After a blown pass interference call late in the fourth quarter of last year’s NFC Championship game, Saints coach Sean Payton said that “we’ll probably never get over it.” Based on the reaction of Saints fans since, that seems to be the case.
After an initial lawsuit that demanded the NFL replay the game or declare the Saints the winners failed, Saints superfan and lawyer Tony LeMon filed a fraud suit against the league a few days before the Super Bowl. He also crafted his suit so damages are under $75,000, which means it stays in state courts before (presumably) Saints fan judges.
Every legal observer said from the start the suit was unlikely to succeed, but so far the NFL’s attempts to dismiss have failed. Last month a judge in Louisiana ruled three officials and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would have to be deposed in September.
The NFL is appealing that ruling, and they have an ally in their quest: The New Orleans Saints. Today the Saints filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the league’s attempt to dismiss the suit.
“While the Saints, too, were disappointed and frustrated by the result of the NFC Championship Game, the Saints agree with the [NFL] that this is a slippery slope that the Louisiana court should not go down,” the brief reads. “An appropriate administrative process exists to effect change, and the Saints, along with the other member clubs, utilized that process.” (The NFL owners voted to make pass interference calls reviewable this offseason.)
The NFL argues allowing the lawsuit to proceed would lead to scores of fans suing the league over every missed call. That sounds like a reason to continue, honestly. The next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 22.
If this story of a Saints fan suing the NFL over something sounds familiar, it’s because New Orleans fans apparently do this all the time. A fan filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL over Bountygate in 2012. Two years ago, another fan sued the league over protests during the national anthem. Geeze. Give it a rest.