Here is what happened: The Greenbay Packers had overcome a very shaky first half (Aaron Rodgers was sacked 7 times) to take over the lead 12-6 on the Seahawks. As the clock was winding down on the Seahawks last chance to win rookie Quarterback, Russell Wilson, launched a Hail Mary pass into the end zone into a sea of Packer defenders and a couple of Seahawk receivers including Golden Tate. What all of America (except for the replacement refs and Seattle fans) saw was first, that Golden Tate used both hands to shove a Packer out of his way, a big penalty that was missed; and then we all saw M.D. Jennings intercept the football for the Packers while Golden Tate managed to get a hand on it. Two of the "refs" ran over to the pile, literally looked at each other like they had no idea what to do, and then one of them called a touchdown giving Seattle the win....and the other one called a touchback giving Greenbay the win. The replay showed over and over that Jennings got his hands on the ball first, brought it to his chest, and maintained possession as he came to the ground with Tate's arm wrapped around him and the ball. All scoring plays are reviewable, so I watched along knowing that they were going to overturn the touchdown call and give the Packers the win they deserved. And then in a moment that changed everything, the ruling on the field as a touchdown was confirmed, touchdown. Seahawks win, no time left on the clock. Game Over. Mass Pandemonium ensued. The Packers walked off the field, Seahawks stormed the field and everyone seemed to forget that NFL rules state that an extra point MUST be kicked. So both teams scrambled to find 11 guys and the Seahawks kicked an extra point to win the game 14-12. Finally, the replacement refs had decided the outcome of a game and instead of talking about the brilliant performance of a rookie quarterback in Russell Wilson or the hard fought perseverance of a veteran quarterback and team in Aaron Rodgers and the Greenbay Packers, we are all talking about the refs.
|guy on left says interception, guy on right says touchdown (Photo Credit: DMW3Sports)|
As Steve Young, a former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst, was talking about his disgust over what had happened you could actually hear his voice choke up as if he was fighting off tears. I looked over at my husband's face and while there were no tears, I saw sheer disappointment and anger and I realized that this "dispute" with the refs is ruining the game for those who love and respect it the most. The integrity of what has become America's Sport (sorry baseball) is diminishing week after week because the officials that are calling the games are not used to the caliber of the game they are calling. Players and coaches are testing the limits of what they can get away with with the new guys, and the games are becoming jokes. Please NFL, I think last night has proved once and for all that the regular refs deserve what they have coming to them, get them back to work before you start to really lose face. Time is up.