Worst. Officiating. Ever.
Another week - another set of mistakes from the NFL replacement referees. If you are a football fan you know that the refs have been locked out since June over contract disputes. In order to start the season, the league had to staff up with less-experienced officials.The result? A lot of botched calls. And mistakes that have overshadowed play throughout the first weeks of the season.
The biggest gaffe to date? The call during the final play of Monday Night Football.
Sept. 24, 2012 - Seattle, Washington, U.S. - Green Bay Packers head coach MIKE MCCARTHY talks to an official during the first quarter of their game. The outcome of the game was determined with questionable officiating. (Credit Image: © Mark Hoffman/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com)
For those who weren't watching last night's game, let me recap the final seconds. Down 12-7 with eight seconds left, rookie Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw a Hail Mary pass into a gaggle of players in the end zone. As players pulled away from the pile, Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate and Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings were seen fighting for the ball. One referee called it an interception. The other called it a touchdown.
Luckily, every NFL scoring play is reviewed on instant replay. So what really happened on the play? By all accounts, Jennings caught the ball first and as the players came down, Tate grabbed onto the ball and both men fought for control on the ground. Commentators, along with most viewers, were convinced that Jennings earned the interception. Yet the official ruling was, you guessed it, a touchdown.
The Packers players refused to line up for the extra point for about 10 minutes while the sideline reporters interviewed Wilson and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, who acted like it was a regular touchdown. Have players (and coaches) been taking advantage of the refs' ineptitude?
Anyway, everyone thought Green Bay would walk away with the win but the refs confirmed the Seahawks TD via the replay (giving Seattle a 14-12 victory). Social media literally exploded with the controversial call. #NFL, #MNF and #RogerGoodell trended most of the night (and as the furor mounts they're probably still trending). Many tweeters referenced Ashton Kutcher suggesting he walk into the Packers locker room to tell the players they've been punked. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. But "The Replacement Refs" may just eclipse the start of the Fall Primetime Season for comedy of errors.
Heads the owners win, tails we all lose. So - were you watching? What do you think? Touchdown or interception? Which team should have won that game? Is it time for Commissioner Roger Goodell to finally end this ridiculous lockout?