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Championship liveblog: Rams at Saints

2018 NFC Championship

Follow us here for rolling coverage of the calls and rules interpretations of the NFC Championship game from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

If you have any questions or comments, use the comments section of this post, or tweet us  @footballzebras.


         Yrs 2018 crew College Occupation
R 52 Bill Vinovich 13    San Diego certified public accountant
U 102 Bruce Stritesky 13 Vinovich Embry Riddle airline pilot
DJ 13 Patrick Turner 5 Corrente Cal State-Long Beach plant manager
LJ 59 Rusty Baynes 9 Boger Auburn-Montgomery general manager, safety services*
FJ 97 Tom Hill 20 Hochuli Carson Newman teacher*
SJ 60 Gary Cavaletto 16 Vinovich Hancock general manager, agricultural operations
BJ 30 Todd Prukop 10 Corrente Cal State-Fullerton medical sales representative

*indicates full-time official

  • Replay official: Mike Wimmer
  • Replay assistant: Bill Ellis
  • Alternates: Jerome Boger (R), Mark Perlman (LJ), Steve Freeman (BJ)

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15 thoughts on “Championship liveblog: Rams at Saints

  1. Please. Tell me how Al Riveron is still employed. How many officials are positioned to where they should have seen that obvious pass interference call that may decide the game? He’s the one that put them out there. He’s responsible for the egregious failure, and it should cost him his job. A guy off the street would be better.

  2. They missed another EASY PI call on the interception in overtime. Receiver was taken out of the play on a pass that clearly WAS NOT tipped, but no EASY PI call again. Officiating totally decided and ruined the game, yet Al Riveron still has a job.

  3. This is one of the worst called NFL playoff games ever. The interference call was so blatant it’s hard to believe these guys actually get paid to be as worthless as ever! Cost the Saints the NFC title

  4. On the overtime pass that led to the interception, any pass interference should have been called on the offense because he turned into the defender, knocking the defender to the ground. However, there were at least two clear instances of pass interference that the Rams got away with. In the second quarter, one of the Rams defenders hooked Pierre Thomas at the waist, preventing him from getting to a pass in the end zone. Then there was one of the most blatant cases of pass interference not called at the end of the game. If the pass interference had been called, the Saints would have been able to run the clock out and kick a field goal in the last seconds. Because the referees did not call this blatant case, the wrong team is going to the Super Bowl. If a referee was fired for missing a false start, then even more a referee should be fired for missing an easy call that determined the outcome of the game.

  5. The bad/missed/”let em play” calls just don’t matter. They will say there is “no defense” for it but there will be little to no accountability and nothing will change.

    If they can’t get the clear penalties what difference does it make at all?

  6. Brian Bomser missed DPI near end of regulation was in front of SJ, so DJ should have had a clear view down the line. And why BJ couldn’t see that either is mind boggling. In the Canadian Football League, PI is reviewable. Not saying the NFL should make it reviewable, but that cannot happen again.

  7. Well, that was a total disgrace.

    Kind of ruins the season to have a bad officiating call determine one of the SB teams.


  8. I wanted to puke after seeing the “no call” PI at the end of this game. Not only was that clearly PI, it was right in front of the FJ, Tom Hill. Sorry Tom but you need to go back to the minors for blowing that call. Even Pereira in the booth couldn’t believe it. As he said, sometimes it’s a “bang-bang sort of thing but this was clearly PI as well as a potential helmet to helmet”.

    Wonder what it’s like to see the replay on the jumbotron a minute later and see you blew it.

    While I’m at it, I would like to see the timeout called from the sideline removed. Should go back to only players in the field of play can call a timeout – or even a captain. We’re moving towards the live game turning into Madden, run by guys on headsets and in the booth.

  9. If the league fines Sean Payton for criticizing the officiating on the missed DPI call … Goodell should resign!

  10. I can’t say anything different then the rest of you
    Can’t get over that non call
    Caused the saints a SB

  11. Tom Hill should retire…it’s funny how no one holds the officials to their mechanics. Tom Hill on several occasions is walking away as his half ass signals are up in the air during a field goal. A couple times the ball didn’t even cross the bar yet and he’s walking away with hands coming downward. I

  12. It was whichever side Tom Hill was on each and every time he signaled under the goal a half signal as he’s walking away…officials are taught to hold their signals crisp and be in sync with the other deep wing. I guess when you get to that level for too long, you lose sight of mechanics of what got you there.

    Tell you what, these officials are opening the door for certain officials out there, which is also scary.

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