Written by: Matt Sympson
The Monday night football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks ended with a controversial call that sent the Packers home beyond frustrated with the loss.
The controversial call was made on the final play of the game. Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson launched a Hail Mary pass into the end zone. Packers safety M.D. Jennings and Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate both jumped for the ball. According to the NFL rulebook, in the event of a simultaneous catch, the ball goes to the offensive player. The replacement referees ruled that Tate came up with the ball — and scored a touchdown.
The play was reviewed. The instant replay revealed that Jennings had actually intercepted the ball before falling to the ground, and therefore that it had not been a simultaneous catch.
After it was reviewed, the referees still called it a touchdown, beginning the controversy.
In a statement on Tuesday, the NFL supported the decision of the referees, and said the game was final.
University of Akron student Kyle George was upset with the call and thought the replacement referees did a terrible job.
“The NFL is pathetic. College football is way better,” George said. “These replacements are ruining the game, and Goodell is an idiot for not doing anything about it. All he wants to do is save money.”
The NFL locked out the referees in June, after their contracts expired, according to ESPN.com. The NFL has yet to reach a agreement to end the lockout. The replacement referees have very little experience. Some are only used to lower-level college football.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was also clearly unhappy with the final call.
“It was awful. Just look at the replay. And then the fact that it was reviewed… It was awful,” Rodgers told reporters following the game.
But the decision is final, the game is over, and you can add another loss to Green Bay’s record.
It is a controversy that will go down in football lore forever.
There is one thing, though, that is certain.
It must have been a long and quiet plane ride back home for the Packers.