Speaking at a commencement over the weekend, Saints Owner Gayle Benson thanked Saints fans for their reaction, which included giving the Super Bowl its lowest local rating of any American television market.
“Had this happened in another city, it is likely there would have been riots in the streets,” said Benson. “As bitterly disappointed as our fans were, our response was the opposite. Rather than riot, our protests turned into another cause: for parties. ‘Boycott Bowls’ sprang up throughout the city on Super Bowl Sunday. And our fans’ displeasure with the obviously terrible no-call was expressed to the NFL by tuning out at a historic rate, delivering the lowest Super Bowl rating in the country.”
Benson said she issued a public rebuke of the non-call in the days after the season-ending defeat, as Goodell remained silent, because she “felt our fans, coaches and players deserved better.”
“Bouncing back from those failures,” Benson said, “especially when caused by forces or officials beyond your control, can be tough. I believe resilience is something that doesn’t necessarily come naturally to most of us. But it is a trait that must be worked on and strengthened over time.”
Benson, like Saints fans, is still not over that missed call four months ago.
The missed call prompted Benson and Saints coach Sean Payton to spearhead a rule change. In the upcoming 2019 season, coaches may seek a replay review of made and missed pass interference calls.
The Saints need to move on.
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