Dear NFL, Mama’s Mad

I was in the Dome on Sunday; I saw it all go down.

I walked out with 70,000 other stunned and silent Saints fans. Initially, I was sad and disappointed, but now – less than 24 hours after the game – I’m pissed.

How dare you let this happen? How dare you not give consequences to what appears to be a lazy referee at best or a rigged outcome at the worst?

And after this passes, how dare you market and sell your apparel, your gear, your posters, your teams, your players to OUR children?

We let our kids watch your games and learn about your players. We actually encourage this behavior because we believe “the game” teaches our kids about hard work, perseverance and sportsmanship.

We buy the stuff you sell because our kids (specifically our boys) look up to and admire your boys.

After yesterday’s game, a friend shared this on Facebook, “I want to tell the NFL my 10-year-old says football is stupid.”

This is from a kid who I know LOVES football. He didn’t say this because he doesn’t like the game; he said this because he witnessed a play that should have been penalized. He watched as the refs responded saying they “didn’t see” the play. He saw how the things unfolded after the foul play was ignored.

He watched the Rams kick the winning field goal.

He felt the gut-wrenching sickness every other Saints fan experienced when he realized the Saints lost.

William, this 10-year-old boy, knew the play was unfair.If this is how the game is gonna be played, well, then, he’s right; football is stupid.

Reflecting on this and reading the comments from people all over the country brought me from being a sad fan to being one angry mama.

How dare you let the missed call go without consequences?

How dare you call Sean Payton right after the game to say “sorry,” admitting there was a mistake, without giving consequences or repercussions to someone not doing their job?

Shame on you.

As parents, we’re trying to teach our little humans to work hard for their goals, to persevere, to reach for the stars, to believe in themselves, to fight for their future and to go for the goal. We sometimes use your football teams and players as examples of hard work and perseverance.

In Louisiana, we’ve looked to our Saints, the team, the players and the season as inspiration. We’ve watched them pull together, work hard, persevere, believe in themselves, fight for their win and their city and go for the goal.

And they lost. Had it been a fair loss, then fine; losing sucks, but it’s part of life – we get it. 

But in this game, a very important, BIG game, someone either didn’t do their job or turned a blind eye … and people of all ages saw it play out.

The lack of responsibility for such a big error scares me and saddens me. We let our children watch you and we’ve bought into the story you’ve sold us, “May the best team win.”

I’m calling B.S.

I only hope our children will not believe this is how to win. I hope they can continue to find men like Drew Brees, Steve Gleason, Ben Watson, JJ Watt, Alvin Kamara, Tim Tebow, Scott Fujita, Tim Lelito, Garret Hartley, Michael Thomas, Taysom Hill, and the many other NFL  players who I haven’t named but who still choose to share their strength of character and inspire others to work for what they believe in. 

I pray that they will continue to find the honorable, respectable, hard-working people who continue to persevere for what they believe in, even if they don’t go all the way. I hope these people continue to show up so that my kids can have something bigger than the game to believe in. If this game was manipulated so that the “east coast” could play the “west coast” in the biggest game of the year … SHAME ON YOU. 

For all the moms looking for positive role models for our kids, we are lucky to be surrounded by the Saints! “Bless you boys!” 

Yvette has a pretty simple philosophy: feed yourself well on the inside so you can live well on the outside. New Orleans native who has called Lafayette home for the past 10 years, she knows how important food is to the Louisiana life. Wife to a LSU football and duck hunting fanatic, mom to two busy girls, and mompreneur with her own business, keeping healthy and sane is essential to balancing the juggling act.  A graduate from Louisiana State University, Yvette is a registered dietitian nutritionist for Eat Fit Acadiana and creator of Foodspirations.  Her passion of inspiring women to show up and rise up, facing both the beautiful and messy pieces of life, embracing all they are, and putting the best version of themselves out in the world. 


  1. The Commissioner knows he can make the decision to send the Saints to the Super Bowl according to the rule. He has no backbone!!! Hopefully the Commissioner will lose his job over this. Not only interference but helmet to helmet!!! How much did the Refs get paid to give the Rams the game????!

    • I am still sick to my stomach about all this! My kids are so angry right now. I don’t think we are going to watch football for a long time! It was a helmet-to-helmet and he didn’t get injured! Thank god! But just imagine what if it ended his career! Maybe then, a flag will be thrown! I don’t know about you guys out there but as for us NO pro bowl or Superbowl!! I praise Brees and Thomas for choosing not to attend the Pro Bowl!! Love my Saints!!

  2. I told my son that perhaps something good will come of this. That maybe this will make the NFL give the coach the ability to force a review on something like that. A challenge for something like this so that it doesn’t happen again. I also told him how Drew took the time to play with his children on the field afterwards. I think that made him feel a little better about it. There should be a punishment, but this IS how life is sometimes. It isn’t fair. Sometimes it is all in who you know. And that is a lesson your kid should also know, because at some point your child will face loss due to no fault of his own. How will YOU teach him to deal with it? My kid saw pics of his hero playing with his kids on the field and saw me accept the situation for what it was and look for a positive spin.

  3. Wow! You are my sister from another mother.

    I posted this on my personal FB page tonight…same perspective:


    Everything has made me cry today: Feel-good human interest stories about helping kids on the Today Show…the news report about the President of a local high school who tried to jump off of a bridge into the Mississippi River but was saved…this weird episode of This is Us (a show I don’t even watch but is randomly on in the background) involving brothers who witnessed a tragedy during the Vietnam War.

    What happened on Sunday at that Saints game is actually more than the sum total of its parts: bad officiating, biased refs, a league that pretends to care about player safety but doesn’t, bizarro overtime rules, the inability to challenge no-calls, the need for the NFL to pump up a non-existent fan base in a city over-saturated with professional sports entertainment options, the fact that Roger Goodell just *hates* our team for reasons unknown to anyone but him.

    While I, as a New Orleanian, appreciate the support of nearly every national news outlet in validating the theories outlined above, the devil in those details is just a distraction.

    Do you really want to know what Sunday’s game was about?

    The fact that hope is just a easily-destroyed illusion…

    …so don’t get caught up in it, count your chickens before they hatch or forget that a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush.

    This was supposed to be our year. We were ranked #1. Drew just turned 40, so most certainly the stars were aligned for a trip back to the Super Bowl, and it sure looked that way until late Sunday afternoon.

    As a New Orleanian, I am no stranger to things that, well, suck: boil water advisories, potholes that can swallow a car, rolling power outages, random street flooding, hurricanes, political corruption. I can deal with all of the above.

    What I can’t deal with, apparently, is the major mistake I made on Sunday: I brought my six year-old daughter to that game because I wanted her to experience…through the eyes of a child…the joy that I felt nine years ago when Garrett Hartley kicked that winning FG. It’s not that I didn’t understand that losing was one of two possible outcomes…had we been completely out-played and lost by 30+ points, I would have been bummed out but eventually okay.

    Instead, I exposed my child to a scene of infinite sadness: a throng of shell-shocked, cursing, mumbling, devastated Saints fans, squishing up against each other while trying to flee Section 113 but unable to decide, as a group, which side of the stairs would move in a downward direction and which side of the stairs would move in an upward direction. One wouldn’t think that inertia could cause so much discord, but it did. Eventually, I had to grab Cecilia and pick her up so she would not be swallowed by the crowd. And, it’s not like the crowd was hostile. Almost everyone who tried to pass us said “Watch out for the little girl.” In fact, it was the small acts of kindness amongst the adversity that made me cry silent tears for the first time (of many times) after that game, as Cecilia whispered in my ear “It’s okay, Mommy. Don’t cry. We can try again next year.”

    I know, that at some point, Cecilia needs to learn that life is often (perhaps almost always) unfair. That #WeDontLiveHereBecauseItsEasy. That I have friends who have gone without paychecks for two weeks as pawns in a political game. That someone very close to me was recently given a very hard to understand medical diagnosis.

    What I was *not* intending was for Sunday’s game to impart that life lesson. And, for those of you who know Cecilia, you know that she picked up on what the adults were feeling and internalized it within her sweet little head. She’s too innocent, too happy and too young to have been exposed to something like that.

    And, it’s all my fault.


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