Petition for NFC Championship Game rematch surpasses half a million signatures

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 20: Tommylee Lewis #11 of the New Orleans Saints drops a pass broken up by Nickell Robey-Coleman #23 of the Los Angeles Rams during the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 20, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana – A controversial ending to the NFC Championship Game has launched a petition for a rematch.

After rallying from an early 13-0 deficit, the Rams stunned the New Orleans Saints with Greg Zuerlein’s 57-yard field goal in overtime for a 26-23 victory in the NFC championship game Sunday — an outcome that might not have been possible without a mistake by the officials in the closing minutes of regulation.

Los Angeles cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman hit helmet-to-helmet 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.

“Due to refs’ inability to properly officiate at the game, we the undersigned want a re-match against L.A. on Sunday, Jan. 27.,” the petition reads.

“It’s the only fair solution to this travesty of epic proportions,” Terry Cassreino writes.

The Mississippi Clarion-Ledger reports the petition was started by a journalism teacher at St. Joseph Catholic School who is a native of New Orleans.

According to NFL rules, a rematch could technically happen.

Rule 17, Section 2, Article 3 states:

“The Commissioner’s powers under this Section 2 include the imposition of monetary fines and draft-choice forfeitures, suspension of persons involved in unfair acts, and, if appropriate, the reversal of a game’s result or the rescheduling of a game, either from the beginning or from the point at which the extraordinary act occurred.”

Whether NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would actually invoke the rule remains to be seen.

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