The New Orleans Saints and their fans will have the entire offseason to stew on yesterday's loss to the Los Angeles Rams and the non-call that largely cost them a shot to win the game.
Fans and players aren't going to be getting over it any time soon. In fact, Sean Payton said after the game that his team may never get past what happened.
Today, New Orleans owner Gayle Benson released a lengthy statement to fans about the season in general and yesterday in particular. She didn't hold back her displeasure with the officiating.
Benson's full statement can be found here, but the part about the blown call can be seen below.
Yesterday’s result is still difficult to accept for all of us. I am thoroughly disappointed by the events that led to the outcome of yesterday’s game. Getting to the Super Bowl is incredibly difficult to do and takes such an unbelievable commitment from a team and support from its fans. No team should ever be denied the opportunity to reach the title game (or simply win a game) based on the actions, or inactions, of those charged with creating a fair and equitable playing field. As is clear to all who watched the game, it is undeniable that our team and fans were unfairly deprived of that opportunity yesterday. I have been in touch with the NFL regarding yesterday’s events and will aggressively pursue changes in NFL policies to ensure no team and fan base is ever put in a similar position again. It is a disservice to our coaches, players, employees and, most importantly, the fans who make our game possible. The NFL must always commit to providing the most basic of expectations - fairness and integrity.
To be fair, if Sean Payton's playcalling was a little better down the stretch or Drew Brees doesn't throw that interception in overtime, the refs swallowing their whistles might not have mattered.
Instead, it is the topic that is dominating the discussion of yesterday's game, which is not what the NFL wants at all.
It will be interesting to see what the league says in its official statement.