Replacement referees cost Green Bay a win
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 17:09
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Entire stadiums have booed them. The Patriots’ Bill Belichick grabbed one by the arm and the Redskins’ Kyle Shanahan was so hopping mad he followed one into the tunnel after the game.
But it took the team that Vince Lombardi built, playing in a “Monday Night Football” headliner, to put the NFL’s latest labor headache — locked-out officials and their struggling, under-fire replacements — front and center for the nation. Even President Barack Obama, a Bears fan slogging through a re-election campaign, weighed in Tuesday, saying, “We’ve got to get our refs back.”
Is this where the NFL’s lockout of its regular refs comes to an end? On a call that many believe cost the Packers and their Cheesehead- wearing followers a win at Seattle?
The NFL stood fast, giving no sign Tuesday that it was close to reaching a new labor pact with the referees’ union. But the outrage grew beyond NFL players (risking fines for speaking out) like Falcons tight end Anthony Gonzalez, who tweeted: “How do you miss that? Pop Warner refs would have gotten that right.”
It all started when Seahawks
quarterback Russell Wilson’s last-gasp pass into the end zone appeared to be hauled down by Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings while Seahawks receiver Golden Tate also got his hands on the ball.
Two replacement officials made contrasting signals — one indicated a touchdown, the other an interception — and they eventually ruled on the field that Tate had simultaneous possession with Jennings, which counts as a reception by the offensive player.
Touchdown, Seattle. Game over, Packers.
The NFL acknowledged Tuesday that Tate should have been flagged for offensive pass interference earlier in the play, which would have ended the game with a Packers victory. But league officials said the referee was correct that no indisputable visual evidence existed on a replay review to overturn the touchdown call.
The result of the game, 14-12 Seattle, was final.
Oddsmakers said millions of dollars changed hands on that now-famous play.
“Due to one call by the replacement refs, the bettors lost $150 million, and the bookie won $150 million for a total swing of $300 million on one debatably bad call,” said RJ Bell of Las Vegas- based Pregame.com.