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“Feeling Minnesota”: Controversy Kept the NFC Championship from Being A True Classic

This year’s NFC Championship between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints was an entertaining game that needed extra time to produce a winner.  On any other given Sunday, this would be considered an instant classic – and in some cases, many still may consider it as such.

Yet, these eyes can only view this game as one flooded with sloppy play and marred with controversy.  Left in its wake… the Vikings and its already scarred fanbase.

On Twitter, NFLprguy mentioned that this NFC Championship game “was the most-watched non-Super Bowl TV show since the Seinfeld finale”, which is ironic considering each ended in disappointment.  This isn’t to take a shot at the Saints winning the game, but more the fact that this game had to end with questionable officiating.

In fact, one can’t help but wonder if perhaps the powers that be desperately wanted the New Orleans Saints story to continue into the Super Bowl record books – especially with the wey this “almost classic” came to a conclusion.

Ever since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans in August 2005, the Saints have been the darling of the National Football League – and the lifeforce of the state of Louisiana.  As a result, the sports world has been pushing for this story to emerge for years… and here it finally is, but from this writer’s standpoint, it’s built on rocky ground.

And nothing grinds these gears more than a finish like this one – featuring misdirected blame on Brett Favre for blowing the game, plus a series of questionable calls from the officiating crew during the most crucial minutes.

First off, the critics need to leave Brett Favre alone.  Certainly, he didn’t play a picture perfect game and no doubt his late game decision to throw across his body on third and long was not the best choice he’s ever made.  But let’s put this thing in perspective a little more – Brett Favre took a beating all game from the Saints defense – and he kept getting up.  He played hurt, most notably an ankle injury suffered during the game, which left him limping – and quite possibly could have been the reason why Favre chose to not try and run for some yards on that third and long play with less than 20 seconds to go in regulation.

So don’t blame Favre.  Instead, if fingers must be pointed, how about at Minnesota’s six fumbles, or – most notably – the fact that the Vikings managed a 12-man in the huddle penalty AFTER a timeout was called – which is downright inexcusable, especially afer the team was previously in range to attempt an NFC-clinching field goal.

But enough about Minnesota’s sloppy play – let’s instead look at the game’s waning minutes, when the officiating crew continuously appeared to turn the other cheek.  It’s never easy to overturn a call – and it’s even more difficult when the call would go against the home team in overtime of a playoff game.  We get it, but it doesn’t make it right.  We could go on and on analyzing calls, but the one that’s most glaring was the pass interference call that put the Saints into field goal range.  On a crucial play like that – where the ball was likely uncatchable – you just let ‘em play, unless the call is too blatant to keep the flag in your pants.

Instead, it was the officials who were left with their “pants on the ground”, in this case.

Seriously.

Listen, this opinion may appear to be downing gallons of the purple Kool-Aid, but it isn’t like that at all.  In fact, there’s elation here for the people of New Orleans and the people involved within the Saints organization.

It’s just a shame that this miracle sports story had to come together like this – just ask the people of Minnesota – but maybe you should wait a few weeks.

After all, the wounds are still fresh.

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By | 2017-08-25T17:35:23+00:00 January 25th, 2010|Kevin Paul, NFL|10 Comments

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10 Comments

  1. admin February 10, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    TOP–

    OK, well maybe the three of us can get together and work something out… I think it makes sense, don’t you?

  2. tophatal February 6, 2010 at 12:19 AM

    KP

    That’s not a problem but I doubt my e-mail list is as replete with names as much as sportschump’s .

    Alan Parkins

  3. admin February 5, 2010 at 6:24 PM

    TOP–
    That ‘Cuse team was a complete team – just so young. They had everything though… nasty… and damn fun to watch.

    I have a few recent ones up that you probably haven’t seen… check the home page for Jim Mora and the “Things you will not see” one… both are Super Bowl takes that attempt to put some humor and fun out there.

    Have I caught up with yours? I need to check my email and make sure… also do you mind if I piggy back of your email list?

  4. tophatal February 4, 2010 at 4:38 PM

    KSP

    They’re good but nowhere near as good as that ‘cuse team of Boeheim’s that won the national championship.

    Alan Parkins

  5. admin February 4, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    TOP…
    Part of me wants to somewhat compare them to that Syracuse tem a few years back that made the Championship run… they were real young, with ‘Melo and Gerry M., Warrick, etc… a young team that’s filled with talent – and one that many think could bow out early or make a deep run. That’s Kentucky to me… now the opposite was the Wake team of recent memory that did the opposite. I believe they were a two seed – the team with Chris Paul on it – and they lost in the second round… but they were young and three of them bolted for the NBA that offseason…

  6. admin February 3, 2010 at 11:08 AM

    TOP
    Yeah, it’s been a rollecoaster ride at the top of the hoops pole lately… but that seems to happen almost every year…

    I was surprised by Wall’s comments the other day – not sure if you saw them or not. There are a few great players out there – not just the most-talked about players at Kentucky.

  7. admin January 30, 2010 at 9:49 PM

    TOP–

    Agree, it is good to have you Rev and I back and chatting sports again… no doubt about that one. Thanks for adding me… as you’ll see I just updated and added the page you requested as well – so that should be good to go.

    No doubt that Minny fans are waiting on Favre – but they won’t know for a while… we all know he’s going to take his time making a decision. I do think Minnesota will make a separate move accordingly if he does move on.
    KP

  8. admin January 30, 2010 at 9:46 PM

    “Chump”-
    Yeah, go ahead and put me on your blogroll – going to pass this site along finally… likely tomorrow…
    But yes, the 12 men penalty was probably the biggest standout occurrence in that game, with the pass interference call being the second in line… if you ask me that is. Look forward to chatting sports with you on our sites. Later man… KP

  9. Chris Humpherys January 27, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    Oh, and by the way, the moment I’ll remember most from the NFC Championship game was the 12 men on the field penalty.

    THAT…. CAN’T…. HAPPEN!

  10. Chris Humpherys January 27, 2010 at 5:56 PM

    Just a total cluster of an overtime although either way one team was going to win and one was going to lose.

    Hey, man. Are you up and fully operational yet? Let me know and I’ll throw you on the blogroll.

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