Due In Part To The Masterful Motivational Skills Of Sean Payton, The Saints Got Their Rule Change...And A Very, Very Slight Sense Of Closure
Thirty-one other inherently self-serving NFL head coaches. Thirty stubborn and oft-unrelatable NFL owners, with the only exception being that of a Bengals' organization that would be one step away from relegation if professional football were ever to enforce such a practice. One imbecile of an NFL commissioner, who'd rather beat off to his bank account than agree to make any sort of sizable changes to the league that keeps it fluidly flush at all times.
That concludes the list of powerful people who Sean Payton convinced to indirectly admit that his team suffered such an outrageous and inexcusable injustice that something absolutely had to be done to prevent the league from enduring such an unsightly black eye in the future...
Saints' fans and/or players are still far too cynical for even one to believe that this "win" comes even remotely close to making up for the harrowing and heart-wrenching loss that necessitated it. Be prepared to continue telling New Orleans as a collective to get over it, because this hardly signals the end of their spiteful grudge. However, it's tough to think about how unbelievably unlikely it is to get almost the entirety of the NFL's billion-dollar brain trust to agree on anything that doesn't have a dollar sign attached, as well as look at that warm embrace between Sean Payton and Gayle Benson, and not come to the conclusion that this is an accomplishment - albeit a bittersweet one - for those heavily invested in the franchise.
Now, this rule change is hardly a cure-all for negligent, cowardly, and flat-out piss poor officiating. You don't exactly need a telescope to foresee the stars of stupidity aligning in such a way that controversial pass interference calls, or lack thereof, endure the forever frustrating "what exactly is a catch?" treatment. That said, with the NFL's principled refusal to put any one of their many zeros worth of income towards the outcome of full-time referees whose jobs are actually dependent on identifying the blatantly obvious free from the game-situation during which it occurs, this is about the best anyone could hope for in terms of change.
Perhaps whatever impassioned speech Sean Payton gave in swaying the unforgiving audience in a room that's resistant to change to damn near unanimity should be made public so that everyone feels the same about the NFL's rare attempted fix to something that actually affects the integrity of football. This wasn't about retroactively righting one disgraceful and dishonorable wrong, as the Who Dat Nation will gladly be demeaningly loud and obnoxiously proud in letting you know that will always and forever be an impossibility. This was about making more fair a product that impacts the fickle job security of thousands, even if that is an on-going and imperfect process.
Root for the New Orleans Saints to ironically be on the wrong side of a rule their head coach was adamantly ingenious in having altered all you want, but don't say his head wasn't in the same place as his heart in doing so.