Remember the obscure NFL rule that came to light on Monday, which showed that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell potentially has the power to Rams corner Nickell Robey-Coleman? Well, an attorney has filed a civil suit on behalf of Saints season-ticket holders that asks the NFL to do just that by enforcing Rule 17, Section 2, Article 1 in the NFL Rulebook that he says "could, in the right circumstances, allow the commissioner to take extreme action in the face of a grossly unfair result."of the NFC title game and have the teams replay the finish of the contest from the point of the blatant missed pass interference call on
According to a report from WDSU in Louisiana, New Orleans area attorney Frank J. D'Amico Jr. has filed the suit on behalf of Saints season-ticket holders. D'Amico Jr. released the following statement:
The crux of D'Amico Jr.'s argument is as follows. (Note: Spelling and grammatical errors are as written in the statement itself, a significant portion of which -- highlighted in bold below -- appears to be lifted directly from the initial article at Pro Football Talk, which spotlighted the rule in the first place, but which does not contain the same errors.)
"Even though Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman admits that he opted to wide out Saints receive Tommylee Lewis because Robey-Coleman believed he'd been beaten for touchdown, it's hard not to imagine this being the kind of 'extraordinarily unfair' act that would have a major effect on the outcome of the game. Then again, the rule is there for a reason; if ever it would be invoked, wouldn't now be the time to do it?
"And here's where it gets even juicer, Consider Rule 17, Article 3: 'The commissioner's powers under this Section 2 include ... the reversal if a game's result or the rescheduling of a game, either from the beginning or from the point at which the extraordinary act occurred.'
"Basically, the Commissioner has the power to turn back time to the spot of the penalty that wasn't called, put the teams back on the field from that point in the game, give the Saints first and goal at the spot of the foul, put 1:49 on the clock , and let the game proceed, tied at 20, with the Rams having one time out left.
"It isn't inconceivable that it would happen, but even if it is, then why does the rulebook even allow for this type of an approach?
"And maybe that's why the league is wrestling with the language of its expected statement acknowledging the error. Maybe the league realizes that, depending on the specific words chosen, the door to a Rule 17 proceeding could inadvertently be kicked open.
"Football has become the national pastime. People have been led to believe the games will be fairly played and that the NFL will enforce the rules without attempting to influence the outcome."
This suit is obviously a Hail Mary attempt that is extraordinarily unlikely to succeed, but with the steam this rule is picking up in the wake of a controversial no-call that so obviously swung the outcome of the game, it's possible the league could look to tighten up the language so that this kind of attempt does not happen in the future.