The Referees Return


Sept 24, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate (81) holds on to the game-winning touchdown as time expires against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

It’s funny to see how many people outside of San Diego are quick to forget that Ed Hochuli cost the Chargers a playoff spot by blowing a call at the end of a 2009 game against the Broncos.

However, like anything sports related, the NFL referee situation became a “what have you done for me lately” situation and unfortunately for the owners, the replacement referees had what was arguably the worst call in the history of the league on Monday night.

Everyone was waiting for the one call that would be so unbelievably wrong that the owners would have no choice but to bow to the referees demands, and that call came when Golden Tate was awarded a touchdown on what was an obvious interception.

First the referees missed the most blatant offensive pass interference in history as Tate pushed Sam Shields with both hands at least three yards to give himself a little more space to make the catch. Unbelievable. Then came the incomprehensible buffoonery of one referee calling a touchdown, with the other calling a touchback. Unbelievable. The final straw for the NFL came when the play was reviewed via instant replay, and upheld. Unbelievable.

Watching the play unfold live was unreal. We thought it was a touchdown because a tie-ball goes to the offense, however, when we saw the replay we knew almost immediately that it was an interception.  The referees, on the other hand, did not. The fact that the commissioner of the Lingerie Football League came out publicly and said that he wouldn’t hire the referees that the NFL was using is just another slap in the face to the league’s credibility. Unbelievable.

Roger Goodell and the NFL could have nipped the problem in the bud after they got the real referees signed to a new CBA and said that the replacements made the wrong call and overturned it. Instead, they said that the decision was the correct one. Unbelievable.

The decision cost the Packers the game and moved the team to a tie for the worst record in their division. Seattle on the other hand now sees themselves tied for second in their division behind the undefeated Arizona Cardinals.

In a league that every game matters, this could end up being disastrous for the Packers. While it’s early enough that they could turn it around and win their division, if they get into a battle for a wild card spot and they’ve spotted their competition a one game lead, they may find themselves on the outside looking in. Unbelievable.