After further review: Packers intercept pass, lose game

You've probably seen this image a time or two already. (AP photo/seattlepi.com by Joshua Trujillo)

I'm guessing you've seen this image already. (AP photo/seattlepi.com by Joshua Trujillo)

Gee, I don’t know. Looked like an OK call to me.

(Kidding! I’m a kidder!)

In all seriousness: Yes, the NFL looks awful, and yes, the NFL has it coming for putting its precious product — meaning, professional football — in a position to be compromised by a bunch of officials whose training in no way prepared them for this task. And yes, the NFL needs to end the lockout posthaste for the greater good of the NFL. But you knew that already.

What’s of greater interest (at least to me) is that the NFL’s famous “after-further-review” system, which was radical in its conception and implementation, failed at the moment it was needed most. Anyone who watched the Falcons-Broncos game of the previous Monday night grasped that the on-field officials were so cowed by the setting that they were scared to call anything, but replay — and there were a slew of replays that night — was there to set the record straight.

One Monday later, replay couldn’t distinguish a Green Bay interception from a Seattle reception, and somehow the touchdown stood. The NFL’s excuse: Because simultaneous possession was ruled on the field, only indisputable video evidence could overturn the call. And apparently these pictures were, ahem, open to dispute.

So the call on the field — er, one of the calls on the field — was allowed to stand, and now everybody is in a-dither because the Great American Game has been besmirched, but really: Who couldn’t see this coming? In Week 1 the replacements refs gave the Seahawks (yep, them again) a timeout they didn’t have as they were scrambling to score the winning touchdown. That time they failed. Week 2 was way worse. Week 3 was so bad — the Ravens’ hairbreadth winning field goal wasn’t reviewed because field goals are, for reasons unclear, not reviewable– as to make you laugh out loud.

Surely Roger Goodell will climb down from his bullying pulpit and admit what everybody else sees: That the real refs are needed, that to continue with these out-of-their-depth replacements is to risk invalidating the regular season. But the real mystery is why Goodell, who claims his life’s mission is to “protect the [NFL-logo] shield” could have let things deteriorate to this ridiculous extreme.

Ah, well. Maybe we can use replay to review the commissioner’s thought process. That’s assuming he had one. That’s also assuming replay can be invoked in cases of rampant stupidity, which I seriously doubt.

By Mark Bradley

223 comments Add your comment

SnellvilleBird

September 25th, 2012
9:35 am

BravesFan79

September 25th, 2012
9:35 am

I think the replacement officials make the game more interesting.. lol. And i gotta give them props last night for handing the game to the Seahawks. Every loss by the Packers and 49ers means the Falcons are 1 step closer to the #1 seed in the NFC playoffs!

Mark Bradley

September 25th, 2012
9:35 am

Kudos, SnellvilleBird.

bucket

September 25th, 2012
9:36 am

I just wish they would use replay to set the record straight. Rather than saying that replay can be used for this and not for that. The replay would have shown an offensive pass interference and a Packer’s INT.

SnellvilleBird

September 25th, 2012
9:36 am

This ain’t about the money, it’s about whose got “hand”, as George Costanza would say. And Roger Goodell is NOT gonna let it go

BravesFan79

September 25th, 2012
9:37 am

This was good for the Falcons… #1 seed here we come baby!

Cooder Brown

September 25th, 2012
9:37 am

Baby Punting

September 25th, 2012
9:39 am

Actually there has been games that was determined by bad calls by proper officials, too. It is overblown because everyone knows they are replacements and it’s MNF.

bucket

September 25th, 2012
9:40 am

I also think that these situations are being overblown because we have replacement refs. Are they blowing some calls? Absolutely! But what is a common denominator in every single baseball, basketball, and football game that you have ever watched? Blown calls! It happens in little league, high school, college, and pro sports. As long as you have humans playing and humans making the calls, there will be some mistakes. The NFL has put themselves in a bad situation because they are the premier sports league and they are using Division II refs, but we need to quit pretending there were never bad calls when the regular guys were out there.

DawgGoneIt

September 25th, 2012
9:43 am

Listening to Dilfer, Young & crew, you’d have thought last nights call was the end of the world. Packers should look in the mirror. Quit blaming everybody but your team & be up by more than a Touchdown when the “Fail Mary” goes up.

Festus

September 25th, 2012
9:44 am

The sport that really needs instant replay is professional wrestling. It’s Jenning’s fault for intercepting the pass instead of dropping it. The old NFL rule is if it bounces 3 times before the player picks it up it’s incomplete. You watched the game didn’t you? Then why should the NFL acquiesce to the demands of the union goon refs? Besides the Green Bay Packers destroyed our Falcons in the playoffs two seasons ago. And they have a quarterback who doesn’t shave for the game.

BravesFan79

September 25th, 2012
9:45 am

The classic moment last night to me was one official waving No Good, while the other signaled Touchdown! And then the push in the back…. HA. I don’t feel sorry for the Packers tho, they will still win their division, and every loss by the Pack and 49ers means the Falcons are 1 step closer to the #1 seed in the NFC!

some sense

September 25th, 2012
9:47 am

Wisconsin Senator…Don’t underestimate this one. When the leagues can’t manage products that appeal as much as they do to the citizenry, congress WILL get involved.

Hue and Cry…Where is the REAL voice in favor of the “integrity of the game” except from Tony Kornhiser (sp?) and Mark Bradley (although they’re both excellent “voices”)? Maybe the Wall Street protestors can go to the streets on this one…much better use of their time and energy.

Players…Want something REAL to strike about? Don’t step on the field until this (dog) mess is cleaned off it.

Tom

September 25th, 2012
9:50 am

If we want the referee lockout resolved, we need to stop focusing on Goodell. At all. He is nothing more than a messenger for the owners.

Let Arthur Blank know this is crap. Rail at Jerry Jones, Bud Adams, Dan Snyder, Tom Benson, Malcolm Glazer, et al. They are the ones who are to blame.

The owners were playing the game of the free market. “We can replace the regular referees instead of meeting their demands.” They bet on the replacements. They lost. It’s time to pay up. Roger Goodell cannot end this, only the owners. Lay the blame at the feet who gambled!

Jeffrey

September 25th, 2012
9:51 am

If this had happened to the falcons I would sue to have goodell removed. He is horrible!!!!!

Cooder Brown

September 25th, 2012
9:53 am

Whats the difference in this and what strong arms hochuli did a couple years ago?

Jeffrey

September 25th, 2012
9:55 am

Tom Goodell is the commissioner not a lackey It his own fault he has no nads. Also he wrote a piece in the wsj during the players lockout that was so ridiculous you really wondered if he knows how smart nfl fans are. Get rid of him.

Clay

September 25th, 2012
9:56 am

Well, the Packers certainly got jobbed on this one; but, they also deserve it by trying to intercept the ball instead of trying to knock it down or out of bounds. The Packers also gave up 8 first half sacks–I hope they are equallly upset about that, as well.

P B Orr

September 25th, 2012
10:01 am

Mark, the Repos and conmen have the public so brainwashed about unions that they’ll cut off their noses to spite their whistling lips. This is about union busting pure and simple. The NFL has other employees whose pensions have been sloughed off onto the criminals in investment banking, so why not the refs? It’s not about the paltry couple of million next to billions in revenue – it’s about busting the union.

Best solution – impromptu player strike.

Doug

September 25th, 2012
10:02 am

What are defenders always taught on a Hail Mary pass? Knock it down! What did the Packers defender do? Go for the stat-padding, glory-hogging interception. They got what they deserved!

I wonder if the referees called it a touchdown just so that it would be reveiwed upstairs. If they called a game-deciding play an incomplete and get it wrong, there would be no reply to back them up or ensure the call is right. That may not be true though as I think all turnovers are reviewed this year as well? If so, the refs didn’t have to call it a touchdown in order to invoke the replay on what to them was a very close call.

Funny Bunny

September 25th, 2012
10:15 am

CBS News says the refs are part-time employees who make $ 8,000.00 per week. I guess the labor problem is their misfortune.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2RxWs60dRM

Mr. Mustard

September 25th, 2012
10:22 am

So, it is okay for taxpayers to pay for billionaires’ stadiums. It is okay for the Green Bay Packers to be owned by a town. It is okay for the billionaires to share television revenue. It is okay for teams to “draft” human beings and “own” their rights for six years, and it is okay to skew health results of human beings (concussions) but HEAVEN FORBID,

Mr. Mustard

September 25th, 2012
10:29 am

(sorry, hit the enter by accident)

heaven forbid, that very very skilled professional referees insist to be paid what the market will bear.

We will see what the market will bear, won’t we?

Anyway, let a billionaire charge $9.00 for a beer, let them demand tax money for stadiums when they are private businesses and very rich, and hey that is GOOD BUSINESS.

Let a worker demand more money and they are greedy.

What the hell is wrong with some of you people?

Labor is part of the capitalist system, essential at that and they should be encouraged to push the boundaries of the market just like the billionaires do by adding a zillion time outs to games.

If they win, good for them, if they lose then the market decided.

As long as the billionaires don’t have monopolies and collude. See a pattern here?

Give the refs their security, they have earned it and now we see how hard their jobs are.

Or, drink half a dozen $9.00 beers and then it won’t matter if the game is ruined. As long as the billionaires get more of your money, and greedy labor is taught a lesson.

Feudal England is where we are headed and some workers cheer it along.

Freaking amazing.

Labor is part of the market, they get to test it too. THAT is the market at work. It is a good thing guys.

Hillbilly D

September 25th, 2012
10:30 am

Never underestimate the arrogance of the folks who run the NFL.

Big Ten Stinks, Delany All Mad

September 25th, 2012
10:37 am

“Surely Roger Goodell will climb down from his bullying pulpit and admit what everybody else sees”

Not a chance.

Reggie Ball

September 25th, 2012
10:38 am

Anybody need a QB? I went to Georgia Tech Universtiy so you know I can count to 4, even in stadium in Athens.

GT in CT

September 25th, 2012
10:44 am

My understanding is that a field goal over an upright is not reviewable, maybe because you can’t do better than a guy standing beneath the upright … in theory anyway.

Ivan

September 25th, 2012
10:44 am

Glad I’m not the only one that sees there were many bad calls when the original refs were officiating. It happened all the time.

Now this is just my conspiratorial tin foil hat speaking but….

For far too long, back when the Falcons were bottom feeders, it seemed like every game, ESPECIALLY against historical teams (Packers, Bears, even Pats), the Falcons were getting a raw deal on most of the calls. Phantom pass interference, phantom holds, non-calls, you name it. A Falcons would get called for holding on a ticky-tack play, that was borderline at best. The other team would practically do everything but shoot a D-lineman in the knee of the Falcons, and it wouldn’t get called.

So now my team is 3-0 and I get to sit and watch these historical, previous dynasty teams like the Giants, Packs, Cowboys, and Pats, all fuss and cuss and complain about how they got screwed by refs.

All I can say………”Welcome to the ******* club.”

Jeff

September 25th, 2012
10:45 am

A simultaneous catch is not a reviewable play for some reason. So once they ruled simultaneous catch who caught the ball can’t be reviewed. In the replay they were only checking if the ball had hit the ground or not and whether they landed inbounds. Stupid rule.

Time

September 25th, 2012
10:46 am

Just more union and leftist union backers acting like the “real” refs are perfect, and never make any bad calls. It’s just union people (players) backing unions, backed up by a media that doesn’t know how to not support a union.

Why is the greed of the refs not being reported? 150k a year part time jobs, and they want more. Lord knows any republican that makes any money is called greedy and evil.

There are bad calls, it’s nothing new.

rivercard

September 25th, 2012
10:50 am

Mr. Mustard – correct and 99.99% of those supporting NFL position are doing so from a political point of view. Surely not from a knowledge of football or care for the game. I watched Saints-chiefs , Pats-Ravens and this game this weekend. All had major issues . Missed calls, poor pacing due to reviewing routine stuff, phantom calls, poor admin of game, the list goes on.

Not even rational to believe these guys could come in and match the competency of experienced and trained officials.

rivercard

September 25th, 2012
10:51 am

See Time above for as perfect example.

Straw man to say regular refs make bad calls also.

Time

September 25th, 2012
10:53 am

And 99.99 percent of those supporting the union are either union thugs, or already so brainwashed they believe whatever the media tells them to be true.

I KNOW football, and I know the game isn’t being called a whole lot worse than the old refs in most instances. Are there glaring examples of bad calls? Yes, but those not in lockstep with all union agendas know that.

Time

September 25th, 2012
10:53 am

see rivercard above for perfect example

Time

September 25th, 2012
10:54 am

And notice how none of the backers will adress the fact that these refs already make triple of the vast majority of Americans..for part time work that does not require a degree.

Tom

September 25th, 2012
10:55 am

Time… if you support a free market system, the regular referees are not greedy. You should be paid what you’re worth. A surgeon who can do a 10 minute procedure that currently fixes my problem should be worth tens of thousands of dollars if there isn’t someone who can do the job just as well for less.

Pippa's hiney

September 25th, 2012
10:58 am

In the grand scheme of things, seems like NFL quibbling with refs is a joke. NFL takes in zillions of $.
And they’re ruining their brand. Seems like team owners would get in Goodell’s face.

rivercard

September 25th, 2012
10:58 am

Time – Disagree, of course it is subjective. In my eyes, difference in pace and consistency is glaring. I could care less about it as a union issue.

Your use of words like Union thugs etc gives you away. Rush will be on soon to give you your daily thoughts, so scurry along.

Tom

September 25th, 2012
11:00 am

There is nothing anti-capitalist about private sector unions. (Public sector unions are a whole different, nefarious issue). If people choose to band together for their economic self-interest, what right does anyone have to tell them they cannot? I’m a free-market libertarian who thinks the NFL owners had every right to TRY this. They are not too big to fail though and this experiment has unquestionably failed the lack of professionalism in these replacements who are inconsistent and lack confidence.

Bilbo

September 25th, 2012
11:01 am

The replacement refs are no more incompetent than the hierachy of clowns running the NFL show overall. No team in L.A. for what, give or take 20 years, and no team ever in San Antonio. Two of the largest population areas in the U.S. Just like the laughing stock baseball commishioner, no clue at all.

rivercard

September 25th, 2012
11:01 am

Time – how is what refs make compared vast majority of Americans relevant in any way?

I don’t know what you do for a living, but I guess in your eyes someone could go get some guys off the corner and replace you tomorrow and get just as good results.

Buckeye

September 25th, 2012
11:07 am

Let Obama fix it. He fixes everything.

Mr. Mustard

September 25th, 2012
11:07 am

Remember, the refs are locked out and are asking to keep what was already promised.

It is the billionaires who are breaking the agreement.

And if you work part time for low wages, then…well…that is your business but don’t drag us down with you.

Oh, I know, let’s use prisoners to ref the games. They would already have orange vests, so the NFL would not have to buy uniforms.

Then when the game is over, the refs could pick up trash around the stadium.

Now, that is efficiency!

People, labor is part of the market, and they deserve to test the market just like socialist billionaires.

Banks are socialist, health insurance companies are socialist, NFL owners are socialist, the defense industry is socialist, insurance companies practice socialism.

Our way, the smart and hard working get rich and have healthy intelligent labor to pull from.

Your way, we reward prisoners while people wanting to work can never compete against that cheap labor.

Yep, we should all make $9.00 an hour, and get no sick days, no child care days, and if we get sick, lose our pathetic private health insurance just when we need it and go bankrupt.

How will that economy work?

Amazing.

Hillbilly D

September 25th, 2012
11:08 am

As long as people keep buying tickets and watching the games on TV (the commercials really), the NFL is going to do as they please. Only way to change it is to cut off the $$$$.

Fan Since 1966

September 25th, 2012
11:11 am

Roger Goodell needs to be fired, pure and simple. The NFL makes billions a year, the owners make multi-millions a year. The MINIMUM SALARY for a player is $460,000 a year and most make much more than that. The NFL is squabbling over a $25,000 raise and increased pension for the officials. Are you freakin’ kidding me! These games are a joke. The replacements are doing the best they can. It is not their fault, it is entirely on the weak shoulders of His Highness Roger Goodell. His arrogance and self rightous attitude is making a joke of this season. Now a game has been lost because of him. He’s giving fines to coaches for yelling at the officials who make bonehead calls? Every owner needs to be standing in his office this morning telling him to fix it or pack his bags!

Just Saying..

September 25th, 2012
11:12 am

The only thing deteriorating faster that the NFL’s integrity is Roger Goodell’s reputation.

The Ghost of Norm Van Brocklin

September 25th, 2012
11:13 am

Hell, why not take all this nonsense to it’s logical conclusion….

…Let the refs take any side they want…for money..

…Let the players steal each other’s women…and ambush the other team in locker rooms and walkways…

…Let Ric Flair be manager of one team….and the Hulkster manage the other…

…Have trash-talk interviews at the coin toss…

…Lower a cage over the NFL logo and make it a cage match

etc. etc. etc.

Big Crimson 75

September 25th, 2012
11:14 am

No need to blame Goodell.
He works for the Owners.
The Owners RUN pro- football.
Goodell is their……

P B Orr

September 25th, 2012
11:15 am

The right-wing brainwashees are here!

air of mendacity

September 25th, 2012
11:16 am

Bradley – why don’t u do an interview with Arthur Blank and ask him what is going on? If he refuses to talk, then publicize it in the paper. The media is saying the owners are behind this deadlock in an attempt to bust the union. It is clear that the refs do make a difference. I called the Falcons to complain and they acted like I was nuts.

Btw – I have 8 season tickets and it is getting a little much – the falcons have been subject to a lot of bad calls – we have been lucky that it has cut both ways and hasn’t cost a game yet. When you spend this much money on a product, ridiculously bad officiating is the last thing that you want to tolerate.