Replacement referees blew what was an obvious call at the end of the Monday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks, ruling that Seahawks receiver Golden Tate hauled in the winning touchdown catch as time expired.
But replays, and even one official on the field, saw it differently. As Tate was preparing to jump for the Hail Mary pass, he was seen clearly interfering with Packers defenders. Then, when the ball came down, it was in the hands of Packers defender M.D. Jennings. One referee ruled it a touchdown as the other signaled interception.
The refs went to the video to review the play, but it was confirmed as a touchdown.
For many, the blown call is the last straw in the saga of the inept replacement refs. Coaches have become more vocal about the performance of the referees, who are taking over for the regular officials who are stuck in a labor dispute with the NFL.
The league this week fined Denver Broncos head coach John Fox $30,000 and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio$25,000 for abusing referees during the team’s Monday Night Football loss to the Atlanta Falcons, Reuters noted. New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick will also likely face a fine for his bumping of an official in a loss to Baltimore on Sunday.
Even announcers have started to speak up. Jon Gruden and the Monday Night Football crew all criticized replacement referees for the decision at the end of the game.
Players too spoke out about it, many of them practically daring the league to fine them, ESPN.com reported.
In fact, Twitter was lighting up with reactions from a number of NFL players, both past and present, along with other athletes fed up with the performance of replacement referees.
13th man beat us tonight.
— Tom Crabtree (@TCrabtree83) September 25, 2012
JUST DISGRACEFUL! ABSOLUTE ROBBERY IN THE NFL. The league has thrown away it’s integrity. That can’t say anything to the players anymore.
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) September 25, 2012
This is what the NFL has come down to, &yet they tell you to respect the shield! Lol. But they’ll try to fine us for everything thing we do.
— DARNELL DOCKETT (@ddockett) September 25, 2012
These refs gotta go I’m sorry
— Reggie Bush (@reggie_bush) September 25, 2012
These replacement refs gotta go man!! Packers just got game took from them. I LOVE NFL football to much to see this type of work.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 25, 2012
Do you think it’s time for the NFL to end its labor dispute with the officials and get the replacement referees out of the game?