Did you see that blatant penalty that has the whole Who Dat Nation convinced the Saints were robbed of a Super Bowl appearance? Neither did the ref.

Now Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen has joined the chorus of derision over the "No Call" debacle in the NFC Championship game on Sunday.

The day after the game, the fried chicken giant posted to Twitter a blurry photo, perhaps showing a box of chicken, with only a hashtag for explanation: #refereechicken.

To be sure this was no error, a representative for Popeyes confirmed that the post was “making reference to the referee’s controversial call and the conclusion that clearly the refs couldn’t see clearly when they made the call they did.”

It was a matter of the brand “defending its hometown team,” the representative wrote.

Popeyes founder Al Copeland Sr. opened his first fried chicken joint in 1972, built a following around the New Orleans area and grew into a national player. Sold by the late Copeland long ago, and now called Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, the brand has gone global. It had for years been headquartered in Atlanta, home to this year’s Super Bowl. That headquarters moved to Miami in 2018.

The call in question, of course, is the “No Call” when the officials declined to penalize a Rams player for an early hit on a Saints receiver with New Orleans in the red zone. The Saints ended up settling for a field goal, which gave the LA Rams the opportunity to tie and, in overtime, win the game.


Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter, @IanMcNultyNOLA.