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Tony LeMon, center, an attorney and Saints super fan, won in court when Orleans Parish Civil District Judge granted his motion to compel discovery in his lawsuit against the NFL over the controversial call in the Saints/Rams playoff game. He and other fans toast the decision with champagne on the front porch of his Mandeville home on Thursday, July 18, 2019.

James Gill is clueless.

He does not know the purpose of the NOLA “No Call” lawsuit; he does not know The Who Dat Nation; and he does not know me.

He claims that our lawsuit is about a mistaken call by the NFL officials. Wrong. It‘s about an intentional “no call” or fraud. He claims that our lawsuit, about a game of football, is an absurdity. This is true only if you believe that the integrity of the game itself is not at stake, a game from which black and gold threads are interwoven into the fabric of our culture.

Dan Fagan: This lawsuit against NFL for its blown Saints call is a waste of time

Trial Nicole Judge Sheppard is not guilty of “home cooking.” She is guilty of doing her duty by applying Louisiana law to undeniable facts. Unlike the federal courts, state courts do not apply laws of other states. There is no federal or state law that exempts the NFL from liability for bad or fraudulent behavior like all other commercial enterprises. The NFL cannot sell Product “A” when, in fact it’s knowingly selling inferior Product “B” to 72,000 consumers in the Superdome.

Our lawsuit is about: finding truth; ensuring accountability for bad behavior; preserving the integrity of the game; and ensuring that nothing like this sucker punch to the Saints, its players, coaches, owner, and fan base (who rub their nickels together to buy tickets), and local businesses, ever happens again. Our lawsuit is telling the NFL that if it doesn’t take corrective measures for egregious conduct to protect the game, then we will do it. We want an apology from Roger Goodell and reparation to the Saints (replacing the bounty gate draft picks, for example). We want the NFL to clean its house and take measures ensuring no more “no calls.”

As a boy, I started early mornings by throwing newspapers for the Picayune and cutting lawns to buy my youth ticket for games at Tulane Stadium. I understand that missed calls are part of the game. However, we should never tolerate refs looking the other way when they actually see infractions. And equally important, without accountability, can we expect many more “no calls” in future games? This lawsuit is not about “whining”; rather, it’s about winning back our belief in the game.

If truth and integrity no longer have value, and are not worth fighting for and protecting, then our NOLA “No Call” lawsuit is James Gill's “absurd.” We also seek damages, which represent the tears and trauma to all fans and should go with attorney’s fees to a great local charity, Steve Gleason’s foundation.

We need to know that the integrity of the game has been restored. Otherwise, the soul of the game is lost.

Tony LeMon

attorney

Covington