As most in the NFL fanbase know, officiating is a concern which has not shown much improvement in recent years. On the heels of such an instance as the controversial holding call to decide a closely contested Super Bowl, San Francisco 49ers fans have yearned for their own voices to be heard.
The missed call that defined the structure of the entire postseason has been officially reversed by the league office, effective April 1, 2023. According to Niners fans, whom many accused of as being “whiny” about their blowout loss to the Eagles, this missed call was such a definitive moment in the NFC Championship game that cost them the game.
The moment in question occurred early in the game when, on fourth down, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts rolled out left to make a clutch throw to receiver DeVonta Smith who made a one handed catch to convert and ultimately set up an Eagles opening score. Smith, however, did not fully secure the catch and, in later-seen footage, the call should have been incomplete.
Smith played the situation perfectly as he got up quickly and signaled for his teammates to get to the line and snap the ball before the Niners coaching staff could throw the challenge flag. Head coach of the 49ers, Kyle Shanahan, decided not to throw it even as he saw the Philly offense scramble to get the ball snapped uncharacteristically quickly. A lapse of judgment perhaps, but one that, according to fans, changed the complexion of the game.
Eagles fans, like myself, pointed out that the game would not have been lost or won by this play due to the fact that the 49ers offense was unable to move the ball effectively at all even prior to the injury of their starting quarterback Brock Purdy. Yet still, radio hosts from the Golden State, as well as countless fans, stressed the argument that this call was such a critical element in the outcome of the game as well as the postseason itself.
And so, when the NFL owners gathered for their annual meeting, Roger Goodell informed the league that the Smith catch was now overturned and thus the Eagles did not convert on fourth down, they did not score, and they did not score 31 points.
The final score currently stands at 24–7 in the Eagles’ favor.
DISCLAIMER: This article is part of The Quak, a satirical series of articles that are released in commemoration of April Fools Day.