At least the National Football League has provided a majority of intelligent, clear-minded fans with someone to root against in Super Bowl LIII.
It’s an obvious choice.
They are in every Super Bowl. You get sick and tired of seeing them on your television in early February year after year.
You foolishly think that your team has a chance to win against them, but they find a way to break your heart again and again and again.
So, fair fans of football, let us unite together as Pigskin Nation and soundly root against the referees when the latest big game kicks off in less than two weeks.
Officials are easy targets for fans of sports at all levels.
But when the NFL’s biggest doubleheader of the season comes down to a pair of overtime contests, and one of the biggest talking points at the end of the day is the performance of the officials?
This could be a fun two weeks on non-stop hype and sports talk for NFL executives.
While the AFC championship game had more than its fair share of questionable calls, the biggest (non) penalty of this postseason took place earlier in the day in the NFC contest.
(Please, please don’t let there be a bigger officiating snafu than this in the Super Bowl.)
It can’t be easy to be a New Orleans Saint right now.
A play with 1:45 left in regulation looked like an obvious penalty on the Los Angeles Rams. Whether that penalty was pass interference or helmet-to-helmet contact, there should have been at least one flag thrown.
There wasn’t. And the Saints couldn’t run down the clock to attempt a go-ahead field goal late in the game.
Instead, the Los Angeles Rams had plenty of time to match that field goal and go on to win in overtime.
Look for some loud voices to ask to overhaul what can be reviewed on replay challenges during the offseason.
But, as it is, it will be the Rams and the New England Patriots heading to Atlanta to see who wins a nice little trophy.
And, if you for some reason don’t want to root against the referees, the Patriots are always a good option.
That’s because they’re always there. This is the fourth appearance in five years.
They are tougher to kill off than a soap opera supervillain.
I will give any New England fan a pass if they can produce a Flutie jersey or any item with the awesome Pat Patriot logo on it.
Otherwise, I’ll assume you are a bandwagon jumper and have been riding the never-ending Belichick-Brady train to obnoxious fandom for so long that it is now eligible to get its driver’s license.
That New England AFC championship win really didn’t go over so well in this part of the country, not with the amount of Kansas City Chiefs fans inhabiting our state.
And, truth be told, those fans could use a Super Bowl victory sooner rather than later. Their “NFL Champion” t-shirts are getting a little worn out after 49 years.
They don’t even own Sports Illustrated special championship editions for their Super Bowl win because that came before the invention of the printing press.
But it wasn’t to be for the Chiefs or their long suffering fans.
Instead we’re stuck with another New England Super Bowl, which is starting to feel like a series you are binge watching but can’t stop no matter how much you realize you dislike it.
And if the Patriots win another title, we’ll once again witness Bill Belichick show less emotion at the postgame press conference than is displayed during the average Vulcan eulogy.
Every good story has the antagonist who you root against.
Thank you, NFL, for doubling up this year and providing us with the referees and the Patriots.
May the best Rams win.
Dale Miller is a sports writer for the Independent.