Referees From NFC Championship Changed Hotels After Botched Pass Interference No-Call

Witnesses reportedly said one of the game officials was continually receiving threatening calls in the hotel lobby.
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The NFL confirmed to John Kryk of the Toronto Sun that the officials from Sunday's NFC championship game in New Orleans changed hotels following the Rams' 26-23 overtime win against the Saints.

The league told the Sun that the officials were moved due to "an abundance of caution," but Kryk reports people were harassing the crew on the phone and in person.

Kyrk reports that witnesses saw NFL security and at least one law-enforcement officer helped escort the crew from a bus to the front desk of their new hotel. The officials were initially staying in downtown New Orleans, but relocated to a suburban hotel.

Witnesses told Kyrk they saw one of the game officials—who was not referee Bill Vinovich—continually receiving harassing phone calls while in the hotel lobby. A sheriff ended up taking the phone from the official and told the caller to stop of face prosecution.

Additionally, witnesses said they saw what appeared to be security guards posted outside of a room on the fifth floor throughout the night.

The vitriol toward the crew stems from a missed pass interference call late in the game. The league agreed the call was missed and confirmed in a call to Saints coach Sean Payton that a mistake was made. Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman also admitted to committing the penalty.

In response to the missed call, eye doctors have started offering free eye exams to NFL refs ahead of next season.