Seahawks receiver Golden Tate is admitting the obvious: He pushed Packers cornerback Sam Shields on the infamous play in which Tate was awarded a game-winning touchdown pass that most fans thought should have been an interception.
But Tate adds that he wasn’t setting out to break the rules, he was just setting out to get the ball.
“I’m not going to deny pushing him,” Tate said, via Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times. “The evidence shows on the film. But like I said, I never had intentions on cheating. I wasn’t trying to cheat. I was competing, it was in the moment. Things are happening so quick. I honestly didn’t even notice I did. I didn’t try to hurt him or push him down to the ground, but it happened. It was so quick. It was just a reaction kind of thing.”
And although few people outside Seattle agree with him, Tate still believes that he and Green Bay’s M.D. Jennings simultaneously possessed the ball.
“I personally felt like I had the ball,” Tate said. “We both fought, we both competed for the ball, and the call ended up going our way and winning the game.”
Tate did exactly what every NFL coach would want his wide receivers to do on a Hail Mary: Fight for position and then fight for the ball. The officials — regular or replacement — never call offensive pass interference on Hail Marys, so it’s hard to fault him for pushing off. And although the video sure looks like Jennings had the ball first, Tate was right to fight for the ball and hope for the best.
Tate also said there’s a nice little bonus to scoring one of the most controversial touchdowns in NFL history: He gained Twitter followers.
“I moved up in followers by like five or six thousand,” Tate said. “I’m kind of becoming a big deal here.”
Five or six thousand Twitter followers is nice, but Packers offensive lineman T.J. Lang, who went off on the NFL with a series of profane tweets after the game, has gained 90,000 followers.