An NFL game will finally be perceived to have been ultimately decided by the replacement referees. It just so happens that the game in question was a nationally-televised debacle for the league.
Russell Wilson heaved one final throw after the clock hit zero. A sea of white jerseys waited in the end zone as the ball descended.
After the smoke cleared, Golden Tate was ruled to have caught his second touchdown pass of the game.
The ball was clearly caught…by someone.
Two referees in the end zone signaled different calls while standing next to one another: One was signaling a touchdown, and the other signaled a touchback, meaning that an interception had been made.
Somehow, an offensive pass interference call was not made after Tate gave a double-handed push to a Green Bay Packers defensive back.
That would have nullified the ensuing situation.
Another bizarre element to the end of the game was that it took several minutes after the play was called a touchdown for anyone to line up to attempt the extra point. Players and reporters were all over the field before the extra point was attempted.
The Packers’ special teams had to retrieve their helmets in order to get back on the field and contest the extra point.
All of these occurrences are what make NFL fans, players, coaches and supporters clamor for the regular referees.
They are also indicative of the chaos surrounding the Seahawks-Packers game for 60 minutes.
This game was as competitive as the 14-12 final score would indicate.
Aaron Rodgers completed two-thirds of his passes for 223 yards. None of his throws found the end zone or the opposing defense’s hands.
Marshawn Lynch finished with 25 carries for 98 yards. He had no touchdowns to his credit, either.
Rookie Russell Wilson tossed two scores to Golden Tate on 10-of-21 passing for 130 yards.
If the game had not concluded so strangely, the story of this game would have been how the Packers’ offensive line was overwhelmed in the first half. Seahawks rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin had two sacks. Veteran Chris Clemons added four of his own.
Aaron Rodgers was sacked eight times in the first half. Green Bay made adjustments at halftime, and Rodgers made it out of the game without a sack in the final two quarters.
But that’s not what most NFL fans will take away from a regulation game that lasted almost three-and-a-half hours on Monday night.
The NFL Referees Association finally has something to point to for leverage in its negotiations.
Everyone who was able to stay awake long enough to see the game finally conclude is now aware of how this situation realizes the concerns of replacement referees in the NFL.
And yet, no resolution between the league and the regular officials seems to be imminent.