The Seattle Seahawks hosted the Green Bay Packers in the fourth Monday Night Football game of the 2012-13 NFL season (there were two games in Week 1). For the second consecutive day, there was a Hail Mary touchdown reception. However, this was far from being a clean catch. As a matter of fact, it was an interception that was rewarded to the offensive team as a game-winning touchdown.
The Packers were leading 12-7. The Seahawks had one more chance to win the game. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw a prayer to Golden Tate in the left corner of the end zone. Tate shoved a defender out of the way. No offensive pass interference was called. Packers safety M.D. Jennings would intercept the football. However, Tate had his arm on the football. That was apparently enough for the replacement refs to claim "Simultaneous possession." The Seahawks won 14-12.
The game ended approximately three hours ago. And yet, I'm still unsure about what to say or what just transpired on national television. Despite the horrendous pass-blocking in the first half, the Packers literally lost a game on that call. That doesn't include the other mind-boggling penalties on Sam Shields and Erik Walden.
What's going through the mind of this Packers enthusiast? There are so many emotions going through me. For starters, I'm so happy that I don't have work tomorrow. This will almost certainly be a sleepless night.
I'm angry that this happened to my favorite team. I'm frustrated by the fourth quarter. I'm shocked at how the quality of officiating has deteriorated with each week. I'm amazed at how these blunders are occurring in the key moments of games. I want to blame somebody. I'm relieved and thankful that this happened in Week 3, not Week 13. I wish the Packers didn't come out for that final extra-point. I'm encouraged by the Packers' defense. My respect for the Seahawks' defense is even greater than what it was before. I'm optimistic that the Packers will bounce back. Yet, I'm pessimistic about the officiating. I'm confused as to why the NFL is destroying the image that they had built up for decades. I'm disappointed that integrity means nothing to the NFL.
What else did I miss? At least I was entertained by the game. As a defensive-minded football fan, I loved that slobber-knocker. It's unfortunate that these replacement refs keep affecting the outcomes of potential classics.
What do the players feel about this? Here's a tweet from Packers tight end Tom Crabtree:
13th man beat us tonight.
Packers offensive guard T.J. Lang had the following tweet:
(Expletive) it NFL.. Fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs.
Sour grapes? The Packers weren't the only players who were voicing their opinions. Here's what New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees had to say via Twitter:
I love this league and love the game of football, but tonight's debacle hurts me greatly. This is NOT the league we're supposed to represent
From this point forward, I'm not blaming the replacement officials. These individuals haven't been properly trained to handle their positions. They have no business calling a preseason game, much less a Monday Night Football game. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the owners need to fix this situation. Can you imagine these officials calling playoff games? Conference championships? The Super Bowl?
The Packers have a short week to prepare for a desperate New Orleans Saints team who has a 0-3 record. What kind of ramifications will this have for the postseason? Will this be a determining factor in home-field advantage? How will the Packers respond?
Just remember: it's only Week 3. The Packers have plenty of time to recover from this. At least this didn't happen in Week 13 or the postseason.
Joshua Huffman graduated from Middle Tennessee State University as a marketing major in 2009. He's been a Middle Tennessee resident from 1986-88 and 2001-present. He lived in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin from 1988-01 and for approximately eight months in 2009-10 as he completed a 20-game volunteer position with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. His favorite sports organizations include the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs, Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans. He can be found on Twitter HERE.
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