Golden Tate – The NFL referees’ lock out reached Def Con 5 Monday night. Finally, after all the blunders and misinterpretations and bad calls, a replacement official’s decision impacted the results of a game. And now all the chatter about their ineptitude before Monday night seems weak compared to the vast outrage that will follow Seattle’s head-shaking 14-12 victory over Green Bay.
Among the printable comments, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said: “It was awful. Just look at the replay. And the fact that it was reviewed . . . It was awful.”
Rodgers was referring to a ruling that Golden Tate caught a touchdown pass from Russell Wilson as time expired when all replays showed the ball was intercepted by the Packers M.D. Jennings in the back left corner of the end zone.
Replays showed that Jennings seems to clearly have possession of the ball as he fell to the ground. Almost immediately, Tate, who blatantly pushed a defender as the ball approached, got his hands on the ball and he and Jennings struggled for possession amid a pile of players.
Two referees converged on the play. One waved his hands above his head, about to signal a touchback. The other raised his hands above his head, indicating a touchdown.
A booth review confirmed the call on the field and the Packers left the field cursing and fuming. The Seahawks celebrated. NFL rules indicate that the extra point must be attempted even though time had expired, and so it took a good 10 minutes to get 22 players back onto the field to execute the extra point.
“I’ve never seen anything like that in all my years of football,” Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said. “It’s been an unusual weekend and I guess we’re a part of it.”
Added Rodgers: “It sucks losing. Even worse when it goes that way. It was crazy after the game. . . Nobody had any idea of what was going on. I saw the referee in the back wave his arms over his head signaling touchback. No idea how the other guy called touchdown.”
Negotiations between the league and referees over the weekend and last week went nowhere. Perhaps Monday night’s game was the one that kicked into gear negotiations that will get the refs back to work.
Sunday New England coach Bill Belichick grabbed a referee at the end of the game searching for explanation about a late field goal that gave Baltimore a last-second win.
Washington’s offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan chased down officials at the end of the 38-31 Redskins loss to Cincinnati and berated him – another act grown of the frustration of inconsistent calls by referees clearly struggling with the speed and intricacies of the NFL.
More to come. Much more.