Replays clearly showed that Tate pushed off on Packers cornerback Sam Shields before leaping to make the catch, which we all could tell was not a simultaneous catch.
Tate got lucky twice. He wasn’t flagged for offensive pass interference, which would have ended the game, and he was given credit for having simultaneous control of the ball.
His postgame interview, in which he denied knowing what the sideline reporter was talking about when she asked if he pushed off, did not gain him popularity points.
I’ve seen numerous tweets about Tate cheating to win the game for the Seahawks, and I can’t say for the life of me why Tate is being viewed as the bad guy for his role in the Fail Mary.
I definitely agree that he should have been flagged and didn’t actually catch the ball. But what did he do that any other receiver wouldn’t have done? Nothing.
Receivers push off on Hail Marys all the time. Tate isn’t a symbol of the Seahawks cheating because the Seahawks didn’t cheat.
They simply accepted a win that was given to them. I can’t lose respect for anybody on the Seahawks for not admitting that they were handed a win, because I probably would have reacted the same way, and I can’t lose respect for anybody on the Packers for their angry outbursts on Twitter, because I probably would have reacted the same way too.
The final play of the Seahawks-Packers game was a very unfortunate incident for the entire league because it literally cost one team a win and handed it to another team. But it doesn’t make Tate a bad guy just because he played the leading role.