If you’re reading this article, that means that you’re on the Internet. And it means that you’ve surely seen the play that everyone is talking about. If not, get yourself caught up to speed. The Seattle Seahawks were awarded a touchdown that they didn’t exactly earn on the final play of last night’s Monday Night Football game against the Packers, giving them the win. People are kind of up in arms about it.
But, was it the worst referee decision in NFL history?
Many are calling it just that. Certainly, the scope of the call–it literally decided the outcome of the game–places it at a level that few other bungled calls have reached.
The presence of replacement officials, and the complete lack of justification on the part of the league as to why a deal has yet to be reached to bring back the real officials, makes this call even worse. It didn’t have to happen. If the owners were willing to part with a few million dollars–peanuts, in the big picture–this would probably have never happened. Instead, we all got to see a team of officials (some of whom couldn’t even cut it in the Lingerie Football League) embarrass the NFL on national television.
Looking at the call objectively, without context, however, it’s not the worst ever. This is no “tuck rule” play. This isn’t a phantom pass interference call (though there were a few of those this weekend, thanks to the replacement refs). Though Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings clearly caught the ball in the air, Seahawks receiver Golden Tate did have at least partial possession by the time Jennings hit the ground. It’s a much closer call than it seems, judging by the visceral reaction of fans.
Ultimately, however, this call may be remembered as the worst ever. It will likely be the call that ended the reign of terror of the replacement officials and finally forced the owners to cave and bring back the real referees.
At least, it better. I don’t think the football world can take another weekend of calls like this one.