picture courtesy of Rachel Nichols
Warning: This post contains language that some might find offensive. Read at your own discretion.
If you watched the Monday Night Football game between the Packers and Seahawks, then you (once again) saw an absolutely atrocious example of officiating from replacement referees.
The NFL, a multi-billion dollar business, is using completely incompetent replacement referees because of a $3M disagreement with the regular officials.
That's right. $3M total. That's what's preventing us from having NFL games that are officiated by relatively competent, experienced referees.
On the final play of the game, with the Packers leading 12-7, Russell Wilson threw up a Hail Mary pass that appeared to have been intercepted by Packers safety M.D. Jennings. The refs ruled that it was caught by Golden Tate, and therefore a Seahawks touchdown.
Replays showed that it was quite clearly an interception. To make matters worse, Tate committed a rather blatant and flagrant offensive pass interference right before his "catch."
The officials made conflicting calls, as you can see in the picture above, but the touchdown call prevailed. It went to review, and the call stood, somehow.
Packers players took to Twitter immediately after the game. The first reaction was from offensive lineman TJ Lang, and it has been edited due to an obscenity.
Got f---ed by the refs.. Embarrassing. Thanks nfl— TJ Lang (@TJLang70) September 25, 2012
Lang's tweet was retweeted over 33,000 times within 30 minutes.
Tight end Tom Crabtree also weighed in, with a play on the Seahawks' fans, the "12th man."
13th man beat us tonight.— Tom Crabtree (@TCrabtree83) September 25, 2012
Even players from other teams weighed in... like Darnell Dockett of the Arizona Cardinals.
This is what the NFL has come down to, &yet they tell you to respect the shield! Lol. But they'll try to fine us for everything thing we do.— DARNELL DOCKETT (@ddockett) September 25, 2012
Interestingly enough, the NFL's official Facebook page posted news of the game result, saying that Seattle won via Hail Mary. They posted a picture of Golden Tate making a catch, but it definitely wasn't the catch that actually won the game. It was another catch at some other point in the game, which was most definitely NOT a Hail Mary. It was a clear, obvious catch, and had nothing to do with the catch at the end of the game.
One thing that Aaron Rodgers acknowledged is that the Packers never should have been in that situation in the first place.
There's no doubt that he's correct.
The Seahawks sacked Rodgers 8 times in the first half alone, including 4 by Chris Clemons. The Packers only scored one touchdown all game. If they had put up their normal level of production, this play wouldn't have been an issue.
Some believe that this somehow ruined the NFL, and that they'll have to cave to the "real" referees' demands.
Unfortunately, everyone was watching, and now everyone is talking about it. All publicity is good publicity, and the NFL knows that they have the public by the balls, and that there really isn't an alternative to their product.
Sorry, folks, but the league still has no reason to cave. They've already shown that they value money more than their integrity, and one more botched game probably won't change anything.
I can only hope that I'm wrong, since the fans are the ones who are really losing here.