By: Scott Anderson
The replacement officials in the NFL have been less than stellar thus far, in fact, this past weekend they have regressed significantly. But, that does not excuse the egregious error made in the Monday Night matchup between the Packers and the Seahawks.
At the end of regulation, Russell Wilson of Seattle launched a Hail Mary pass towards Golden Tate, only to see it end up in the waiting arms of M.D. Jennings of Green Bay. Jennings wrapped up the ball along with one of Tate’s arms as they fell to the ground in what should have been a game ending interception. The officials differed on what they saw as one of them signaled touchdown in thinking that a simultaneous catch had been made, by rule, it goes to the passing team and thus was ruled touchdown on the field.
Thank goodness for video replay! Up in the booth, a non-replacement official had the chance to set things right and overturn the decision. Instead, the booth confirmed the call as a touchdown and the Seahawks completed an unthinkable comeback.
Today we get word from the NFL that the booth had the authority to overturn the call but the video evidence did not show enough for a reversal. With the NFL making this statement, I feel that this is their way of telling the locked out officials that they need to have them back is undoubtedly less than dire.
I have been on the side of the NFL regarding the replacement officials for the most part; I didn’t think it would be considerably worse than what we’ve seen in the past. There would be a learning curve certainly, but I didn’t think it would cost games or be so bad that we’d all be clamoring for something better. The call from last night coupled with the league statement on the matter, has me re-thinking my stance.
I think both sides need to get back to negotiating, the locked out officials think they have the upper hand because of public outcry, though it’s the NFL that ultimately has the upper hand as they continue to show their stubborn, unconditional loyalty towards their replacements.