Super Bowl 53 should probably be a matchup between the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots. All the Saints needed was for one of the several officials assigned to the NFC Championship to throw a flag for a very obvious pass interference. The Saints would’ve had a chance to run out almost all the clock before a game-winning field goal.
Instead, the Los Angeles Rams were gifted the opportunity to drive down the field for a game-tying field goal to force overtime. Now, it’s the Rams in Super Bowl 53 against the Patriots.
That’s a bad break for the Saints, but was it more than that? Allow me to put on my tinfoil hat real quick and say IT WAS! Via ESPN:
There is some concern in league circles about the NFL’s judgment in allowing four game officials who live in Southern California to work the game between the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints, league sources told ESPN.
Those same four officials -- all with long ties to Southern California -- were the ones most responsible for the non-call on Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman’s early, helmet-to-helmet hit on Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewisthat was widely viewed as pass interference. The league admitted to the Saints that it “f---ed up the call,” according to sources.
The referee in that game, Bill Vinovich, lives in Southern California and graduated from the University of San Diego. So Rams running back Todd Gurley had to tip his cap to a fellow Californian for helping out.
But certainly after a firestorm of criticism for its officiating, the NFL would be more careful about choosing officials for the Super Bowl, right? WRONG!
The Super Bowl 53 referee NEVER LETS THE RAMS LOSE!
It’ll be John Parry leading the officiating crew in the Super Bowl, and that’s (supposedly) based on his excellent performance during the 2018 season. It’s a safe choice too to pick a referee who’s originally from Indiana and now lives in Ohio.
It isn’t until you dig into his record as an official that the red flags start jumping off the screen.
Parry was promoted from side judge to referee in 2007 and has since been assigned to seven Rams games. The Rams were 7-0 in those games. That’s pretty wild considering the Rams didn’t have a single winning season between 2004 and 2016. Maybe that would’ve been different if they had Parry reffing more often.
His most recent assignment was the team’s 30-22 win over the Dallas Cowboys in the Divisional Round. The Rams had a whopping 273 rushing yards, so they didn’t need too much help. But it sure didn’t help the Cowboys’ chances when Parry blew this play dead because Dak Prescott was “in the grasp” of ... La’El Collins?
That “sack” in the second quarter came on a third down, and pushed Dallas back from the Rams’ 36-yard line to the 44. Just like that a 53-yard field goal attempt became an unrealistic 61-yard attempt and the Cowboys were forced to punt.
And this is the guy we’re trusting to objectively and fairly ref the Super Bowl. I don’t think so, pal.
He’s been the referee for a Super Bowl before. Parry was the man in charge of officiating Super Bowl 46 between the Patriots and Giants — one of New England’s three Super Bowl losses during the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady era. IT’S ALL RIGGED!
Do I actually believe anything I just wrote? No.
But it’s much more fun for Saints fans to blame a conspiracy theory for the Rams winning the NFC Championship than to admit they blew it down the stretch. Now the Patriots also have a pre-packaged conspiracy theory already cooked into Super Bowl 53 if they happen to lose.