The Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks played in what will go down as one of the most-controversial games in NFL history. On September 24, 2012, the Seahawks completed a Hail Mary touchdown reception. This gave the Seahawks a 14-12 victory. The problem is that Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate pushed off on the play. The offensive pass interference was not called. Packers safety M.D. Jennings intercepted the football in the end zone. The refs weren't in position to see that.
I won't demand an overturned call. If they overturn this call, then they'll overturn calls every other week. However, these are five fallouts that should occur from this fiasco.
Statement From The NFL: Explanation of Rule
The NFL has released their statement. ESPN has posted a copy of it. In short, the NFL agreed with the decision to not overrule the touchdown reception. However, they admitted that a pass interference penalty had occurred when Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate shoved Packers cornerback Sam Shields.
The explanation is weak. It's borderline insulting. They're not even willing to admit that the refs made an error on the catch itself? File this as another example of the NFL playing stupid with its fans.
Thank You For Professionalism
The NFL must recognize the professionalism that was shown when the Packers went back on the field for the extra point. The Packers didn't have to do that. They could have easily made this into a bigger issue than it already is. At the least, I'd like to see some acknowledgement of their upstanding actions.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is known for being a heavy-handed commissioner. A player can expect a five-digit fine for anything that is said that embarrasses the NFL. Following post-game tweets that were made by players, Goodell will probably add on to the drama with some needless fines.
Defensive Pass Interference: 15-Yard Penalty
The defensive pass interference is one of the most-important calls of any game. Because it's a spot foul, a botched defensive pass interference can result in the difference of 50-plus yards of field position. Simply put, it's one of the biggest momentum changers in sports.
During the fourth quarter, the Seahawks faced a first-and-25. Shields was flagged for a defensive pass interference. This resulted in a 32-yard penalty and an automatic first down. Unfortunately, replays proved that there wasn't anything close to defensive pass interference. The Seahawks received 32 yard of unwarranted field position.
Pass interference penalties are too subjective to be held to such standards. The regular officials can't even make these calls with consistency, much less replacement officials. The NCAA doesn't have this problem because a defensive pass interference is penalized 15 yards at most.
I know it won't get changed. However, it should be in 2013.
Bring Back The Real Refs
Unless the real refs return, then most of this doesn't matter. The statements will become a monthly occurrence. The fines will keep coming. The refs will continue to have no control. The inconsistency will continue to affect receivers and defensive backs. The integrity will become increasingly jeopardized.
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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