As the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers prepare to play one another in the NFC divisional round at Lambeau Field, let's remember how these two teams have had quite the recent history.
We've already remembered the 2015 NFC Championship game where the Seahawks came back from a 16-point deficit to repeat as conference champions.
Now, let's go back to 2012 and remember one of the most famous plays of the modern NFL, and for all the wrong reasons: The Fail Mary.
September 24, 2012: Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks (Monday Night Football)
Eight seconds remained in the contest. The Packers lead 12-7 and are one more stop away from leaving CenturyLink Field victors. The Seahawks have the ball at the 24-yard line of Green Bay needing a touchdown.
Then it happened.
After quarterback Russell Wilson runs for his life, he throws a desperation pass into the endzone as time runs out. The ball is "simultaneously" caught by Packers safety M.D. Jennings and Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate; since both teams possessed the ball the tiebreaker rules in favor of the offense, leading to a Seahawks victory.
However, anyone looking at the play can tell that Jennings intercepts the ball (even Seahawks fans privately admit that to themselves). Then, Tate kind of grabs onto the ball in hopes of a bad ruling from the referees, which is what happened.
After deliberation, the referees, who were replacement refs due to a strike from the full-time ones, rewarded Seattle with a touchdown. That's right, this game was officiated by temps as the real NFL officials were engaged in a holdout with the league.
It shows, too, with this iconic GIF of one referee ruling an interception while the other referee signals touchdown.
Fail Mary rematch next weekend 👀👀👀👀 pic.twitter.com/sb8kkletU4
— Novus-Decennium Psychopomp (@ZebesianQuo) January 6, 2020
The ruling was stain for the league that may have tipped the scales in an agreement that put the full-time referees back on the field ahead of the following week's games.
The Fail Mary was such a monumental mistake that it ended a strike.