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Cory's Corner: The NFL Is Perfectly Imperfect

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Cory's Corner: The NFL Is Perfectly Imperfect

Deep down Nickell Robey-Coleman knew he got away with not one but two calls in the NFC Championship Game. 

The Rams defensive back committed pass interference on Saints receiever Tommylee Lewis. But Robey-Coleman also led with the head and committed helmet-to-helmet contact — which is supposed to be a point of emphasis this year. However, the referees looked the other way and didn’t call anything.

I thought that decision was awful. But after the game was over, I was ready to move on.

However, there are two Saints’ season ticket holders that aren’t ready to see this thing die. They have filed a federal suit in which they are zeroing in on Rule 17, which governs “extraordinary unfair acts.” The potential solutions include reversing the game result, or even rescheduling the game from the point the non-called infraction occurred.

The fact that this is even on the books is unbelievable to me. Obviously the odds of the NFL rescheduling the NFC Championship Game from that moment could change the course of history. If New Orleans wins that game, they go to the Super Bowl. However the big game is this Sunday and it’s rare that the NFL will even get a ruling on this in time.

Even if this happened in Week 3, there’s no way that the NFL can go back in history. Because if the NFL is serious about player safety, then they will not make players play more than one game in a week. The league already forces its players to play on short rest thanks to the debacle that is Thursday Night Football, there’s no reason to even consider this.

Aside from player safety and well, obnoxiousness, the reason this is crazy is because I actually enjoy the human element. When I watch a game, I go into it knowing that there may be some degree of imperfection, but I’m willing to live with that. I’d rather have a little bit of fault if we can get rid of all the replay stoppages.

Nothing is perfect, but the NFL continues to be strive for perfection. The more it strives, the more people get turned off. But since we have become accustomed to striving for perfection, other people have assumed that nothing short of perfection is acceptable.

Even if that means wasting everyone’s time in a court room. If the ref didn’t call it on the field, why would a judge with a gavel do anything different? The game has become too delicate, too perfect and too politically correct.

Football is a game that is played with an oblong ball in just about any condition. To act like the game is always perfect is a joke for the 98 years that the NFL has been around.

The cameras may be in HD, the technology might be outstanding, but the game is still as unpredictable as ever. The quicker everyone understands that, the better.


Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (26) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

HankScorpio's picture

My dream scenario is that the Rams beat the Patriots this weekend. Then some judge forces the NFL to replay Rams-Saints. Saints win. In SB2, Electric Bugaloo, the Pats beat the Saints. That would be delicious chaos.

Nick Perry's picture

Yes it was a horrible call. Just like the missed facemask call where the Rams if called would have had a 1st and goal from the 2 yard line instead of settling for a FG. IF that was called then the Rams probably score a TD and the Saints then NEED a TD instead of a FG. Since the Rams made a habit of stopping the Saints earlier in the game who's to say the Saints even score?

So now two season ticket holders have filed a suit. I UNDERSTAND you pain but it ain't changing a thing. In week two the Packers were royally screwed on a "Text Book" hit by CMIII which caused an INT and robbed them of victory. The NFL even went so far as to say they were going to use the play by Matthews to show what you CAN'T do when hitting the QB only to do an about face later and admit they BLEW it. Did Packers season ticket holders file a suit? The stakes weren't as high but they could have been by the end of the year.

It's not always fair or pleasant but I preferred the old NFL when we could actually play the game in about 3 hours and not spend most of Sunday watching the Ref watch 57 angles on a play in review.

The TKstinator's picture

“ready to move on” because the team you root for wasn’t involved?

Community Guy's picture

when being a fan should result in happiness, not heartbreak and anger.. yet, something about the disappointment, paired with hope, vain or real, brings us back, over and over again.

Packer Fan's picture

I can take this call, call it horrible and move on. But what must be changed is what behind the scenes, what is not spoken. Take the roughing the passer rule this year. The Pack lost a game because of a rule that the players couldn't control. Meaning their bodies when they tackled QB's. Stupid rule and the NFL tried to cover it up by sending videos to every team on how to make the proper tackle. Then these calls suddenly stopped. The NFL changed or dropped the new rule. They still have the stupid rule that if a rusher's hand hits the helmet or shoulder pads, no matter how hard, it is a roughing penalty.

But I digress. The NFL through their referees change things. LIke letting them play. Which ends up with the horrible call against New Orleans. I just want consistent refereeing. I want the ticky tacky rules dropped. Every plays their are holding calls. Call only the most obvious. Things will be called wrong, but it will happen to everybody. And you can live with it.

Lare's picture

Yes, it was a missed call, it happens all the time. Everyone else on the planet has learned to get on with their life when this happens, it's just a game.

egbertsouse's picture

I say, Go Saints fans! The more grief anyone can give King Roger and his striped-shirted flying monkeys the happier I am. Is there a “Go Fund Me” for this lawsuit?

Skip greenBayless's picture

I agree egbert. it's time to make a stand and dig in. It's now or never. Sick and tired of seeing innocent fans like New Orleans getting screwed over by shady refs either not calling something or calling something that never happened. Las Vegas Tom was right all along. It's all about the betting and lines. He has warned us time and time again about this and now it happened to the good people of New Orleans. File the lawsuit, delay the super bowl and replay the NFC Championship game at the point of the bad call and see what happens. That is the only fair thing to do.


joeblowinski's picture

There's no way the league could've or should've done anything about that terrible call, because fixing the no call bails Sean Peyton out of his horrendous game management mistake.

All the Saints had to do was kneel three times, kick the field goal (their kicker hadn't missed all season from the likely distance), and hand the ball to LA with less than 30 seconds and no time outs. The no call should never have happened. That it did is Sean Peyton's fault, and he and the Saints shouldn't be saved from their mistakes.

dobber's picture


PatrickGB's picture

Just let penalty’s be reviewable with the red hanky. Maybe one per game by a coach. And have the review be seen by New York not just the refs on the field. One review won’t slow the game down too much.
Otherwise just let them play.

Razer's picture

Too many things to call for these refs. With all the league initiatives, something could be called on every play. Obvious missed call at the end of that game and that is too bad - but it happens in every game. If they want player safety and absolute accuracy, the league will need to add more refs, train them as full-time professionals and have more review. Not sure I want to watch this kind of product.

Does support my belief that you coach your secondary to push it to the limit and force the refs to make a ton of calls. Seattle has been doing this for years and getting away with murder particularly when the WR has you beat.

PatrickGB's picture

I agree Razer about the Seahawks pushing the limits. And also think that full time refs could help. Yet allowing some penalty’s to be reviewed would help in critical moments.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

This lawsuit seams like an abuse of our court system that has real problems to solve.

Since '61's picture

The lawsuit should be tossed out by the judge because the fans have no standing. They paid to see a game. They attended the game, the game was played, even beyond regulation.

As fans they have no legal standing in the results of the game. They have not been harmed in any way either physically or financially. They would not be suing if the call went for their team. Beyond that they cannot prove that the Saints would win the game. The Saints could miss the FG. The Rams could return the ensuing KO for a TD or throw a game winning Hail Mary ala Aaron Rodgers. I do not like to see any team get screwed by the officials but this is a matter for the league to handle, not the fans or the courts.

Next season we will see a mechanism put in place by the league to prevent this from happening again. I believe that the league will implement the eye-in-the-sky approach. They will have the eight official in a booth above the field who can call down to the referee on the field and advise them that they blew a call. The play will be reviewed and the call or non-call reversed. This will result in more reviews. The question is what will be the mechanism to initiate the review. Will it require a coach's challenge or will it be initiated by a booth review.

If I were the NFL I would only implement this approach during the playoff tournament. If it is done during the regular season the games could become unwatchable. On the other hand for the integrity of the game in this era of legalized gambling something needs to be done to get the calls correct and eliminate allegations of corruption. Either way something will be in place by the 2019 season. Thanks, Since '61

ILPackerBacker's picture

The fans paid to see a game conducted in accordance with the rules that were published by the NFL to its fans. The NFL spends millions and millions of dollars to brag about the rules and fairness and accountability. The NFL uses the rules to control its players and their off field actions.
A movie house can not take your money to show you a film and then leave you watching a blank. A theatre can not take your money for a live production and give you a movie.
The NFL can not take your money and show you a baseball game.
THe NFL publically put the rules out there, they fine people for rules and put hundreds of millions of dollars into play.
THere is standing.

The TKstinator's picture

@Since 61: First sentence: “tossed out” or “chucked”? I’m mildly disappointed at what seems like a missed opportunity.

Old School's picture

My Daddy's Daddy....God rest his soul....looked me in the eye back in the day and said "Life Is Not Fair".

The only choice is to move forward. It's not right, it's not fair, but it is what it is.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

What about the LASERS at Tom Brady? Nobody knew anything until after the game. What if PATS had lost?

Swisch's picture

An interesting companion essay could be written about the Pats-Chiefs game and all of the annoyingly long reviews in the second half. How much does that ruin the flow of the game, and its excitement?
I'm about ready to get rid of all reviews. For even an appearance of perfection, we'd have to review every play and look at every player. Also, the last play of the game isn't really more important in this sense than the first play.
What really bothers me is when a team loses a timeout due to a review not being overturned -- especially if that review is inconclusive and the ruling falls back on letting the call on the field stand. This is aggravated by not giving teams enough time to decide on whether to review. How many game results are possibly changed by a team losing a timeout?
The only possible exception to allowing reviews could be for personal fouls such as helmet hits -- allowing the calls to be reversed in both directions.
Finally, that infamous play with two non-calls in the Rams-Saints game is truly bothersome. I wonder if a call that horrible should be a fineable, if not fireable, offense for officials.
However, you can't change the result of a game afterwards. You'd have to review every other play in the game, and even that wouldn't go without controversy.

Tarynfor12's picture

Nobody likes a whiner unless they're the whiners wanting to be heard.

We have endured many whiners like this all season long.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

And what about when we were playing Arizona and A. Rodgers got face masked but they didn't call it anf Arizona scored a TD on that play.....just sayin...

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Whatever. Green Bay has been there multiple times.

Ex. Green Bay intercepted ball in end zone against Seattle where our DB had 2 hands on ball and Seattle WR 1 hand and they called it TD for Seattle and that COST US HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE for the NFC CHAMPIONSHIP which we lost in OT.

You have to destroy the other team. You cannot leave it up to the referees.

Gforcetrivers's picture

I don't spend money watching games. This year if the game wasnt on regular TV I didnt watch. But for people that go to games or own season tickets and spending thousands of dollars and to be basically robbed by a call or non call has got to hurt. Plus it makes you wonder if it wasnt done on purpose. Errors that don't affect the play of game are one thing but game changers!? Not good. Its like I spent 50 hours watching watching the (name your team)and it ends like this? Its like watching a movie that leaves you wondering what happened. Thats it????

Gforcetrivers's picture

I don't spend money watching games. This year if the game wasnt on regular TV I didnt watch. But for people that go to games or own season tickets and spending thousands of dollars and to be basically robbed by a call or non call has got to hurt. Plus it makes you wonder if it wasnt done on purpose. Errors that don't affect the play of game are one thing but game changers!? Not good. Its like I spent 50 hours watching watching the (name your team)and it ends like this? Its like watching a movie that leaves you wondering what happened. Thats it????

ILPackerBacker's picture

Nobody sues without being damaged. To say if the saints won the saints fans would not be sue is inane.

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