HOUSTON — Many New Orleans Saints fans are still livid about that missed pass interference call that cost them a trip to the Super Bowl.
Now rumors are flying on social media that the official near the play once played for the Los Angeles Rams, who won the game.
A KHOU viewer emailed in a screenshot of a Facebook post identifying Phil McKinnely as the official near that no-call, claiming he played for the Rams in 1981.
So is it true?
McKinnely did play for the Rams that year and spent five seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, a major rival of the Saints. The NFL’s website shows McKinnely is typically part of Bill Vinovich’s crew that officiated Sunday’s NFC Championship game.
Here’s the problem: according to KHOU’s New Orleans Tegna affiliate WWL, McKinnely wasn’t even in the Superdome on Sunday. Instead, he was replaced by Patrick Turner, which CBS Sports reported before the game.
That CBS Sports article even notes it’s the Rams that usually struggle when Vinovich’s crew officiates their games, noting his crew “basically kept their flags in their pockets” when the Saints beat them 45-35 earlier in the season.
KHOU can verify while McKinnely did play for the Los Angeles Rams in 1981, he is not the official who missed that infamous call because he wasn’t even working that game.