You might be oblivious to this but sports fans can be overly sensitive.
Who am I kidding? Fanatics are fragile when unflattering opinions hurl in the direction of their team. Oh and if a blatantly bad call goes against their team, you can forget about it.
As a person with a side gig as a co-host for a daily radio show that happens to talk about the New Orleans Saints quite frequently, I can tell you firsthand Saints fans are in a vulnerable state. I can confirm that conspiracy theories do exist in the mind of Saints fans. And I’m happy to report that the Saints have one of the most passionate fan bases in all of sports.
Heck, what other fan base would file a lawsuit claiming fraud and conspiracy over the officials’ failure to call pass interference in last season’s NFC Championship Game?
Unfortunately, that was just the first phase of now three referee blunders that went against the Saints.
And as emotionally detached as I try to be — you know, since this is my job and all — I was right there with Saints fans for last Sunday’s matchup against the Rams.
The Saints got hosed against the Rams last year, and New Orleans barely escaped with a victory after a first-half clock blunder cost the Saints points against Houston on Monday Night Football last week.
Guys with big microphones like Los Angeles’ Colin Cowherd ran their mouths all week about how Saints fans are crybabies and the Rams were just better.
So let’s put all the chips on the table then and see who is better in a fair fight. A win against the Rams wasn’t going to mean revenge for what happened in the NFC Championship Game. But it was going to shut up the loud mouths who continue to talk down Drew Brees’ aging arms and Who Dat nation.
And then the game started. Put aside Drew Brees injuring his thumb in the first quarter. Forget the egregious 11 penalties. Ignore the numerous drops by the Saints. And heck, let the realization of Teddy Bridgewater’s limited ceiling rest. But don’t for one second forget the Saints were hosed by the referees in their third consecutive primetime matchup.
You’ve seen it by now. The latest crime committed against New Orleans came when the referees broke the cardinal rule in officiating — blowing a fumble dead without absolute certainty it was an incomplete pass. A fumble return for a touchdown was taken off the board, and Saints fans across the state unified in rage.
After strike three, some are even on the verge of insanity. I just sat back picturing Joaquin Phoenix in the soon to be released “Joker,” painting his face and telling his therapist that life is a comedy. If you looked at social media, you’d think Saints fans were doing the same thing.
Cries for conspiracy theories are an overreaction. I’ll give those on the outside looking in that one. But if you think erasing Cam Jordan’s defensive touchdown doesn’t directly impact the result of this game, well, you’re as helpless as the NFL officials at this point.
And Roger Goodell just sits back and lets it happen. No repercussions for another Saints injustice. I can’t say any of us are surprised.
Get it together, Goodell. No, I don’t believe a conspiracy theory exists. But one thing I know for sure? The NFL is a clown show put on by the biggest one of all.