A replacement referee admitted in a television interview that his crew blew the call on the controversial game-winning touchdown scored by Seattle against Green Bay on Sept. 24, suggesting his crew did not have a full understanding of the rules. But that official also said Packers coach Mike McCarthy called him later to say he thought he handled the situation professionally. USA Today reported that replacement referee Wayne Elliott said on a Showtime "Inside the NFL" interview scheduled to air Thursday that now, after reviewing the play, "I'd probably call interception. I learned a rule by screwing up the rule." Elliott was not in the end zone when Seattle's Golden Tate was ruled to have caught the game-winning touchdown pass, but he did not overturn it when he officially reviewed the replay immediately after the call was made. Elliott said it was very quiet in the officials' locker room after the game and that he received countless phone calls at home. "The phone didn't quit ringing for 72 hours probably, lot of Wisconsin phone calls to my number," said Elliott. He also said in the interview that McCarthy called. "(McCarthy) called me at my house last week because he had heard I was having a rough week with all the calls and everything," Elliott said. "Wanted (me) to know that he thought what I did -- controversial and maybe he didn't agree with it -- (but he thought) I handled it with class." McCarthy explained during a radio interview why he made the call. "It was something that really personally gave me some finality to the week," McCarthy told Adam Schein on SiriusXM Radio on Thursday. "It was something I felt was obviously the right thing to do." Officials also were criticized for not calling pass interference on Tate when he pushed off on Green Bay defender M.D. Jennings just before Tate was awarded the game-winning catch. But even though the NFL later said interference should have been called, Elliott said in the interview, "(For) the deep officials, it was brought up [in training sessions] that you don't really call interference on a Hail Mary...." Fellow referee Jim Core said during the interview all the coaches treated him with respect, except for Tampa Bay's Greg Schiano. "He's college," said Core. "The rest of them (coaches) acted at a different level."
By The Sports Xchange October 4, 2012 6:10 PM