Former Bulldog Benjamin Watson blasts Roger Goodell after NFC championship game incident
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Former Bulldog Benjamin Watson calls out Roger Goodell
Benjamin Watson is one of the most well-respected players in the NFL. The former Bulldog spent 15 years in the NFL and was twice named a finalist for the Walter Payton man of the Year award during his time with the New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints.
So it’s pretty rare for some of Watson’s character to publicly challenge anyone, let alone the most powerful man in the NFL. But Watson is fed up with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Watson posted a lengthy statement on Twitter on Thursday calling out Goodell for his silence following the end of the NFC Championship game. For those who missed it, there was a blatant pass interference penalty — that Los Angeles Rams defender Nickell Robey-Coleman admitted to committing — that the referees did not call. Had the proper call been made, the Saints likely would’ve advanced to the Super Bowl instead of the Rams.
The no call pass interference was egregious yes. Saints took the lead anyway, only to easily allow the tie, Brees throws a pick and the game in OT. Who’s fault?(and I don’t like refs). pic.twitter.com/M0BtdX1HyT
— CleWest (@erjmanlasvegas) January 21, 2019
— Benjamin Watson (@BenjaminSWatson) January 24, 2019
“Commissioner Goodell. We all realize that football is an imperfect game, played, coached and officiated by imperfect people,” Watson wrote in a note on Twitter. “What occurred last Sunday in New Orleans though, was outside of that expected and accepted norm.
“Your continued silence on this matter is unbecoming of the position you hold, detrimental to the integrity of the game and disrespectful and dismissive to football fans everywhere,” Watson wrote. “From the locker room to Park Ave, accountability is what makes our league great. Lead by example. We are waiting.”
The loss has to be gutting to Watson in particular given that he had previously announced that he was going to retire after the 2018 season. Watson did not play in the NFC Championship game due to appendicitis, but he likely would’ve been able to play in the Super Bowl had the Saints beaten the Rams.
While many have told Saints’ players and fans to get over it — New Orleans did blow a 13-point lead and have the ball first in overtime — it’s still a terrible way to see your season end. There’s nothing that can be done about the loss now, but Watson absolutely has a point in that the NFL should’ve said more on the terrible call.
If Watson has played his final game, he’ll have finished with 530 career receptions, 5,885 receiving yards and 46 touchdowns. He won a Super Bowl as a member of the 2004 Patriots, and was a key contributor on the 2007 New England team that went 16-0 during the regular season.
Watson played at Georgia from 2001-03 and was a first round pick in the 2004 NFL Draft by the Patriots.
Georgia will have four players in this year’s Super Bowl, as running back Todd Gurley and linebacker Ramik Wilson will represent the Rams, while center David Andrews and running back Sony Michel will do the same for the New England Patriots.
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