Green Bay Packers-Seattle Seahawks Controversial Call Blows Up Twitter

Kevin Stott@@KevinStott11Senior Analyst ISeptember 25, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 24:  Wide receiver Golden Tate #81 of the Seattle Seahawks makes a catch in the end zone to defeat the Green Bay Packers on a controversial call by the officials at CenturyLink Field on September 24, 2012 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

I’ve watched a lot of football in my time, and Monday night’s Seahawks-Packers game and its final play have to rank up there with Franco Harris’ Immaculate Reception, Doug Flutie’s "Hail Mary" against the University of Miami, the Stanford-California "Band" play and David Tyree’s miraculous catch in Super Bowl XLII in terms of sheer memories and public reaction.

And boy, did Twitter explode.

If you didn’t get to watch this little piece of history, the Packers led host Seattle 12-7 heading into the last play, in which Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate on a play that looked like Green Bay defensive back M.D. Jennings possessed the ball as he and Tate fell to the ground.

On the field, both players wrestled for the ball, and one referee called it an interception and a touchback while the other called it a touchdown.

Chaos ensued, and the replacement referees went to the video replay to determine the call. Referee Wayne Elliott eventually came out from under the hood and proclaimed "the ruling on the field stands" sending the CenturyLink Field faithful in the Emerald City into mass jubilation.

Here are some of the great tweets—not counting those left out due to salty language or any other nasty nature unsuitable for a website like this—that came into my Twitter timeline in this period and after the game in one of social media’s greatest moments.

Jason Radowitz sums up it all up perfectly first with his simple use of punctuation. Like all of us, the question whether or not it was a touchdown got bounced around in our heads like some perverted ping-pong ball right away like his punctuation.

The only way Jason could have made his tweet any better was by ending it with another “?” as the decision on this play was far from over.

Las Vegan Ryan Greene quickly understood the implications for gamblers, the National Football League, the replacement referees and the coming storm of controversy that is sure to last for some time.

Mike Freeman called it the way almost everyone in the world—except diehard Seahawks fans and the replacement referees—saw it, a Packers interception.

Wes Reynolds reflected the seeming reality of two different referees signaling two different things with a very simple way to handle it. This might have turned out a better way to decide it for Cheeseheads.

Two professional athletes, the Miami Dolphins’ Reggie Bush and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim rookie extraordinaire Mike Trout, soon weighed in with their short opinions.

The Tortious Troll brought a little levity to the situation, suggesting that if the Packers would have just taken a safety on fourth down in the previous possession and then kicked off, none of this bad craziness would have happened. He was right.

David Sabino, a writer for Sports Illustrated, went all rhetorical on the Twitterverse. And I’m guessing he’s probably right about this one.


Bruce Arthur, a phenomenal sports writer in Canada for the National Post, weighed in with his always-enlightening sense of humor when the Seahawks' touchdown was confirmed after one referee signaled a touchback and another a touchdown. Well at least one them got it right, but the question still remains which one? Right?

Two other quarterbacks, one a rookie (Robert Griffin III) and one retired (Troy Aikman), kept it short and sweet and both hit the nail on the head. Maybe the first time in history a Redskins player and a Cowboys player have actually seen eye-to-eye.

Longtime Las Vegas Review-Journal  writer Steve Carp then brought his acerbic sense of humor to the unraveling chaos on Monday Night Football.

University of Kentucky phenom and the No. 1 pick in this year’s NBA draft by the New Orleans, Anthony Davis, got the “crazy” and “interception” parts right but I guarantee you he’s not “done with football.”

Jared Wade suggested the Seahawks should go for the two-point conversion after the referees ruled the play was a touchdown. Very funny. Unless you are a Packers fan or a dude who just lost his bet on Green Bay -3. 

Greene weighed in again, and I couldn’t agree more. (Hey I need to write a story about all this...)

Las Vegas radio personality and handicapper Dave Cokin hits the nail on the head in his familiar cynical way. Right about this time I imagine commissioner Roger Goodell went to hide under his bed.

Fabulous Bleacher Report soccer writer Michael Cerna pokes fun at the replacement officials and their inability to make up their minds on anything fast or get it right. At this point, both teams had left the field without the extra point being kicked. They would return to Freakytown minutes later for the Seahawks extra point, which made the final score 14-12.

Another Bleacher Report guy, Sean Swaby, hammers ESPN analyst Jon Gruden for his choice of adjective, and I couldn’t agree more.

This was more like a case of karma the National Football League brought upon themselves for not fixing the referee situation before the regular season.

So Gordon Gekko wasn’t exactly right in Wall Street: Maybe greed isn’t so good...

Arthur again applies his quick wit from north of the border.

This idiot below must have thought it was all a dream or something. It wasn’t, nimrod.

Greene, a Bears fan from Chicago like myself, gets that it’s not always about what’s good for your team in life; sometimes it’s more about just getting it right and keeping some integrity in a sport. This call was a classic example.

Oh, Steven, you’re a funny guy. I really like your style. I could hang with you, brother.

LVH SuperBook director Jay Kornegay, the man in charge of the world’s biggest sportsbook (which had heavy Packers action, like most), broke it all down even though the referees’ bad decision was good for the house. He was right on both accounts.


Tom Crabtree twisted the Seahawks’ “13th man” fan reference into a referee joke. Perfect.

The creator of this parody account knows that this too shall pass despite what some fans said on Monday night.

Another parody account that probably wouldn’t even had existed if the NFL hammered a deal out in the offseason and if the “real” referees were in there to make the right call. I think many of us could all feel something like this coming.

The Phoenix Coyotes’ Paul Bissonnette, whose league (the NHL) has its own problems right now, summed it all up perfectly as this social media volcano exploded.

One of the funniest guys in the Twitterverse, Arthur was back again with this gem. The controversial touchdown rewarded Seahawks (+3) bettors who were losing their wagers by two points (Packers, 12-7) before the play with the cover (Seahawks, 13-12) after the call and before the extra point.

And those in gambling circles know MNF is a very heavily wagered-on game, being the only one on the board as well as always being televised.

Retired tennis star Jimmy Connors weighed in, and, like Anthony Davis, I just don’t believe him. I’m guessing Jimmy bet on the Packers.

My friend Scott in Vancouver, who also had Green Bay, had a simple solution to relieve his misery at the moment. And I’m pretty sure he didn’t have a cough.

Comedy writer Jenny Johnson, away on vacation in England, put her funny-girl spin on the situation from across the pond.

The winner of the popular reality show Big Brother 8, “Evel” Dick Donato, felt the need to provide the public the proper information in which to voice their displeasure. And the NFL is lucky it doesn’t have a toll-free number. Donato’s a true Ralph Nader if there ever was one.

A superfan of Big Brother, Miss Cleo, revealed her thoughts from a non-sports freaks perspective. I’m guessing she’s neither a big NFL fan nor a gambler. Just a guess Bubba.

And Arthur was back again with this superb take on the nature of modern social media and the surreal ending to a game that will go down in the annals of football history. I spelled “annals” correctly, right?

So there you have it. Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3 in the NFL rulebook and “simultaneous reception” have suddenly become part of the national lexicon, and sports talk radio has enough fodder to last them until at least New Year’s Eve.

And watching the Late Show With David Letterman tonight, little did the show’s writers know their “new books” bit on Monday night with a joke featuring “Making It Up As We Go“ by the NFL Replacement Referees would come on such a perfect night. Bravo.

So I guess we should all be thanking the replacement referees for providing us with this oh-so-modern moment in the history of social media.

I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last.

Follow me on Twitter: @KevinStott11


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