The New Orleans Saints Are the Face of Bad Officiating

San Francisco 49ers v New Orleans Saints
San Francisco 49ers v New Orleans Saints / Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Saints were screwed again on Sunday. It has become a common refrain. A call that could be classified as anywhere from questionable to horrible went against New Orleans in their loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Taysom Hill threw a pass on a fake punt that went incomplete as the intended receiver was bear-hugged by a defender. Since it was out of a punt formation, there can be no pass interference, but Sean Payton wanted a holding call, which could have been called. Alas, he didn't get it. And Stephen A. Smith is sick of all the whining.

The problem with this is that all Payton is asking is for professional referees to do their jobs correctly. Pobody's nerfect, but would it be too much to ask for officials to properly apply the rules?

In September, the Saints lost time off the clock near the end of the first half after a review gave them a first down. Referees failed to properly adjust the clock and the Saints settled for a long field goal attempt. And missed. The Saints lost the game, 30-28.

The next week, referees blew a play dead as Cam Jordan returned a fumble the length of the field for a touchdown. The touchdown would have given the Saints a 10-3 lead in the 2nd quarter. Instead they would punt and go on to lose, 27-9.

In November, the Saints were on the wrong end of a successful pass interference challenge by Ron Rivera-- a rarity, if you've been paying attention to how the refs have decided to handle challenges to their judgement. This led to Payton suggesting the NFL institute a three-person replay booth.

And who can forget the no-call that was so bad the NFL changed their replay rules? This has been a theme for the Saints for an entire calendar year now. They aren't the only team getting hosed, but with each call snowballing, they are the current poster boys for teams victimized by bad officiating. They deserve to complain just as much as any other team.