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It’s Time: Bring Real Referees Back

September 25, 2012

One referee motioning for touchdown, the other a touchback, who’s right? Credit: ESPN

After Monday night’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks the replacement referees must go.

In one of the biggest disgraces the NFL has ever witnessed, the Seahawks defeated the Packers 14-12 on a hail marry pass from Russel Wilson to Golden Tate.

This is where the controversy begins.

First off, the referees missed a blatant pass interference on Tate. Secondly, Melvin Delanie “M.D” Jennings intercepted the pass.

In what is bound to be one of the most replayed football plays of the next 10 years, the replacement referees referred to simultaneous position for the call on the field. The problem: it wasn’t simultaneous position. Jennings controlled the ball as he hit the ground, then Tate wrestled the ball away. According to Rule 8 – Article 3 – Item 5 in the NFL rule book, this is the definition of an interception.

The referees missed the call.

Plain. And. Simple.

It was only a matter of time before something like this happened. The referees have been missing calls in every single game so far this season. We saw blown calls in the opening game of the season; we saw them in the last week’s games; heck we saw them in last night’s game.

None have gone this far.

The referees decided this game. A blown call decided a football game. It’s not every day you can say that.

The Packers lost a football game that they earned. A game they deserved to win.

If this isn’t enough to bring the real referees back then I don’t know what is. It’s not even about the blown calls or the long game times. It’s about the integrity of the NFL.

The replacement referees are the laughing stock of America right now. They are making a mockery out of the sport we love.

I’m looking at you Roger Goodell. America is looking at you.

Pay the referees.

Take responsibility for your actions and fix the problem.

  1. Jason Maxwell
    September 25, 2012 at 9:11 am

    It was probably an INT, but its wasn’t the bad call you’re making it out to be. Setting aside Tate’s pass interference (which, I agree, should have been called but then you open up a can of worms because there was defensive pass interference on the play as well) and just looking at the catch there are a couple of rules to remember.

    1. A catch is not complete until the catcher gets 2 feet on the ground.
    2. Simultaneous possession goes to the offense
    3. By rules the replay booth can not review who has possession, the can just review if a catch was made (in the end zone, in bounds, ball never hit the ground, etc.)

    So watch the replay and look to see when Jennings second foot hits the ground, Its much later than most people are realizing. At that point both of Tate’s arms are wrapped up with Jennings’ arms and the ball. Only at that point has Jennings completed the catch.

    Its not hard for me to understand why, coming in at that point, the referees might decide simultaneous possession applies and award the touchdown. I personally don’t think Tate had enough of the ball to call it that way, it still should have been an INT, but its not the mind-blowing dumb call that ESPN is making it out to be.

  1. September 25, 2012 at 1:03 am
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