A pair of Saints season ticket holders were fighting for justice for their team after a “no call” cost them a spot in the Super Bowl by suing the NFL, but a New Orleans federal judge threw out the lawsuit on Thursday.
Earlier this month, the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams played each other in the NFC Championship game, however the game sparked controversy after the Rams’ pass interference penalty went uncalled by referees. The Saints lost their spot in the Super Bowl, so season ticket holders began to sue the league, represented by New Orleans attorney Frank D’Amico, Jr., demanding a re-match.
While seemingly impossible, commissioner Rodger Goodell actually has the authority to let the teams re-match or award the Saints as the winning team, according to a clause in the NFL rulebook. However, U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan rejected the fans’ request, finding that season ticket holders and fans have no right to request the NFL or Goodell act in one way or another.
“It is clear the plaintiffs seek a writ directed to defendant Goodell,” Morgan wrote. “It is unclear what action plaintiffs seek to compel him to do.”
Lawyers for the Saints fans argued that while they know they have no right to force Goodell to do anything, they just wanted him to “do the right thing” and let the teams re-play the last few minutes. In a news conference Wednesday, Goodell said that he never considered intervening after the call since the NFL rule in question does not allow him to interject an on-field call.
“That’s part of this issue of not wanting a replay official or an official back in New York throwing a flag on a no-call,” Goodell said in the conference. “If that happens, you could have multiple fouls on a play that people are looking at.”
Although this lawsuit is off the table, a second lawsuit filed in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court is still pending.