Today: Mar 01, 2024

Sports Commentary: The Worst Call Ever

Andrew Anastasio – Sports Writer

With the first three weeks of the NFL season in the books, the general consensus surrounding the majority of the fan base is to fire the replacement officials and get the experienced ones back on the field. It’s safe to say that the replacements have made some pretty bizarre calls that have ultimately decided outcomes for certain games.

The Monday night game (Green Bay vs. Seattle) proved why the replacement officials are running around like headless chickens. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson heaved a hail mary into the end zone as time expired. The ball appeared to have landed into the arms of M.D. Jennings of the Green Bay Packers, which should have resulted in a game ending interception and a Green Bay victory. However, Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate, ignited a skirmish when he threw his left arm up towards William’s chest in an attempt to convince the officials that there was simultaneous possession.

NFL league rules states that if there is in fact an instance of simultaneous possession, the receiver on the offense gets credited with the reception, or in more simple terms “tie goes to the runner,” as Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said in his post-game interview.

First of all, Tate should have been called with offensive pass interference after he shoved Green Bay corner-back Sam Shields a mile away from the play. Second of all, there was blatant confusion amongst the refs as the back judge signaled a touch-back, while the side judge, who hadn’t even worked a single game above the Division III college level, signaled a touchdown. Even in the booth review, the refs still were unable to justify a proper call.

Regardless of who was right or who was wrong, the game ended with a disputed 14-12 Seattle victory. The league spoke out the following day, saying that Tate should have been called for pass interference, and if that never occurred, then the officials made the right call.

The travesty behind the ruling on the play caused an uproar in Green Bay as riots were reported to have broken out. Even certain Packers players along with other players from around the league lashed out against the officials via Twitter.

It’s cliche to redundantly say the replacements need to take a hike, but the reasons are simple. For one, their unprofessional behavior has already been proven when one official approached a player and demanded them to play well for his fantasy league. Another official was denied officiating a Saints game after the league found evidence that the official was a Saints fan. If these refs are going to have biases, then it’s the NFL’s mistake to trust a game in their hands.

Another main reason is the inexperience. Some of these officials haven’t even officiated a college game above Level II, when the NFL made it mandatory that all replacements needed to have at least five major college games under their belts. That wasn’t the case last Monday night, and it proved to be costly.

The Packers and their fans reserve the right to believe that a game was literally taken from their hands. Whether or not the NFL will continue to condone such mediocrity amongst its replacement officials, time will only tell.

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