By Blaidd Drwg
The NFL ref situation is now beyond ridiculous. Everyone knows about the botched calls at the end of the Seahawks-Packers game that resulted in a Seahawks win.
Well, the NFL decided to release a statement about the game, and, in the biggest copout ever, Roger Goodell said this:
While the ball is in the air, Tate can be seen shoving Green Bay cornerback Sam Shields to the ground. This should have been a penalty for offensive pass interference, which would have ended the game. It was not called and is not reviewable in instant replay.
I am fine with that. It was a play that was missed, although I am less likely to excuse the missed call on the interference based on the lousy calls earlier in the 4th quarter, one of which included Sidney Rice doing everything but stabbing Green Bay DB Sam Shields on a pass play and Shields getting called for pass interference.
The travesty is the NFL won’t admit that the refs and the replay officials got the call wrong on the actual interception:
Replay Official Howard Slavin stopped the game for an instant replay review. The aspects of the play that were reviewable included if the ball hit the ground and who had possession of the ball. In the end zone, a ruling of a simultaneous catch is reviewable. That is not the case in the field of play, only in the end zone.
Referee Wayne Elliott determined that no indisputable visual evidence existed to overturn the call on the field, and as a result, the on-field ruling of touchdown stood. The NFL Officiating Department reviewed the video today and supports the decision not to overturn the on-field ruling following the instant replay review.
I am not really sure which replay the officials were looking at, but there was definitely enough evidence to overturn the call in just about everyone’s opinion. What I suspect this is all really about is the league does not want to give any leverage to the officials that they locked out. By admitting that the replacement refs blew both calls, the locked out officials could use that as leverage in their negotiations.
That being said, I am tired of watching the officials constantly blow calls and get calls wrong, so I won’t be watching another minute of NFL football until the regular refs are back blowing calls weekly.
Update: It appears sometime between the time I wrote this and the time I posted it, the regular refs are going to be back at work.