In a hard-fought contest, the Packers and Seahawks went into the 4th quarter within a few points of each other. With Green Bay up only five points, Seattle began a drive that would start the unraveling of my faith in the replacement officials. To begin, in a 1st and 25 situation, Seattle QB Russell Wilson threw it deep to WR Sidney Rice, but Sam Shields was in perfect defensive position, and the only way to prevent an interception was to physically throw the defender to the ground, and take the offensive pass interference penalty. Instead, the referee somehow calls Shields for interference giving the Hawks a new set of downs. They didn’t score, but Green Bay only got the ball back inside their own 5 yard line, which set up the final series of events. On the final play, Wilson again threw it deep, hoping for a miracle. That unlikely event came in the form of a series of unfortunate mistakes. First, was the unmistakable case of offensive pass interference in the form of Golden Tate shoving a Packer defender to the ground in front of him. Then, when Packers safety M.D. Jennings came down with the ball, the officials gave conflicting signals, one calling for a touchback, the other, a touchdown. In what feels like giving the home crowd what they want, they went with TD, unbelievably allowing Green Bay to be robbed on national TV.
You know the rest, beginning with numerous Packers speaking out on Twitter, expressing their displeasure expressly, and with strong words. Athletes from other sports even laughed about the ridiculous ending to the game, including LeBron James. The media, players, and fans are now united, and I’ve switched to the other side. The unbelievably arrogant way the NFL addressed the issue was no better, and offers no solice to fans or players who were aggreived by the blatant bumbling Monday night.