It is hard to know whether to laugh, cry, scream or shout after Monday night’s debacle, but one thing is definite: the Green Bay Packers were robbed of a hard-earned victory last night in Seattle.
Yet, on the final play of the game, when the victory should have been sealed after a Hail Mary pass into the end zone on the game's final play was intercepted by Packers safety M.D. Jennings, Monday Night Football became the twilight zone.
A clear interception was ruled a touchdown and a much-deserved road win was stolen from the Packers thanks to replacement officials and Golden Tate’s immaculate deception.
Despite having no business winning the football game, the Seahawks were handed a 14-12 victory thanks to one of the worst calls in NFL history by scab referee Lance Easley, who gingerly raised his arms to signal touchdown as Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate wrestled a hand onto the football on a play that will now live on in infamy.
Jennings clearly had possession of the football. In fact, he actually held it against his chest while his feet were on the ground. The official with the better view of the play clearly signaled for a touchback. Yet, Easley came marching in, looking confused and stupidly raising his arms awarding a touchdown that should never have been.
Tate, the so-called "hero" of the game, will be the only player in NFL history to have won a game with a catch while never, ever having possession of the football.
The call made by Easley was a disgrace. He watched Tate wrestle a hand onto the ball and absurdly called it a touchdown, when it clearly was not. (By the way, Easley also missed sure-fire offensive pass interference on Tate, who practically shoved Packers cornerback Sam Shields to the ground before making the immaculate deception.)
It was an utter disgrace and Easley should never set foot on an NFL field as an official ever again. It is time, Mr. Goodell, to put an end to this charade. Easley and his fellow scabs need to go now!
The NFL is a money-making machine and it owes the fans, the players and the league much more than this. The time has come to satisfy the demands of the real NFL officials and get them back to football, because after Monday night's debacle, the integrity of the game we all love is at stake.
It may only be one game, but as the Packers of 2010 and the Giants of 2011 can attest to, one game could be the difference between winning the Super Bowl and sitting at home for the playoffs.
Both the Giants and Packers won Super Bowl after qualifying for the playoffs by the slimmest of the margins, only to go on to capture the ultimate prize.
Therefore, if you think that one game does not matter in the grand scheme of things, you are dead wrong.
Had the Packers gone 9-7 in 2010 instead of 10-6, they would have been sitting home. Ditto for the Giants last year, who would not have won the NFC East with an 8-8 record, so already the run for the Super Bowl has been sullied by this shockingly poor display of officiating.
In the NFL, in a 16-game season, every game matters. Hell, every single play matters, which is why this farce has to stop.
It is true that the replacement refs are being asked to do the impossible and should never have been put in this position, which is why the blame falls totally and completely on the shoulders of Goodell.
The time to end the labor dispute with the NFL officials is now, Mr. Goodell. It is time to swallow your pride and beg for their return if necessary, because the buck stops with you. You are responsible for protecting the integrity of the game and the NFL shield. Thus far this season, you have failed miserably in doing both.
So please, do not waste our time with excuses. Get the real officials back before the game we love is disgraced and tarnished more than it already has been.
You just better hope, Mr. Goodell, that the Packers do not miss the postseason by a single game, because if they do, it should be your head on the chopping block right next to your replacement officials.