Now that the regular referees are coming back to work, we can move on, right? Oh, if it were only that simple.
In the short term, will Russell Wilson and the Hawks be treated like cheaters, as if they got away with something through devious strategy? Will Marshawn Lynch get an extra punch in the bottom of the pile by a defensive lineman that growls, "That's for Green Bay!"
In the long term, will this video clip be used to encapsulate the short-lived era of the replacement refs? Or will everyone but Green Bay quickly forget this time in NFL history?
It has been interesting to listen to the experts debate this subject throughout the week. Immediately following the game, there was a ferocious news cycle filled with shock and dismay. News outlets dug up every former referee they could find, and the airwaves were filled with a variety of interpretations and strong opinions.
As the week has worn on, it has been interesting to see some opinions start to shift. People have come to understand the actual rules, and while they still seem unfair, more individuals have come to the conclusion that “technically” it might have been a touchdown catch.
Of course, there are people who have stated that they do not care about the actual rule. In their mind, it was not a touchdown. Translation? It is hard to change a first impression, even if there is strong evidence to alter your perspective.
Obviously it does not change the fact that Golden Tate should have been flagged for pushing off, but I am also not convinced that the “real” refs would have penalized him in that situation.
I wonder if the replacement ref era will really stand out as a dark time in the NFL. What happens when a regular referee blows his first call? Oh yes, the real professionals will blow a big call. It may be sooner than you think.
There have been a few TV and radio personalities that have made an interesting observation about our viewpoints towards the regular refs. Over the last few weeks, the NFL world has in many ways put these guys up on a pedestal, as if to suggest that they never blew calls and always had control of the game.
When the standard crews get back, will there be less blown calls? Almost certainly. Will there be less extracurricular pushing and shoving? Probably. Will we have a flawless refereeing experience where fans never walk away from the game feeling like the guys in the striped shirts robbed them? No. Unfortunately, fans will still be angry with the refs at some point during the season.
When it comes to the history of the regular referees, it is possible that we have short memories.
Just ask a diehard Seahawks fan about the role of the “regular” referees in Super Bowl XL.
I think the Packers vs. Seahawks game will be remembered for a long time. However, I wonder if history will be revised ever so slightly as we go along.