January 25, 2019
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WWL) — Some New Orleans Saints fans are doing more than grieving after the heartbreaking and controversial loss to the Los Angeles Rams Sunday.
Tens of thousands of internet users have signed an online petition to NFL commissioner Rodger Goodell for a rematch of the NFC Championship game. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Change.org petition started by Terry Cassreino had received more than 720,000 signatures.
"Refs missed a blatant pass interference call against the Los Angeles Rams late in fourth quarter of Jan. 20 NFC Championship game, possibly costing New Orleans Saints a trip to the SuperBowl," the petition reads. "Due to refs’ inability to properly officiate at the game, we the undersigned want a re-match against L.A. on Sunday, Jan. 27. It’s the only fair solution to this travesty of epic proportions."
Choppa, the New Orleans rapper behind the 2018 Saint's season anthem 'Choppa Style," joined in for calls for a rematch and asked for "justice."
"Let's do what's right. We need a rematch," Choppa said in a video posted to Instagram Sunday night. "First time in history. This wasn't a regular game. This was the road to the Super Bowl."
The Saints' season ended in a 26-23 overtime loss to the Rams after a disputed non-call. "Cheated," "robbed" and "stolen" were the words spoken most by Saints fans outside the stadium after the game.
With the win, Los Angeles secured the NFC title and a trip in Super Bowl LIII.
Los Angeles cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman committed a blatant interference penalty with a helmet-to-helmet hit on Tommylee Lewis well before the pass arrived inside the 5, forcing the Saints to settle for Wil Lutz's 31-yard field goal that made it 23-20 with 1:41 left in regulation.
“I don’t know if there was ever more obvious pass interference," Saints head coach Sean Payton said after the game.
Thousands who signed the petition also went the extra mile to donate to Cassreino's cause. Eyewitness News reached out to Cassreino on Tuesday to see what he'll do with the money he's collected so far, but did not get a comment.