Discuss the controversial Monday Night Football finish

The Seattle Seahawks’ prayer was answered late Monday night. The Green Bay Packers may pray they never have to play in a game with replacement officials on the field again.

Photo tweeted  by WSB-TV's Zach Klein showing officials making contradictory calls on the game-deciding play.

Photo tweeted by WSB-TV's Zach Klein showing officials making contradictory calls on the game-deciding play.

Seattle beat Green Bay 14-12 on a disputed 24-yard touchdown pass as time expired at almost midnight.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw the ball into a mob of players in the end zone and the pass appeared to have been intercepted by the Packers’ M.D. Jennings, who had both hands on the ball. Seattle’s Golden Tate reached in and also got a hand in the ball and players from both teams wrestled for possession.

One nearby official signalled touchdown at the same time another official indicated Green Bay had the ball and that he was calling a touchback.

After a replay review, the game officially ended 10 minutes later but only after both teams were brought back onto the field for the required extra point. Some Packers players were seen searching for their helmets to complete the game.

Referee Wayne Elliott told a pool reporter after the game that the play was ruled as a simultaneous possession that was confirmed by the replay official.

“They both possessed it,” Elliott said.

But TV replays also showed Seattle’s Tate also illegally shoved Green Bay’s Sam Shields out of the way before leaping to try to catch the pass.

Replacement officials are being used by the NFL during a labor dispute with the regular officials, who were locked out by the league in June. Even before Monday night’s game, the players’ union had called on the 32 team owners to end the lockout, saying it is compromising the integrity of the game.

“Don’t ask me a question about the officials,” Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said after Monday’s game. “I’ve never seen anything like that in all my years in football.”

Packers guard T.J. Lang was more blunt, tweeting that the Packers were robbed “by the refs. Thanks NFL.”

The Packers got support from others on Twitter as well.

– Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman tweeted “These games are a joke.”

– NBA MVP LeBron James tweeted “I simply just LOVE the NFL too much to see these mistakes. I’m sick like I just played for the Packers”

– Wisconsin State Senator Jon Erpenbach tweeted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s office phone number, saying in a separate tweet that if the ending Monday did not spark an end to the lockout “this season will be a joke.”

The bizarre finish overshadowed a four-sack performance by former University of Georgia player Chris Clemons, who now plays for the Seahawks. All four came in the first half, tying an NFL record.

Read the latest on the game here. Read more about the growing controversy with the use of replacement officials here.

181 comments Add your comment

jimjones

September 25th, 2012
9:28 am

I can’t believe all of the whiners complaining about owners locking out those poor refs. These are the same referees that make better than $100k for working one day a week for five months and then have the audacity to ask for a raise at a time when the rest of the world feels lucky just to have a job. Then, like the predictable myrmidons you are, you get behind these refs like they’re some kind of poor, working class, underprivileged heroes who, without question, deserve a raise. In the long run, all it will do is drive up the price of professional sports to even higher levels than they already are. Not to mention the effect that the cost of broadcasting rights has on the cost of cable and satellite service, or on a case of beer for those companies that pay to advertise on television.

Yeah, I know your saying it’s only a few thousand bucks per ref, and it really doesn’t matter in the scheme of things, “we just want our first tier refs back,” right? Well, from the owners perspective, the refs are already over-paid, and maybe it’s the owners who are sticking up for the little guy.

bill

September 25th, 2012
9:31 am

Michael Irvin is in the Hall of Fame for pushing off hundreds of times with no call so whats new. Have we forgotten all the calls that have sucked in the past? These guys are mechanically unprepaed but the calls are as correct as they were when the old officials worked the game. Replay shows a close call and the official is not signalling a touchback he is merely signalling a stopped clock. Touchdown or touchback the clock is stopped and the game is over. Perhaps packer fans would like to discuss Jerry Kramer holding Jethro Pugh during the Quarterback sneak in the ice bowl or The field Goal in the Championship game in 1965 that was never inside the upright from the moment it was kicked and was ruled good even tho it was three feet outside the post when it passed by.. Quit whining. If you really want to see amateurs call events watch Nascar or Major League Baseball.

yep

September 25th, 2012
9:32 am

I think by allowing this mess with the refs to continue, Roger Goodell has demonstrated that he doesn’t care about the game of football or the NFL and the he only cares about money and power. He should be immediately removed from his position a NFL commissioner.

Heisenberg

September 25th, 2012
9:35 am

Anyone remember the Vinny Testeverde (then of the Jets) touchdown/non-touchdown that not only decided a game but the playoff fate of another team not involved in the game? I think that one was actually the tipping point to begin using replay the following year.

Forrest Gump

September 25th, 2012
9:36 am

My mama always said, “Stoopid IS as Stoopid DOES”

Heisenberg

September 25th, 2012
9:38 am

That is correct Forrest. And Packer defender did not do the smart thing, He tried for the interception instead of knocking it down.

The Truth

September 25th, 2012
9:41 am

This all goes back to Pres. Bush.

Bama Bill

September 25th, 2012
9:42 am

I think this is the same ref who made the call in the first Bama vs LSU game ? Same rule, but how did they miss the offensive pass “push off” – wow ! Packer back should have knocked the ball down and not attempted a shared interception with the receiver.

Delbert D.

September 25th, 2012
9:45 am

I’ve never liked instant replay. It brings the momentum of the game to a crawl. Technology could be applied in several different ways to solve some of the problems.

doc

September 25th, 2012
9:50 am

jennings caught the ball and tate caught jennings only after a huge offensive interference probably the worst i have ever seen called or un-called.

egregious calls all night like defensive interefrence when the defender had position and was man handled to only have the call go against em.

players know it is time to just toss a coin and see what wont be called.

probably worse in the trenches.

typical example of the arrogance of the elite.

it is all about power and greed. nfl for the usa!

they will come back like our government and the fed by saying dont believe your eyes, just believe what we tell you to believe.

What Really Happened

September 25th, 2012
9:51 am

The ref with the good view called a touchback. The other guy, with a blocked view, saw his buddy’s arms go up and so he wants to get in on the action too and calls touchdown. But oops, his buddy wasn’t calling a touchdown. Now, they’ve got a problem. They huddle. Don’t forget, this is a raucous home Seattle crowd. The refs want to get out in one piece. They make the call on the field a touchdown, thinking the booth can fix it. However, these replacement refs don’t realize, the booth CANNOT overturn a simultaneous possession call. The booth calls down and tells them that. “Oh, crap.” They turn on the mike. “The ruling on the field stands.” And the twitterverse blows up!

Miss Daisy

September 25th, 2012
9:55 am

Hey, being a football ref. ain’t rocket science. The current guys are doing as well at the guys they have replaced. Its a game, just a game, only a game; nobody is going to loose their life, freedom or kids depending on the outcome of a game. It is played, coached, and officiated by humans, who all make mistakes. Its part of the game and always has been. If this sort of thing controls you; GET A LIFE!

xxx

September 25th, 2012
9:58 am

Miss Daisy, loose = not tight, lose = not win. GET A DICTIONARY.

Blue

September 25th, 2012
9:58 am

For you know-it-alls who say “if we didn’t have replacement refs, we wouldn’t have football”; wrong! The refs are locked out, not on strike. They were going to work while negotiating.

Delbert D.

September 25th, 2012
10:00 am

It’s time for an Occupy NFL movement. Along with that, the Packers could walk off the field before kickoff at net weeks’ game and refuse to play in protest to humiliate Goodell. Let’s have some anarchy!

Jst Askn

September 25th, 2012
10:02 am

Best comment of the day award goes to “Mayhem is coming.” HILARIOUS!

Protect the Shield!

September 25th, 2012
10:09 am

Alas…the “shield” has been shat upon.

Wreckem

September 25th, 2012
10:10 am

Bad call. I think everyone is being a little sensitive towards these refs. Regular NFL refs could have made the same mistake and we would have all forgotten about it come Wednesday morning. On the other hand these guys are slowing the game down way too much. It has always been my opinion that if winning or losing a game depends on a single call from a ref then the team did not take care of business on the field. We all saw how GB’s offense played the first half. Awful. Go cry to someone else and win the game on your own.

BadmoJoe

September 25th, 2012
10:12 am

@Bubbles This is a football discussion. Why are you bringing in all the Government conspirencey theories?

drew

September 25th, 2012
10:14 am

You can’t blame the replacement refs…they’re doing the best they can do.

The best analogy I’ve heard on this situation is the substitute teacher analogy…the subs are operating from a position of weakness due to their inexperience and lack of respect from the players, and the players are acting the part of the students, getting away with as much as they can, until their regular teacher comes back.

Buckle-up folks…it’s gonna be a rough ride if management doesn’t fix this.

Chirp

September 25th, 2012
10:16 am

So we have political arguments flaring b/c of a football play. And we have GB haters saying they deserve what they get. And we have the irrelevant “argument” that GB should have won the game earlier so that this play wouldn’t matter. Without trying to replay the game or blame Obamacare, what we have here is a football play. At that point, the game was what it was, and this play decided the game. The pass was intercepted. The refs blew it. Now we see if Steve Young was right all along when he said that nothing would happen until fans stopped showing up and the NFL felt it in the pocketbook. I hope he was wrong. I hope that the league has the decency to admit how hypocritical their position is. But I fear that Young was right.

Delaney

September 25th, 2012
10:19 am

Her name bubbles…

Kook Kiffin

September 25th, 2012
10:21 am

These greedy moneymongering slime ball players, owners, and officials can take their outrageous ticket prices and stuff them up their a@@es. I back that up by giving up my season tickets up five years ago and never attending a game since then. Go to hel! You self serving greed mongers!

drew

September 25th, 2012
10:25 am

Come on Kook…tell us how you REALLY feel…this is a blog…you don’t have to sugarcoat it!

LKW4

September 25th, 2012
10:26 am

I love watching football but this year is a diffcult year. These – what did you call them – refs are destroying the game. They flag every play, make wrong calls, give wrong penalties, and make it so that their team wins. I am surprised they feel safe walking off the field and to their cars. I think every player, coach, owner, and fan are pissed beyond belief. It is difficult to watch these refs mess up. The two hour game is now three hours or more. Please send them back to the grade school class your you got them from. Please reach an agreement with the REAL refs. Even when their calls are bad they are better then the best bad call from the pretend refs.

D man

September 25th, 2012
10:39 am

This is getting blown WAY out of porportion. First, every TD is reviewed so ESPN and the NFL network are wrong in saying it shouldn’t be reviewed. Second, every hail Mary pass in the end zone has pass interference that isn’t called so the shove was not a big surprise that it wasn’t called. Third, we have seen similar simaltaneous catches before and it seems that the offensive player always gets the benefit of the doubt. I THINK THE OFFICIALS GOT IT RIGHT… Stop pushing your agenda media…

No clue

September 25th, 2012
10:40 am

Guaranteed, the black ref (84) blotched the call and forgot which team was on offense and the other ref (26) just went along and raised his arms also. They are standing there looking right at it. Guaranteed, he got the teams switched in the heat of the moment.

This is what minority hiring rules have come too.

BadmoJoe

September 25th, 2012
10:44 am

No Clue…Wow

LydiasDad

September 25th, 2012
10:46 am

Give me a break. Even replay shows it was a tough call. How often is possession shared? The old refs wouldn’t have got it right either. I say we train the new refs better and fire the old refs. At least the new refs show up for work.

BadmoJoe

September 25th, 2012
10:50 am

@LydiasDad…The new refs show up to work because they are allowed to. The old refs are locked out by the NFL, they wanted to continue to work while their contract was renegotiated, but the NFL won’t let them.

McGarrett

September 25th, 2012
10:50 am

If they both possessed it, it goes to offense. Why are y’all saying it’s the wrong call?!?!?

D man

September 25th, 2012
10:51 am

@ LydiasDad – ditto…

Dung Particle

September 25th, 2012
10:55 am

While I’m at it, here’s another big peeve of mine: receivers who throw up their hands indicating pass interference every time they fail to catch the ball. Nine times out of ten the ref throws the flag. It seems like the players are telling the refs what to do.
Make it unsportsmanlike conduct to gesticulate that a flag should have been thrown.
I for one will enjoy the game so much more.

D man

September 25th, 2012
10:59 am

@BadmoJoe – they are locked out because they do not have a working agreement and the NFL choose to not let them work to try and pressure them into agreeing with the contract offer on the table. This is common practice in business. I don’t blame the NFL. The Refs are overpaid in my mind. I am all for folks making as much money as possible but to work 1 four hour day a week and put in probably 4 hours a week studying film they may work a total of two full days a week for 20 weeks and they make 150k for this? The NFL offered a raise and hey refused it. All of these refs have ful time jobs too. The NFL is trying to get a handle on all of the outrageous salaries in the NFL like they did with a cap on Rookie salaries last year so that ticket prices won’t go up more. I applaud them for that…

Cliff

September 25th, 2012
11:02 am

Peter King is reporting that the difference between the refs and the league is $3.3 million per season. These refs have other jobs, so they can hold out as long as they want. The league and the owners need to face reality and pay up. It’s peanuts compared to the billions in revenue the league makes overall. As we now know, if we did not already, they possess a unique skill that is not easily replaceable.

Drew

September 25th, 2012
11:16 am

BadmoJoe

September 25th, 2012
11:18 am

@ D man – When you are a key element of a multi-billion dollar industry, it is difficult not to want to get your piece of the pie. I don’t blame the refs for trying to get what they can. What does piss me off though is the NFL trying to put lipstick on a pig and expecting me to kiss it.

omg

September 25th, 2012
11:18 am

Ok all of you blaming the NFL for poor officiating please get out your union card!! The refs are no worse than before and unions are twice as bad. If the old refs were good then why do we have instant replay and reviewing every score. So wave that union card but the refs are doing just fine.

Reired Vet

September 25th, 2012
11:23 am

APPEARS TO BE ONLY ONE WAY TO BREAK THE LOOCKOUT. THE PLAYERS HAVE GOT TO TAKE A STAND: REFUSE TO PLAY WITH THE CURRENT REFS. THE OWNERS HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE AS THE GOOD TEAMS WILL FIND WAYS TO WIN AND THE NOT SO GOOD WILL FIND WAYS TO LOSE. SO THERE IS NO CHANGE FOR THE OWNERS-EVERYTHING REMAINS AS BEFORE.
A PLAYERS REFUSAL TO PLAY — A LOCKOUT OF THE CURRENT REFS BY THE PLAYERS.
NO GUTS, NO GLORY–IF NO ACTION, STOP COMPLAINING.

dawg2

September 25th, 2012
11:24 am

P B Or..you are a idiot..and lier.

omg

September 25th, 2012
11:32 am

We are not going to blame the UNION? Why not? Do I feel a preference for unions here. Oh no not in Wisconsin. UNIONS do it every time but you blame the other guy.

Renee

September 25th, 2012
11:50 am

Two NFL players have been arrested in Atlanta alone, in less than a week, and you’re blaming the refs for making the NFL a joke. Really???

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

September 25th, 2012
12:16 pm

The touchdown, simply put, does not pass the eyeball test.

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

September 25th, 2012
12:17 pm

Wilson became the first QB in history to throw a game winning interception.

Jacket Detective

September 25th, 2012
12:21 pm

Why blame the union?
Pro athletes are paid insane amounts.
Carl Crawford gets 22 mil/year and has yet to do much in his two years with the Red Sox.
Boy were they lucky Magic Johnson caught Ted Turner disease and made that crazy trade.
With the pay the athletes get, you would want more too.
Don’t kid yourself.
The owners do not have to give in.
That’s their decision.
They gambled the replacements would do OK and most think they have not.
But I don’t blame the refs at all for wanting more with what the players get paid

Jacket Detective

September 25th, 2012
12:26 pm

Someone figure out for us what Carl Crawford’s money per hit for the last two years is.
Or money per game.
44 mil to goof off for two years of not even medicre performance.
Heck yea the refs should get paid more.
If owners are stupid enough to jumb again and again for free agents time after time without learning what a gamble such deals are.
At least in football, they can get out of the deal after a year.
NFL lawyers a lot smarter than MLB ones.

WTF

September 25th, 2012
12:44 pm

Forest Gump could ref better than what we have today.

Dum-Bass

September 25th, 2012
12:53 pm

Put the blame where it belongs, on the unions. They are behind this mess, just like the teacher’s strike in Chicago. The union thugs will take over the NFL if allowed, one bite at a time. The unions can “mess up a wet dream”!

old man

September 25th, 2012
12:55 pm

I’ve only seen the last play. But the receiver did not push off. He had the equivalent of a defensive touch in basketball. The DB fell on his own.

On the reception, both players had possession. I agree the DB had a better grip on the ball, a better angle of possession (if that makes any sense). But both players had both hands on the ball, and of all four hands, none was merely touching the ball. All four hands were gripping the ball. So, once you determine that both players qualify as having possession, is the ref supposed to then diagnose who has “more” possession, on a scale of 1 to 10? I don’t think so.

Here is how I think it went down. Right before the ref signaled touchdown, the DB rolls and tugs on the ball, which I think the ref interpreted as the DB expressing uncertainty about who really had possession. Why tug and try to rip the ball from the offensive player unless you think you need to? So the ref concludes, “If he is unsure about possession, then why shouldn’t I be unsure too?” If both players have a grip, and you are unsure of possession, by rule possession is awarded to the offense.

Also, when the DB trys to rip the ball away from the WR, he can’t. The ball does not budge. Again, evidence that the WR has a firm grip on the ball.

The call could go either way, but the call they made is not stupid or wrong per se.

Dum-Bass

September 25th, 2012
12:56 pm

The NFL just announced there official review confirms the decision made on the field. It’s final and a TD. “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.” Now whatcha gonna do pro football fan?