The New Orleans Saints have done it again. On Sunday, the team lost to the Minnesota Vikings in the wild-card round of the playoffs and their season once again abruptly comes to an end. Saints fans were so mad after the loss, they decided to take it out on the officials.
Once the game was over, the officials were leaving the field and that was when the fans started throwing trash at them. It was so bad, the public address announcer had to tell the fans to stop. "Ladies and gentlemen, please do not throw anything on the field," the PA announcer said, per USA Today.
The trash was thrown from the upper deck and there was even a drink thrown which nearly hit an official. The reason fans were angry at the referees was how the game ended. Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins threw a touchdown pass to tight end Kyle Rudolph in overtime to win the game. When the replay was shown, Rudolph was seen pushing the Saints safety Vonn Bell which was illegal. However, the officials reviewed the play and determined it wasn't offensive pass interference.
"There is contact by both players, but none of that contact rises to the level of a foul," NFL's senior vice president of officiating, Al Riveron said who briefly reviewed the play from the league's command center in New York per ESPN. "This is consistent with what we've done all year long -- we left the ruling on the field. We let it stand."
The officials working the game didn't see anything wrong with the play, but one former NFL official believes the Vikings should have been hit with a penalty.
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"The last play of @Vikings at @Saints is OPI. By written rule and on-field philosophy, Receiver clearly created an advantage," former NFL official John Parry wrote on Twitter. "If called and reviewed, it stands. The consistent standard for creating an overturn remains a topic."
The Saints finished the regular season with a 13-3 record and they were considered a favorite to win the Super Bowl. But with the team losing on Sunday, they have to wait until next year to try to get their second Super Bowl win in franchise history. Last year, the Saints lost to the Los Angeles Rams at home in the NFC Championship game which also had a controversial ending.