On Tuesday evening, owners approved a new rule making pass interference on defense and offense reviewable. Including any non-calls.
This rule stems, from the non-call during the NFC Championship game in January between the Saints and Rams this past season. A call, that without a doubt, was a blown call by the officials. In fact there were many blown calls by the officials during that game, but none of which was the factor that altered the outcome of the game.
After the Saints lost to the Rams in overtime after a crucial Drew Brees pick, New Orleans erupted with anger. Which was ultimately led by a furious head coach in Sean Payton. From the moment time expired he shook any cage he could to call attention to the obvious error. Even going so far as to call the league office immediately after the game to vent his frustrations.
The cage shaking obviously brought with it an overflow of media attention, and was the driving force behind the new PI rule. Good job on New Orleans on the flawless “marketing campaign” to get this rule on the books.
No matter what side a person falls on with this rule, the result of it begs the question of where do you draw the line? When do you determine that the league has gone too far?
The thought that a player, coach, or team can influence an entire league out of simple displeasure from a certain result is asinine. In short, it sets a dangerous precedent.
For example, what if a teams shows displeasure in the way off-sides is called or not called? Can they then just simply strong arm the league into bending towards their will? Hopefully not, but with the precedent this now sets, it could give room for something like that to happen.
The NFL and it’s owners are charged to protect the integrity of the sport as a whole. Which includes human error like that moment during the NFC Championship game. As that is what makes the sport what it is today.
It’s not perfect and it never will be, but the road of appeasement is a slippery slope. Over these next few seasons, it will reveal how far the NFL is willing to go.