Did the Replacement Refs Refuse to Reverse the Call Because of Fear of Seattle Seahawks Crowd?

By Bryn Swartz

In one of the more unbelievable finishes to a game in the history of the National Football League, the Seattle Seahawks escaped with a dramatic, heart-wrenching, stunning, thrilling 14-12 victory over the Green Bay Packers in which quarterback Russell Wilson completed a 24-yard hail mary touchdown to Golden Tate on the final play of the game.

Replays clearly, CLEARLY, showed that the pass was intercepted by safety MD Jennings, but as Jennings fell to the ground, it was partially grabbed by Tate. Jennings clearly had a more powerful grasp on the ball.

ESPN’s Stuart Scott read the rulebook, which states that if two players simultaneously catch a ball, the tie goes to the offensive team. But if one player clearly catches it with a more powerful grip and another player latches on, the first player–the one with the more dominant grip–gets the catch.

It’s the same thing that happened when you played football at recess in elementary school. You knew when you caught a ball and you knew when someone else caught it and you just had your hand on the ball.

Now imagine that happening in an NFL game, like it did, and literally costing a team a victory. That is what the league is faced with from Monday night’s fiasco.

The refs had an opportunity to reverse the call after they looked at the replay. They had a chance to right a wrong. They couldn’t have been stupid enough to not realize what really happened.

Everybody could tell. Your bloggers, your fans. We all saw. There was no debate. The play was an interception.

The refs apparently couldn’t tell.

Let me clarify something.

I think these refs are awful. I didn’t think they would affect games even one quarter as much as they have. They’re so bad that at times they’re laughable.

But there are probably only 50 or 60 people (however many real refs there are, plus a few random others) in the world who could do a better job.

I do not believe that the refs couldn’t get this call right.

I think they were scared. I honestly, truly, seriously believe that. I literally think they were scared of what would happen if they reversed the call in Seattle, one of the most passionate football stadiums in the country.

So they went with the easy way out and they kept the call the way it had originally been made.

If this game was in Green Bay, I truly think the call would have been reversed.

This was a travesty. You can’t make this stuff up. What should have been an interception turned into a game-winning touchdown for a rookie quarterback in a game that will likely impact the playoff odds for one of the two teams.

The refs could have flagged Tate for pushing off. They didn’t. They could have changed the call. They didn’t.

The refs were scared. There’s no other possibility. You can’t blow a call like this.

Remember umpire Jim Joyce blowing a call on Armando Galarraga’s perfect game? Give him an opportunity to review the call and I think he gets it right. In fact, I know he does. Of course he does.

These refs had their second chance, and they blew it. Now it will affect the NFL season.

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