The blunder on the last play of Monday night's game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks has fans, players and even politicians (h/t NJ.com) calling for the heads of the replacement referees.
The blown call, which was ruled a Seattle touchdown despite Packers safety M.D. Jennings having clear possession of the football for an interception, has sent shock waves across the NFL.
The New York Giants have been fortunate enough not to let a replacement referee ruin the outcome of one of their games this season, but the season is still young.
In case you missed it, here's the video of Monday night's controversial call:
Below are some reactions from Giants players following the Monday Night Football massacre.
Appearing on "The Michael Kay" show on ESPN NY 98.7 FM, Osi reacted by saying,
It’s unfortunate. It looked like an interception to me, but the referees saw something different. And then they called what they saw. You can blame the referees, or you can say that if Green Bay was a better team, they wouldn’t have been in that position in the first place. Everyone wants to blame this person and that person for a loss. Sometimes you just have to accept a loss for what it is, a loss.
Umenyiora went the safe route on the air, avoiding criticizing Roger Goodell and the hefty fine he would have received had he critiqued the replacement refs. While I like what Umenyiora did here, there's no doubt in my mind that if the Giants were on the losing end of Monday night's game, he would have been just as fired up as the Packers' players.
Rolle didn't hold back his feelings on Monday night's call when he appeared on WFAN radio (h/t ESPN New York), saying,
I think they made the wrong call. After watching the review, I think it was obvious that the guy from Green Bay came down with the ball. I just think that it was the wrong call...I think last night...Golden Tate, he pushed Sam Shields down. He completely pushed him down. I don’t see how that was missed. Maybe guys are pushing the envelope a little bit. Even if it’s not intentional, I think they’re definitely getting away with a lot more, on both sides of the ball.
Rolle went on to say that if he were in Jennings' shoes, he would be extremely upset and would probably be blaming himself and questioning whether he could have done something different to change the outcome of the game.
There's absolutely no reason for Jennings to question his play in the end zone against the Seahawks. Even if he had batted the ball down, that's not always a foolproof plan, as we saw in the Detroit Lions vs. Tennessee Titans game.
Talking to "ESPN's Mike & Mike in the Morning," Cruz weighed in on the controversial call:
Obviously, I felt like it was the wrong call, but the refs— we hated it, we wished it wouldn’t come down to something like this with the replacement refs, but unfortunately it has, and it cost Green Bay the game.
When asked if he would have claimed to have caught the ball if he were Tate, Cruz said: "Probably not. I would have been honest. The video shows that I obviously didn’t catch the football, so I wouldn’t have owned up to catching it if I didn’t catch it.''
Cruz is a nice guy and one heck of a football player, but I'm not buying this one. If Cruz were in that situation, I'm sure any Giants fan would want him to claim it was a TD and I think Cruz would do the same when placed in that situation.
Bradshaw spoke with Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco on ESPN NY 98.7 FM (h/t ESPN New York), telling them, "It's a circus out there, man. I guess you've got to roll with the punches."
Bradshaw's quick and blunt reaction pretty much sums up how most NFL fans, players and coaches are feeling about the league this season.
Monday night's debacle should be the last straw for the NFL. Once the horrendous calls start to decide the outcome of games, that's when negotiations need to be kick-started again.
I miss Ed Hochuli and his biceps. I'm sure most other NFL fans agree.
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