Just wow. First off, before diving into the aftermath of what could happen, let’s take a look again at the play. Prior to the so-called simultaneous catch, Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate clearly pushes off, resulting in what should be an offensive pass interference penalty.
This is after earlier in the fourth quarter, the replacement refs called pass interference on Packers cornerback Sam Shields and it was clearly not pass interference. Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings clearly possesses the ball first and then Golden Tate grabs onto the ball. Which means that it was not a simultaneous catch, and it should have been ruled a touchback.
The photo above shows the confusion between the two refs; one calling for a touchdown and the other calling for the clock to stop, meaning a touchback was going to be ruled. This was the game that the real referees had been waiting for and that I think everyone had been expecting would happen eventually. An apocalyptically bad call that costs a sure fire playoff team a game that they should have won against a possible wild-card playoff team. This was the game that will give ESPN and every other sports media news outlet to blast the NFL for 24+ hours on what is sure to go down as one of the most horrific calls in NFL history; luckily for ESPN their viewership will be through the roof.
You can guarantee that Roger Goodell is trying to find a very small rock to crawl under while he and the rest of the NFL Front Office tries to weather this backlash. Unfortunately for NFL fans, ESPN NFL insider Chris Mortensen said on Sportscenter that this is unlikely to get the real officials back in place immediately. That it would be almost logistically impossible to have all the crews ready and assigned in time for week four, which means that there could be another week of costly officiating and decisions.
A great view of just how wrong of a call they made.
Unfortunately, you can guarantee that this will speed up talks between the two. The incidents like this are not only inexcusable, but just further more that the refs don’t know the rule book. The play isn’t even technically reviewable because it was ruled a touchdown, had the call be ruled an interception (this is all according to former referee Gerry Austin who now works for ESPN) it could have been reviewed.