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SALT LAKE CITY — The world of sports can provide some of the highest of highs but also returns some of the lowest of lows.
Fans of the New Orleans Saints are currently feeling the latter after Sunday afternoon’s heartbreaking loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship game. The Saints lost to the Rams in overtime after officials missed what looked to be a blatant pass interference call against Los Angeles near the end of regulation.
Local business owners and fans of the Saints wasted no time before going to social media to express their disappointment with the way Sunday’s game was officiated.
Two vision centers, one in Louisiana and one in Texas generously offered the officials of the NFC Championship game and all other NFL officials free eye exams in response to the missed pass interference call.
Louisiana Family Eyecare posted to their Facebook page: “After having time to consider things we will GLADLY provide no cost eye exams to all NFL officials prior to next season to prevent the atrocity that occurred tonight. We would hate for someone else to feel our pain. #eyeexamsforallNFLofficials”
CrystalVisionCenter tweeted: “In light of the atrocious lack of calls during the New Orleans Saints game we would like to extend free eye exams and glasses to any NFL referee in need. You know who you are.”
A local T-Shirt company, Dirty Coast, created a shirt designed like an eye chart that reads: “If you can read this you have better eyesight than all refs in the NFL and know they robbed the Saints of the NFC Championship title and the Super Bowl.”
Haydel’s Bakery in New Orleans promoted a new cookie on Facebook called the “No Ref” cookie and said, “Feed your anger for the refs of yesterday’s game, LITERALLY!”
Primary Veterinary Care of Gretna, Lousiana changed the text on a sign outside their offices to read, “Will neuter all NFL refs at no charge.”
Another fan rented several billboards throughout Atlanta, the site of Super Bowl 53, and posted phrases like, “Saints Got Robbed”
At least two other fans have even filed lawsuits, asking NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to use his power to replay the final minutes of regulation.
The NFL’s rulebook states that the NFL commissioner has the "sole authority to investigate and take appropriate disciplinary and/or corrective measures if any club action, non-participant interference, or calamity occurs in an NFL game which the Commissioner deems so extraordinarily unfair or outside the accepted tactics encountered in professional football that such action has a major effect on the result of the game."
But another section also states: "The Commissioner will not apply authority in cases of complaints by clubs concerning judgmental errors or routine errors of omission by game officials. Games involving such complaints will continue to stand as completed."
Sorry, Saints fans, but it looks like you’ll just have to wait until next year.