can be, and ARE true:— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) January 21, 2019
1) Yes. It was PI. They blew it.
2) ALSO missed: obvious facemask on Goff scramble on previous drive. Rams should have had 1st-and-goal on the 1. They take the lead, rather than tie.
Any reasonable conversation should include BOTH.
This Jared Goff scramble in the 4th quarter was a clear face-mask penalty that didn’t have the brutal timing of the missed PI play with CB Nickell Robey-Coleman. However, when you look at the play, the Rams had to settle for a field goal instead of having first-and-goal from inside the 2.
Clear missed facemask on Jared Goff’s scramble pic.twitter.com/WQVLP16TPp— Cameron DaSilva (@camdasilva) January 20, 2019
It feels like Rams fans will be making this argument for the next handful of years because that’s what life is now. We can enjoy a win because there’s also something problematic seething underneath the surface.
What’s clear about this game to me was that the entire game was a mess. As much as guys like Joe Buck (find me a person who doesn’t hate this dude) and Troy Aikman give the Superdome props for being insanely loud, it’s almost as if the NFC championship became more of a circus fueled by cocaine and absinthe than a football game.
This is against the popular opinion of crowd noise (which everyone loves), but what if the Superdome simply has bad acoustics that the Saints have turned into an advantage? Maybe the refs wouldn’t have made a dozen terrible calls in a different environment.
But give credit where credit is due: the Saints got hosed with that call. CB Nickell Robey-Coleman stepped up like a man and admitted that he knew it was an obvious PI that didn’t get called. Somehow that made Saints fans even more furious.
The country is looking at Rams fans to see how we react to this. It’s chaos, be kind.
In the end, any game that is being officiated is going to have flaws and even though we don’t want the refs to be part of the game, they are. Having a blown call like this at a game-winning moment is a nightmare for the NFL that will most likely lead to a rule change in the offseason, but it probably won’t help the issue.
NFL games will always have controversy. Blown calls will still happen, even with replay and computers and robots and whatever the hell scientists come up with.
Regardless of how much anger and joy are added to the cocktail, the Los Angeles Rams won the game and are going to the Super Bowl.
Is is fair? No, it’s football.