Pro sports leagues simply cannot replay a game or refund already paid legal OR illegal sports betting proceeds
Let’s just name it "The Non-Call". Of course, I am referring to the injustice of the horribly missed defensive pass interference penalty in last week’s NFC Championship potentially assisting the Rams over the cursed Saints on their way to the Super Bowl. No, it won’t make NFL history next to "The Drive" or "The Catch".
To live in infamy recalling disgraced Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman, who innocently plucked a baseball out of Florida Marlin’s Moises Alou’s glove back in 2003, tragically affecting the World Series and ruining his life. At that time confirming all sorts of curses belonging to goats and the Cubs legacy. Bartman simply wanted to grab a souvenir baseball and PAID for his ticket.
In comparison, the NFL referee in the spotlight from the Saints-Rams game has yet to be publicly named and WAS PAID well for blowing the call on the field. Referee crew chief Bill Vinovich is taking all the heat, but the actual back judge on the play remains in the shadows. He’s free to walk out in public tonight, while Bartman still lives in hiding. Yeah, life is fair.
It’s hardly fair to thousands of Saints fans who’ve signed an online petition to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for a re-do this Sunday, January 27th. The petition on Change.org had more than 725,000 signatures and growing as of this writing.
They are pounding on Goodell’s door to enforce a very obscure rule that he indeed does have power upon. It states as follows:
"The Commissioner has the sole authority to investigate and take appropriate disciplinary and/or corrective measures if any club action, non-participant interference, or calamity occurs in an NFL game which the Commissioner deems so extraordinarily unfair or outside the accepted tactics encountered in professional football that such action has a major effect on the result of the game."
Unfortunately, Saints fans, reading through this passage the subjective interpretation means something akin to a Lee Harvey Oswald bullet from the Superdome stands through Drew Brees’ helmet with 30 seconds remaining in the first half. I’m not sure even that "extraordinary calamity" would stand up during the second quarter, as New Orleans would have a full half with back-up quarterback Taysom Hill, while awaiting an official injury update for Brees.
The most honest assessment of the situation came from Rams defensive back, Nickell Robey-Coleman. After mugging Saints WR Tommy Lee Lewis, he was asked about the non-call after the game. Instead of justifying the ref’s decision he acted like a guy who just successfully robbed a bank at noon staring into the security camera. He couldn’t have been more surprised or grateful for the generous outcome. Well, maybe except for Rams bettors.
Sports Wagering Offers the Most Objective, Official Verdict
It’s hardly a secret why we cannot replay or re-do any games in the world of sports betting.
On the back of each ticket is printed mandated rules stating that once a game is declared official by its own rules it cannot be reversed. Every offshore sportsbook website also clearly states these policies for customers. Like toothpaste out of the tube, you cannot squeeze it back in for sale. There is no bending or attempting to cheat return policies at the mall stores. Done, complete, finite.
Much subsequent news has been raised this week by Australian sportsbook PointsBet by offering to refund online customers in New Jersey for the non-call blunder in the Saints-Rams game. However, a huge footnote has been recently added to their statement. They have since backed-off their initial announcement by offering a bonus in way of future bets. Like a gift certificate for merchandise in lieu of pure cash refunds. Sadly, this sets a conflicting public relations policy precedent for the industry. And proof you can’t re-do a game or refund a bet after a contest is made official to change history.
The Next "Jesse James" Rules
The results of last Sunday’s unforgettable NFC and AFC Championship’s will result in two major RULE changes for next season. But certainly not a game to be changed or ever one game to be changed. Akin to necessary rule changes after the controversial Jesse James play that dearly cost the Pittsburgh Steelers against the New England Patriots late last season. Like the law, always a crucial mistake unfortunately necessary to get things right.
First, look for NFL replay policies to be reviewed. More officiating calls will be judged review-able and looked at under the head referee’s headset. The downside will be even longer NFL games to bear.
Second, a huge and long-due change to the NFL overtime rules. If Tom Brady plays forever the New England Patriots will win every coin flip in overtime, score a touchdown the first time they have the ball and the game is over. Something will have to change there. It has and never has made sense in comparison to OT rules in other U.S. sports. The only bad aspect about adopting the NCAA college football overtime rules are the Over-Under Totals problem. That could provide havoc with many more traditional close NFL games. Again, an issue the NFL commissioner and rules committee will never admit to discussing.
It is quite interesting that some sentimental appeal is building among very casual fans for the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl next Sunday. That the Los Angeles Rams don’t deserve to be there. They didn’t earn their ticket and got to the big dance with big help from a blind official.
Sorry New Orleans fans (and bettors) but Commissioner Goodell isn’t replaying your game. Some wisdom, solace and advice via Billy Joel, who once sang "I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the Saints" …cause only the good die young.
Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, including previews and picks from Glenn, click here.