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The End

[ 127 ] September 24, 2012 |

I love the Seattle Seahawks. But they just won the worst refereed game in the history of the National Football League. After bogus call after bogus call, affecting both teams equally for most of the game, the final blow against the NFL lockout has just happened.

In a last second pass, Seattle QB Russell Wilson threw a pass that was “caught” by Golden Tate. By “caught” I mean the ball was obviously intercepted. But the refs called it for Seattle, end of game. Green Bay just lost a game because of scab referee incompetence.

This is a complete joke. Laughable. I know I thought the NFL wouldn’t let it get this far. And some have repeatedly pointed out I was wrong, even trying to say the scab refs weren’t that bad. And so who knows, the NFL leadership is so ideologically committed to not paying the referees a pension, that they could let their product go to complete shit. But this has gone way, way too far. This is now the story of the NFL season. If the Packers don’t get home field advantage in the playoffs, if they get a wildcard instead of a division championship, if they don’t make the playoffs by a game, the referees just cost the Packers.

PC: Check out this still frame of the “game winning touchdown catch.”


Comments (127)

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  1. Stan Gable says:

    that was awesome.

  2. bobbyp says:

    Yes. At least when the Hawks were jobbed out of a Super Bowl, it was done by professionals.

    But truly awful refereeing…joke level. The commentators were really down on the refs. I posit what it will take to end this farce is more media darlings (Green Bay, Dallas, New England, et al) getting their asses handed to them by the scabs.

    You left out a “not” in your post. Check it out.

  3. That was ludicrous.

    Most of that game was unwatchable. Most of the late game yesterday was unwatchable.

    Look, IANAE (I am not an economist), but if your LABOR is not IMMEDIATELY REPLACEABLE then management’s hand is forced.

    I can’t believe it has come this far. That was clearly the wrong call, and everyone knows it (except Russel W., who was “sure” it was a TD because he “felt” it).

    This is ruining their product for me. Fuck.

  4. Jim Lynch says:

    I don’t get it.

    As of last season, every TD is reviewed upstairs. Right?

    So what happened tonight?

    • ploeg says:

      The play was reviewed, and the play stood as called (not enough evidence).

      One of the two officials on the scene signaled for an interception before the other official signaled touchdown.

    • They made the wrong call. A Green Bay defender fairly clearly intercepted a hail mary pass in the endzone, but a Seahawk receiver had an arm in there that obscured things a bit.

      On the slow-mo replay review, there’s no earthly reason to award the touchdown to the Seahawks.

      Both a touchdown and an interception was called on the field. After they talked it over for a few seconds they decided on a touchdown. The head ref went to the little booth thing for the slow-mo replay review. And made the wrong call.

      This is on top of a general level of bullshitty calls and like five straight bullshit calls on Seattle’s penultimate drive.

      • Scott Lemieux says:

        They can’t overrule that call. Why, I have no idea, but letting it stand was actually right by the rules although the call itself was ridiculous.

        • I agree the correct use of review is that they can’t overrule the call.

          But to say that lets the refs off the hook for what the replay clearly shows to be true assumes the refs weren’t looking at whether Green Bay or Seattle caught the ball during the review, right, and applied a correct interpretation to what they could and could not review?

          I think there’s enough evidence to claim that’s an implausible assumption.

        • witless chum says:

          The NFL had a problem with insanely-written rules before it hired the dudes who were doing St. Norbert’s vs. Michigan Tech games to enforce them.

          • Oh dear lord, yes. In a way I think that’s 95% of the reason people hated the real refs, because they got stuck (correctly) enforcing the stupid rules like the tuck rule or the “any touching of the QB’s head is a 15 yard penalty” rule.

        • gmack says:

          Having looked at the rulebook, I see no evidence supporting the claim that a simultaneous catch is non-reviewable. So if this is what the ESPN folks are saying, I’d like them to point to the actual rule. Here’s what I found:

          First, regarding the issue of a “simultaneous catch,” the rule is that if one player established control before the other started also getting his hands on the ball, then it is not a simultaneous catch; the first player made the catch. So the original call was erroneous.

          Here’s the definition of a “simultaneous catch”: Item 5: Simultaneous Catch. If a pass is caught simultaneously by two eligible opponents, and both players retain it, the ball belongs to the passers. It is not a simultaneous catch if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control. If the ball is muffed after simultaneous touching by two such players, all the players of the passing team become eligible to catch the loose ball.

          As for reviewable plays, here’s what I found:

          Reviewable Plays. The Replay System will cover the following play situations only:

          (a) Plays governed by Sideline, Goal Line, End Zone, and End Line:
          1. Scoring plays, including a runner breaking the plane of the goal line.
          2. Pass complete/incomplete/intercepted at sideline, goal line, end zone, and end line.
          3. Runner/receiver in or out of bounds.
          4. Recovery of loose ball in or out of bounds.

          (b) Passing plays:
          1. Pass ruled complete/incomplete/intercepted in the field of play.
          2. Touching of a forward pass by an ineligible receiver.
          3. Touching of a forward pass by a defensive player.
          4. Quarterback (Passer) forward pass or fumble.
          5. Illegal forward pass beyond line of scrimmage.
          6. Illegal forward pass after change of possession.
          7. Forward or backward pass thrown from behind line of scrimmage.

          (c) Other reviewable plays:
          1. Runner ruled not down by defensive contact.
          2. Runner ruled down by defensive contact when the recovery of a fumble by an opponent or a teammate occurs in the action that happens following the fumble.
          3. Ruling of incomplete pass when the recovery of a passer’s fumble by an opponent or a teammate occurs in the action following the fumble.
          4. Ruling of a loose ball out of bounds when it is recovered in the field of play by an opponent or ateammate in the action after the ball hits the ground.
          Note 1: If the ruling of down by contact or incomplete pass is changed, the ball belongs to the recovering player at the spot of the recovery of the fumble, and any advance is nullified.
          Note 2: If the Referee does not have indisputable visual evidence as to which player recovered the loose ball, the ruling on the field will stand.
          Note 3: This does not apply to complete/incomplete passes, or the ruling of forward progress.
          5. Forward progress with respect to a first down.
          6. Touching of a kick.
          7. A field-goal or Try attempt that crosses below or above the crossbar, inside or outside the uprights
          when it is lower than the top of the uprights, or touches anything.
          8. Number of players on the field at the snap.
          9. Illegal forward handoff.

          Note: Non-reviewable plays include but are not limited to:
          1. Status of the clock
          2. Proper down
          3. Penalty administration
          4. Runner ruled down by defensive contact (not involving fumbles)
          5. Forward progress not relating to first down or goal line
          6. Recovery of a loose ball that does not involve a boundary line or the end zone.
          7. Field-goal or Try attempts that cross above either upright without touching anything.
          8. Inadvertent Whistle

          I don’t see anything here about simultaneous catches being non-reviewable.

        • mpowell says:

          The refs haven’t been following the ‘rules’ all season. If it was clearly an interception on review, they should have overturned the call on the field. Not doing so based on the assumption that you know what the rule is simply adds unwarranted arrogance and stupidity to ignorance and incompentence.

          For the real refs, not overturning a bad on the field call would be the correct decision. Not for these guys.

  5. Joe says:

    Scott Walker, how do you feel about unions now?

  6. Michelle Rhee says:

    There is a crisis in American refereeing and the owners know something has to be done. Breaking the union was a good start. These new refs are obviously just as good as the old ones, but they are not trying their best incentive system is skewed. Probably at the end of the season they should be graded by an online poll on, and then the ones who get the highest grades get a bonus, and the bottom 10% get replaced by new employees from a temp agency.

  7. virag says:

    it appears one of the officials got it right. sweet jeebus, these refs are frakking clowns. will this be the end of it? gruden looks like he’s gonna lose it on espn now.

  8. Bill Murray says:

    You know if the Pack had real owners they wouldn’t have gotten screwed so badly

  9. Linnaeus says:

    As a Lions fan, I can’t say that I feel badly about a Packers loss, but I’d prefer said loss to be in a game regulated by competent personnel.

    • Joseph Slater says:

      As another Lions fan, I feel badly that the refs screwed up a spot on a third down running play by the Lions in OT which, if it had been marked correctly, would have resulted in a first down and thus avoided the disastrous game-ending 4th down play.

  10. Anonymous says:

    If the Packers miss the playoffs because of this, it could cost many players on that squad a lot of money (since contracts in the NFL are incentive laden, and postseason appearances are often one of them).

  11. wengler says:

    Another shit-eating moment for the NFL. Trouble is they think their shit tastes like fine caviar.

    These rich dumbfucks don’t understand that the entire media apparatus is primed for ‘what fuck-up will the scab refs do this game?’ now. The only way to stop it is to bring back the old refs at whatever terms they want.

    I don’t know if they will. These are some extremely wealthy and stupid people.

    • Anonymous says:

      In week 1 the press was fawning over the great job the scabs were doing. In week 2 they were kind but expressing mild puzzlement at some movies.

      Now all gloves are off. Everyone is killing the refs and the NFL. I just heard Scott Van Pelt practically begging the NFL to get the regular guys back. SCOTT VAN PELT.

      I know we are talking about a bunch of MOTUs who aren’t used to this, but they have lost this battle decisively. The question is how long will it take before they realize it.

      • wengler says:

        When puppet media like ESPN is begging the NFL to bring the old refs back, you know they have a problem. The owners desperately need to buy themselves some good media coverage. I fully expect them to call the refs’ union this week and offer them an extremely mild concession on their current horrible offer. This will be rejected and the NFL will wave it around for all their anti-union friends in sports media to jaw about for a couple days.

        Or the NFL can start threatening their broadcast partners and double down on fines for criticizing refs.

    • Anonymous says:

      But the NFL desperately needs that $3.3 million dollars they are trying to take from the refs.

  12. Warren Terra says:

    Dare we to hope that some of the scab referees are sabotaging it now? They’ve had their fun, they’ve gotten to play NFL referee, but maybe they’ve realized enough is enough?

  13. shah8 says:

    One thing that really strikes me:

    If you’re gambling, you *really* have to weight the home team.

  14. Patrick says:

    How can you not love the Seahawks? They just ended the lockout.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Tom Crabtree, ladies and gentlemen.

  16. Patrick says:

    Hah! Listening to the Seahawks postgame, and Pete Carrol regarding the lockout “It’s time for this to be over”. Even the winning coaches know this is BS.

  17. Chuckie, Tirico, Scott Van Pelt, Stuart Scott

    This shit’s done

  18. Steve says:

    LOL, I may *start* to watch the NFL.

  19. Wrye says:

    I wonder. If the NHL was crazy enough to cancel an entire season (and may well do so again), why wouldn’t the NFL owners be just as mulish and ride this mess right to the bottom of the canyon? They played with replacement players most of one season, didn’t they? Probably didn’t even put asterisks in the records that year…

    • Sherm says:

      It was only three games, and the union essentially busted. Fucking Joe Montana and many others crossed the picket line and played with the scabs. The real referees won’t cave so easily. They have other sources of income.

  20. scanner says:

    Hawks fan here……


    Well, if there has to be an unacceptable clusterfuck, why not come out on the better end of it?

    Man, Wilson seriously blew. Matt Flynn must be a corpse not to provide anything better.

  21. rhino says:

    Still doesn’t make up for the superbowl against the steelers…

  22. angry bitter drunk says:

    I’d love to wake up tomorrow and read that this is settled, but I suspect it won’t end unless or until teams — players and coaches — stop showing up for games. Yes, the NFL has disgraced itself even more than seemed possible from this episode, but the 32 Rmoneys who own the teams (and even the Packers have executives) clearly have higher priorities. Mere commoners (like part-time officials) will no longer have pensions. That is Law for the Elite.

  23. rhino says:

    While the ultimate play was certainly misscalled, there were so many bad and missed calls on both sides that I really dont think you can say the refs handed green bay the game. Had calls earlier been made correctly, that last play would never have mattered.

    In any case, i hope the refs actually INCREASE their demands after this debacle.

  24. Tim says:

    Until a player has both feet down, there is no catch. And when both players in this instance did have their feet down, there was simultaneous control. Tie goes to the offense. The picture posted was taken long after that magic moment occurred.

    But for those who care to, it is a good opportunity to impinge the league over the ref situation. added points if it’s a SEA who does so?

  25. Breadbaker says:

    I’d give a rat’s ass for Green Bay if this were the only call that made a difference. The call on third down when he clearly had his knee down at the three (and remember, that was the call on the field, so it needed “indisputable evidence” to the contrary) resulted in Green Bay’s sole touchdown. Without it, all the Seahawks need there is a field goal.

    So, Green Bay fans, fuck you.

  26. 'stina says:

    Of course this clusterfuck has to mar the beginning of the best season in Texans’ history. Goddammit.

  27. Chester Allman says:

    As a Seahawks fan, I’d been expecting my team to be on the wrong side of the call that ended the lockout. Being the beneficiary instead kind of sucks.

    Still, let’s not ignore the ridiculous PI call that extended the Packers’ TD drive, nor the constant holding that the Packer O-line got away with in the second half.

    All in all a masterpiece of incompetence, victimizing both teams and turning the second half into one of the worst displays of football I’ve ever seen. Congrats Goodell: you built this.

  28. Sherri says:

    The NFL got what it deserved tonight. That my Seahawks were the beneficiaries is just the icing on the cake.

  29. Murc says:

    I am actually surprised at how little vitriol I’ve seen directed at the non-scab currently locked-out refs over this.

    I 100% expected them to receive all the blame in the sports media and among fans for the inevitable blown calls, blown games, injuries, etc. resulting from the scabs. To see them impugned as “men putting their greed over the good of the game” among other things.

    And that’s happened, but not nearly to the extent I thought it would happen.

    • Meh, vitriol not so much, but there’s definitely no one really standing up for the real refs’ interests, and there’s a lot of McCain-esque “knock off the bullshit” stuff that undercuts them.

      OTOH, the PFT comment section is overwhelmingly anti-ref, but I’d probably be worried about myself if I ever agreed with that collective cesspool.

  30. Bob Loblaw says:

    Not that I ever give much credence to Yahoo! sports columnists, but I got a kick out of the rapid head-spinning flip-flop of Dan Wetzel between this condescending apologia

    which was published yesterday, and this angry call-to-arms

    published an hour ago.

    • angry bitter drunk says:

      I used to like Wetzel — and he has been great on covering college football’s towering bullshit — but more and more it just seems like he’s just into making contrarian arguments for the attention/page views. Perhaps he thinks ESPN will eventually tab him to replace Skip Bayless.

  31. Manju says:

    The worst decision in sports since Pacquiao v Bradley…which was reffed by Robert Byrd.

  32. […] (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}After her exclusive comments in the wake of last night’s game, former Washington D.C. Chancellor of Public Schools and […]

  33. […] (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}Excellent point made here by longtime friend of LGM gmack.    I took the word of the ESPN analysts that the question of who […]

  34. Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    Couldn’t happen to a more obnoxious, entitled fan base (well maybe Dallas or New England) but that said, yeah this was terrible. To be fair, the Seahawks would have had alot of calls to bitch about had the outcome been the other way, just none as high-profile as this. Just a shit-show all around.

    I hope that the situation gets resolved soon and the union gets all of their demands met. When I find myself agreeing with Collinsworth/Michaels, shit’s gotten outta control.

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