It’s time. We’re done.
The official referees should come back now. They should have been back weeks ago, but hopefully this—in front of a national TV audience, a clearly blown game-deciding call—will finally break the deadlock.
I don’t normally complain about refereeing, because everybody has calls fall their way and calls that don’t. But if you’re seriously telling me that Golden Tate caught the game-“winning” touchdown—when M.D. Jennings had clearly gone up and intercepted it, had two hands on the ball and held it all the way to the ground—I have no use for you. Never mind Tate shoving Sam Shields to the ground, that is, putting two hands on his back and blatantly knocking him a full yard forward and to the ground. There is no way—none—that that should have been called a touchdown. How it stood as called is beyond me.
For me, the call of the night was ‘on’ Shields against Sidney Rice, when Shields had position on Rice’s inside hip, looking back for the ball, and Rice grabbed him by the facemask. Defensive pass interference, first down. Or was it Erik Walden hitting Russell Wilson in the legs immediately after Wilson released the ball and drawing a roughing the passer penalty? Was it the botched spot on Greg Jennings’s should-have-been first-down at the 1? Was it the personal foul penalty initially called against the Seahawks, then called against the Packers? Or was it the blatant, unprovoked, nowhere-near-the-ball shot that a Seattle defender gave to Greg Jennings, which resulted in Jennings getting tagged with a personal foul?
Terrible. Awful. Disgusting. These words aren’t too strong for the officiating in this game. There were botched calls that went the Seahawks’ way as well, I’m sure, but I’m too angry to think of them right now.
In most games where fans blame the refs afterwards, there are generally reasons why their team lost the game by itself. This game, the Packers have their own set. The Packers’ tackles turned into turnstiles. Perhaps consequently, Aaron Rodgers looked lost and danced around in the pocket far too often. The Packers’ vaunted receivers couldn’t get open against a splendid Seattle secondary. And the defense allowed Golden Tate—for real the first time—to streak by the defense and haul in a 41-yard TD in the first half.
But the defense held on fourth and 10. They held.
They did everything right that you can do and still lost on the worst call I’ve ever seen.
There’s really nothing else to say. Bring the refs back, NFL. It is hurting your product and your brand, and it just cost the Packers a victory; not the first game decided by a blown call, but far from the last this year under the replacement regime. Can you imagine these yahoos in the playoffs? Can you imagine a Super Bowl victory hanging on a blown call from a D-III referee?
It can’t happen, and the whole country saw why last night.