Look, I saw the game too, and am as mad as anyone about the refs’ blown call. I’m heartbroken for all the fans who supported the Saints through what, until Sunday, felt like a charmed season, and also for so many players who gave their all. For all the NFL’s troubles and controversies of late, this season’s story was as feel-good as they come, and it was nice to see people from all walks of life feeling great about it.
Just about everyone around reacted angrily at the league’s refusal to correct the bad call in real time, when it could have righted the immediate wrong and sent the Saints to the Super Bowl. I have no doubt that includes Gov. John Bel Edwards and members of the New Orleans City Council, and they, like everyone else, have every right to yell it at the top of their lungs.
But come on now. Is it really their role to lodge official protests?
Nothing bad is going to come of the council’s planned resolution or Edwards’ letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell, I suppose, but nothing good will either. By speaking in their elected capacities, they’re just playing to the crowd — in Edwards' case, on the same day he formally announced his reelection bid. It all comes off as kind of silly.
This fight is between the league, the team and their fans. There’s no political angle, and there shouldn’t be. Of course the NFL has been known to bend to politicians’ wills, but when it does happen, it’s not pretty. And a small, less-affluent market like New Orleans is never going to win that battle anyway.
There is a political analogy here, though. People are only going to accept election results they don’t like if they believe the win was fair, that the system has integrity. Same goes for game outcomes. Like the country, the league has a serious problem on this front.
As for the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana, they’ve got plenty of their own problems to worry about.