I realize practically no one is going to agree with me but, oh well.

Let me begin by stating clearly, I am not a Los Angeles Rams fan. As a lifelong San Francisco 49er fan, I was never going to cheer for the Rams.

I, like most people, have a soft spot in my heart for the New Orleans Saints and wanted them to win the game. I also think they had a better chance of defeating the New England Patriots. (I figured the Pats were going to beat the Chiefs.)

When I first saw the play from the angle the television cameras gave us, it looked to me like the hit by the defensive back was perfectly timed and the no call was correct. They then showed several replays. One in particular makes it appear the hit was early and there should have been a pass interference call.


But if you look closely, it appears the ball is already past the receiver when contact is made. Other replay angles support my contention the defender did not arrive early. For some reason these other angles aren’t shown anymore.

Why not?

Anyway, in the Santa Maria Times sports section on Saturday, there is a photograph of this "controversial" no-call play.

It is pretty obvious in this picture that the ball is clearly beyond the receiver when the defensive back makes contact.

That is not pass interference.

Then the narrative changed to include that the referee missed the helmet-to-helmet contact in addition to the early hit on the receiver.

Well, I went to YouTube and watched the video several times and only saw the DB push the receiver with his arms to knock him away from the pass as it arrived or just after. The photo in the Times supports my contention that there wasn’t helmet-to-helmet contact on that play.

Furthermore, the pass appears to be well off target – thrown way to the inside of the route the receiver was running. He wasn’t going to be anywhere near the ball.

It is because of this that many armchair quarterbacks think the defensive back arrived early.

If you listened to the broadcast, there was one instance in which the referees all discussed the play and the man who didn’t call interference indicated the ball had already arrived when contact was made. And some replays and photos confirm this.

He made the proper decision.

So now we have a bunch of idiots who are suing for an array of ridiculous reasons. They act as if this is a life-and-death issue.

To them I say, “Grow up and get a life.“

Upper echelon types are thinking of making rule changes so such “a grave injustice“ never happens again.


A grave injustice is when an innocent person is accused of a crime. A grave injustice is when a beautiful little girl is killed by a gang member in a drive-by where they targeted the wrong car. A grave injustice is when someone is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and ends up serving decades in prison.

It is just a game. There are far more serious things going on in this world that beg for justice. One disputed call in a football game is not one of them. And I will say it again – the referee (and God bless him) got it right.

Greg Sarkisian has coached high school athletics on the Central Coast for more than three decades, spending 30 seasons as St. Joseph's head cross country coach and 35 seasons as the school's head track and field coach. At St. Joseph, Sarkisian's track and field athletes won 24 individual CIF championships under his tutelage. He also taught mathematics for 38 years at the high school level and for 27 years at Allan Hancock College.


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