When You’ve Been Robbed Over and Over by the NFL
The internets are moaning in the South today over the damage done to the Saints by the non-call made by the officials in the 4th quarter. Threats of Class-Actions by fans against the league are popping up on social media. As a Saints fan, I feel robbed but this ain't my first NFL robbery.
It was 35-3 at the halftime in the AFC Championship, the Houston Oilers led the Buffalo Bills on January 3, 1993. In the second half, the Bills mounted a remarkable comeback and eventually beat the Oilers 41-38. So the Bills go down in history as having orchestrated the greatest ever come back, and the Oilers are forever remembered as the leagues greatest choke artists. But, and that's a gigantic But; one of Buffalos TD's in the second half went to WR Don Beebe, and before the catch one of Beebe's feet went out of bounds.
Then as now, you can't go out of bounds and come back in to make a catch, that play under review today would be called back under penalty, for a probable Oiler win, it was not called that day with an official just feet away. As a Houston Oiler fan, I was robbed.
On the final play of the 1967 Championship, Green Bay had the ball on the Dallas Cowboy 1 yard line with no timeouts left and seconds to play on the clock. History shows QB Bart Starr diving over the back of Green Bay's right guard Jerry Kramer for the touchdown, the win, and the eventual naming of the Super Bowl trophy the Lombardi Trophy.
Except, Jethro Pugh the Dallas defensive lineman saw Kramer's hands moving before the snap. On the final play of The Ice Bowl Jerry Kramer was offsides. Had it been called by the linesman the Packers would have been moved back to the 6-yard line, kicked a field goal to tie the game and then who knows what? Maybe the Super Bowl Trophy ends up getting called the Landry Trophy. As a Dallas Cowboy fan, I was robbed.
The Immaculate Reception in Pittsburgh was a totally illegal catch by the rules in place then. Replay or even the right call by the officials would have changed football history. I didn't feel robbed by this, not being a Steeler or Raider fan, but the integrity of the game, ahem! demands this be pointed out.
The NFL may be admitting a mistake today in the Saints-Rams game yesterday, but when will they admit to screwing the Cowboys in Super Bowl X when Lynn Swann the Steelers acrobatic receiver pushed cornerback Mark Washington all over the field that afternoon. A few offensive interference calls would have changed the outcome of that game.
The Johnny Unitas pass to John Mackey that was tipped by the Colts Eddie Hinton in Super Bowl V. The same thing as the Immaculate Reception, kind of; two offensive players touching the ball in succession, the play should have been dead. The Dez Bryant catch non-catch, Deion Sanders (49ers) pulling down both Michael Irvin's arms on a deep pass in the '94 Championship game as the Cowboys rallied in the 4th and no flag, this list never seems to end because there's more, I could go on but you see the point. It's not just our favorite teams either.
The officials are people, humans. They blink, sneeze, cough, and do all the other things humans do, such as making mistakes. Unfortunately, sometimes those mistakes are as large as though we're looking through the Hubble Space Telescope at them, such as yesterdays, but that's all they are is mistakes.
No, I don't believe the officials are trying to influence the outcome of any game, I don't believe they're betting on games, and I don't think they collectively have it out for one team or player in any contest.
They're just humans, like us they make mistakes, some are really big ones.
I was robbed.