Non-replacements had a hand in last night’s debacle, too


As the tipping point becomes a boiling point in the lockout of the officials, it’s important to remember that all of the blame doesn’t fall on the shoulders of the replacement officials.

The final play was reviewed, and the ruling on the field was upheld.

Under normal circumstances, the decision would be made exclusively by the referee.  Now, with the non-replacement league supervisor in the replay booth along with the non-replacement replay official, the procedure has been, we’re told, blurred a bit, allowing the replacement referee to get input from the folks who otherwise would be saying, essentially, “Figure it out, Hochuli.”

If the non-replacement replay official and the non-replacement league supervisor didn’t tell the replacement referee to overturn the call, the non-replacements deserve a lot of the blame.

Make no mistake about it.  This one could have been overturned.  Rule 15, Section 9 makes the question of whether a pass was “ruled complete/incomplete/intercepted” subject to replay review, with no exception for questions of simultaneous possession.

Yeah, we know the ESPN call says simultaneous possession can’t be reviewed by replay.  We disagree.  If it wasn’t reviewable by replay, it wouldn’t have been reviewed by replay.  It was, so it is.  (The only aspect that isn’t reviewable is the question of whether Seahawks receiver Golden Tate pushed off before jumping, because pass interference is a judgment call.)

Still, while the replacement officials don’t deserve all of the blame, the current circumstance — with non-replacements in the replay booth having a hand in debacles like last night’s final play and Sunday’s replay gaffes in Minnesota and Tennessee — the system that the NFL has created via its effort to break the officials’ union has given rise to these errors, and so ultimately the league bears the blame for what we are witnessing.

That said, the locked-out officials should be blamed, too.  After all, the members of the NFL Referees Association who moonlight as supervisors of officiating at major college conferences made clear that anyone who accepts a short-term assignment as a replacement official with the NFL will lose his regular college gig.  And so the NFLRA has contributed to the low quality of the officiating that we are now experiencing by pressuring the second-best officials into not working for the NFL, as they did during the 2001 lockout.

Regardless of the blame, the time has come to get it done.  If they don’t, the next step could be boycotts and assaults on NFL sponsors.

104 responses to “Non-replacements had a hand in last night’s debacle, too

  1. The ruling on the field was upheld because there wasn’t conclusive video evidence to overturn, isn’t that the rule? Doesn’t mean the ruling on the field was confirmed. Dude got away with OPI and a TD that anyone watching (including the refs) could see was actually an INT. The regular refs are bad, these guys so much worse its like they’re in a different league (and should be)

  2. Remember the whole Hochuli incident, that was way worse then this and that was with the old refs, come on guys give these new guys a break we will all forget about this by next year and guess what it will be the same refs out on the field.

  3. “Regardless of the blame, the time has come to get it done. If they don’t, the next step could be boycotts and assaults on NFL sponsors.”

    No one is going to boycott NFL games because of referees. People can say it all they want to try and show how angry they are…no one is going to do it.

  4. what blame? both players had the ball – it could have gone either way – not following where this is a clear cut interception or imcompletion…

    last time I heard the rules, tie goes to the receiver.

  5. I am skipping this season until they fix this.

    No point even watching the games right now, the replacement refs decided at least 3 games this weekend, basically making the results of the season a moot point.

  6. The next thing to make this debacle even better?

    The replacement refs should go on strike.

    Can you imagine? These guys are getting crucified (rightfully), and their pay rate cannot possibly be worth the abuse (rightfully). If the replacements refs said, “screw this, we’re outta here”; then what?

    I wold love to see what happens then.

  7. Of course they wouldn’t overturn the call. They want the replacements to get grilled so the NFL crawls back to them!

  8. Well said. It is time to call the beer companies, insurance carriers, auto manufacturers, tire companies, and your razor blade companies and let them know you are not happy with their sponsorship of such a terribly inferior product.

    Customers have to stand up against the higher prices charged by the NFL for an obviously crappy entertainment product.

  9. I would question whether major college conference referees are ‘second best.’

    Goodell was on the receiving end of a ‘gotcha’ last night, deservedly so.

  10. So you’re telling me Tate can cheat, get away with it, and get his team the win? Meanwhile, the Redskins and Cowboys followed all the rules in place and are now forced to play at partial strength for 2 years?

    Which is worse, a phantom touchdown catch or phantom salary cap violations.

    Goodell is ruining the NFL.

  11. Some of the worst calls made by refs, regular or replacement, are the nonreviewable ones like Tate’s offensive PI. As a fan that drives me crazy. You don’t want to slow the game down, but shouldn’t everything be done to get the calls right? Why not allow a challenge to be thrown on noncalls. Some of those overturns would be easy (like the Packers block in the back on their punt return TD against the 49ers). People argue that it would take too long. I disagree. Each coach only gets three challenges period (sorry Jim Harbaugh). And I have no idea why those replay reviews take so freaking long. That is their problem. Even when the replay is totally obvious one way or the other to everyone watching and all the tv commentators are in complete agreement, it takes foreeeeever for them to make the call. Speed that up NFL.

  12. The refs don’t deserve any blame, not some of blame for call. In your words the replay booth made FINAL call. I bet you don’t hear that, one time on any of the ESPN talk shows.

  13. What do you mean you “disagree”?? If it cant be overturned by review, it cant be overturned by review. They only reviewed the play because of the nature of the situation (scoring on a hail mary to win game on final play).

  14. Dear NFL Fans,

    I’m getting a little worn out on blaming the replacement officials. They are making the best out of a no-win situation. Goodell should take some of this blame, but I actually blame the group that is doing the absolute least about the situation.

    I blame the original refs for 1-not accepting a $100k+/year part time job. 2-Sitting back and letting the madness continue. They would rather see the NFL embarassed than sign a part time deal. It’s not the replacement ref’s fault. They were in over their heads to begin with, and I do think they’re doing their best. They don’t have the NFL ref training. Even the second tier refs were already reffing in college. This is lingerie football and DIII cast offs. If you want to blame someone…blame the original refs for leaving a perfectly good offer/honor on the table.

    The NFL is still going to work. The replacements appreciate the opportunity and are doing their best. The original officials are doing just fine in their highly paid full time jobs. They don’t need or care about us fans.


  15. I strongly disagree. The old officials were horrible too. They missed just as many calls as the replacements. The difference is that the union players and union media hate the replacements and want their union buddies back on the job. Me, I’m still bitter about the old refs rigging the 2009 NFC Championship. Those punks can stay home and rot for all I care.

  16. alexr5111- I’ve boycotted all primetime games. I know it means little but there is zero reason for me to stay up until mid-night just to watch the refs decide who’s going to win. I’ll watch my team and redzone. That’s all. Once the MLB Playoffs start they’ll take precedent over all games except the Redskins.

  17. Who cares, Cheeseheads has another L in their column. Stop crying and coach em up so that they would not be in this kind of position again.
    Well you do have options:
    Play within the guidelines and there will not be any flags.
    Knock down the hail mary instead of trying to gain an INT as a stat.

  18. Say what you will about the replacement refs, but some of the games played this past weekend have been among the most thrilling—not to mention controversial—in recent memory.

    In fairness to the replacement refs, didn’t one official correctly signal a touchback—i.e., Green Bay’s Jennings intercepted Wilson’s forward pass in the end zone and the ball should have been ruled dead? (Look at the photo above.) Unfortunately, another official incorrectly signaled a touchdown.

    Even a pro-league and pro-management guy like myself must concede that we are now at the point where the integrity of the game was adversely impacted. It’s beyond controversy that the Packers were unfairly denied a win they clearly deserved. Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item (5): “Simultaneous Catch” should not be misread to infer otherwise. Either the league needs to improve on ACCURATELY REVIEWING INSTANT REPLAYS, or the league needs to substantially sweeten its offer to the NFLRA.

  19. “Regardless of the blame, the time has come to get it done. If they don’t, the next step could be boycotts and assaults on NFL sponsors.”

    Hear, hear (pounds floor with wooden cane).

  20. If it wasn’t reviewable by replay, it wouldn’t have been reviewed by replay. It was, so it is.

    We don’t know what was reviewed. Ball hitting ground would be reviewed, Golden Tate going out of bounds, many parts of the play could be reviewed.

    That doesn’t mean the refs could overturn possession.

  21. The Referee that ESPN had in the booth after the call said that the replay officials cannot overturn possession. It would be like using replay to see who had the ball first in a scrum after a fumble.

    The former official said that the only thing the review could do would be to determine that the ball didn’t hit the ground… it didn’t hit the ground because it was too busy being lodged between Jennings chest and his arms with a fingertip by Tate.

  22. How about the DB who elevated higher than the WR getting some of the blame for not knocking the ball down…

    That being said, I hated the call.

  23. People will start to boycott. I didn’t even watch last nights game because of the farce that went on Monday. Sounds like I made the right choice seeing the reports from today. I wont be watching Thursday either. It’s hard to believe these games can get any worse but the officials have topped themselves over and over again.

    What kills me is they were pretty good the first week then they get a memo on issues they had and told to tighten games up and every since then it has been a complete cluster****.

    Regarding the replay booth. They can’t do anything. All they can do is tell the Ref to take a look at the play. It is still up to the incompetents on the field to make the correct call. And god only knows if they would have.

  24. Whoever is to blame the NFL and the refs took a big crap right on the Packers and their fans and now they want us to smile and say thank you for it. Sorry, boycotts the next step? No, it’s happening, why watch and get into a game if this is the bs that is going to decide them?

  25. Let’s not forget the the union officials came back this weekend and said they want to be paid for the games they didn’t work. It’s greed, plain and simple. It’s “they have money, give it to me” at it’s worst. And I’m glad the NFL is not giving in. Personally I’d love to see more reporting on those aspects.

  26. There was a good point above… why do the regular refs not get some of the blame. The offer seems pretty damn good from here.

    Amazing pay, great hours, something you can be passionate about, a 401k.

    If they take the deal, it’s over.

  27. I don’t have a problem with a bad call being made in the heat of the moment, but it is inexcusable that they did not rectify it afterwards.

    I mean they had 10 minutes before the extra point where someone could have stepped in and said, “Hey, that was a bad call. Give it to GB.”

    I mean Rodger Goodell had enough time to call down to the field himself…

  28. Like NFL players the officials clearly possess a specialized skill that others can fail at even after years of training.

    Pay them accordingly and lets go play football.

  29. What I don’t like about the replacements is how they can’t seem to keep control very well (a lot of fighting on the field, coaches yelling, refs looking lost, etc.).

    However, with that said, the “old” refs made mistakes all the time. It’s as if when the “old” refs return (who will not have had an off-season to prepare), everything will be right with the world. No, it’s going to be pretty bad for several weeks (a month or more?) until the “old” refs get back up to game speed. And even then, mistakes will be made ALL THE TIME. Just as it was last year and the years before that. We can only hope that it won’t be as bad as the replacement refs.

    And with that said, I think the NFL was wrong in this. I don’t think they should have locked out the refs and they shouldn’t have hired scabs. I also don’t think the players association should have put up with it.

  30. I’m done until this is done, as well. This is getting stupid and not the game that we enjoy watching.
    The packers took care of their business several times last night – prior to the Immaculate Deception of Tate. Let me list the ways:

    1. PF Roughing the qb on an interception of Wilson. If the refs knew the rules, the pack would’ve had the ball in excellent field position with some momentum.
    2. DPI on Shields when Rice CLEARLY committed OPI. This would’ve stalled the drive as I believe it was 3rd down.
    3. Seattle off sides (I’m pretty sure it was off sides – nonetheless, it was a 5 yard-er)penalty on a third down to give the packers a 1st down. The pack got the first down but didn’t get the yardage. Don’t discount the five yards in a game of field position.
    4. Using a K ball during a 2 pt conversion. I can see how this happens, very easily. But, it still happend and it makes my list.
    I know I shouldn’t go there, but here it goes…NFL needs to reverse the game and give the win to GB. That would show that they want to do the right thing by the fans. If they don’t, they just want the profit and are showing their bias. Thanks owners – every last one of you. Baseball is on with an exciting post-season run up and you don’t compare, right now. Fix it (the ref situation) and I, my wife, kids and many, many others will return in QUICK order,

  31. In response to all those belly-aching about the locked out officials who work a part-time job getting paid over $100,000 a year. You know what, it is called capitalism. You get paid what you are worth and what the market will pay you. People who can do that job are apparently in short supply. If your job happens to be integral to making a billion product look and feel better, and there are very few people who can do it, you’re going to make more than $25/hr.

  32. This is what the 2011 NFL Rulebook says:

    Replay Official’s Request for Review. After the two-minute warning of each half, throughout any overtime period, and after all scoring plays, any Referee Review will be initiated by a Replay Official. There is no limit to the number of Referee Reviews that may be initiated by the Replay Official. He must initiate a review before the next legal snap or kick and cannot initiate a review of any ruling against a team that commits a foul to prevent the next snap. His ability to initiate a review will be unrelated to the number of time outs that either team has remaining, and no time out will be charged for any review initiated by the Replay Official.

    Reviews by Referee. All Replay Reviews will be conducted by the Referee on a field-level monitor after consultation with the other covering official(s), prior to review. A decision will be reversed only when the Referee has indisputable visual evidence available to him that warrants the change.

    Reviewable Plays. The Replay System will cover the following play situations only:
    (a) Plays governed by Sideline, Goal Line, End Zone, and End Line:
    1. Scoring plays, including a runner breaking the plane of the goal line.
    2. Pass complete/incomplete/intercepted at sideline, goal line, end zone, and end line.

    Nowhere do I see a rule that says the booth official makes the final ruling. It’s still on the referee

    Incidentally, the rules covering simultaneous possession reward the player who controls the ball first, regardless of offense or defense:

    First-and-10 on A20. A2 controls a pass in the air at the A40. B3 then also gets control of the ball before they land. As they land, A2 and B3 fall down to the ground.
    Ruling: A’s ball, first-and-10 on A40. Not a simultaneous catch as A2 gains control first and retains control.

    First-and-10 on A20. B3 controls a pass in the air at the A40 before A2, who then also controls the ball before they land. As they land, A2 and B3 fall down to the ground.
    Ruling: B’s ball, first-and-10 on A40. Not a simultaneous catch as B3 gains control first and retains control.

  33. i find the right to work people laughable. they have the gall to state that the regular refs are equally poor. not true. another lie.

    i also find the nfl network’s explanations that nullify the poor calls equally laughable. as believable as pravda or fox news. espn’s loud complaining will also be addressed by the central committee. and will be muted shortly. money talks, if you haven’t noticed…..

    i think goodell should be ashamed. and hope that it’s his final occasion to overplay his hand and use his bully pulpit to bully everyone involved in the nfl.

  34. Hate the Packers like any self-respecting Lions fan would. But this was a joke. Folks who think Golden Tate “possessed” that ball are either blind, don’t understand the rules of football, or are Seahawks fans. Or all three.

    And that’s not even getting to the obvious offensive PI on the last play as well as earlier in the drive on the home team. Understood that regular officials make mistakes (see the three offensive PI’s on Burleson, Nate in last year’s Saints-Lions regular season game), but every single game so far this season has been mired in some sort of officiating controversy. This is not normal.

  35. I honestly have no idea why the NFL is going to make a statement regarding this today. What could they possibly say at this point? How do you stretch out “wow, well that was pretty bad, huh?” into an entire press conference? They’d be better off just shutting up and hoping it blows over (which it won’t, but still.)

    Instead, they will probably try to add some tiny hint of legitimacy to this call by saying the replay officials are not replacements, that it was the correct call, blah blah. Which will only make people madder, since it was so obviously blown.

    Replacement refs: clowns
    Goddell: clown
    Gloatin’ Pete Carroll: clown

  36. jrock3x8 says:
    Sep 25, 2012 9:02 AM
    what blame? both players had the ball – it could have gone either way – not following where this is a clear cut interception or imcompletion…


    You need to watch the replay again. Tate clearly takes one hand off the ball, waves it around and then repositions to get a grip on the ball.

    You cannot claim simultaneous possession when you have one hand on the football and the other guy has two hands, two arms and his chest.

  37. The “REAL” GB Packers would have put up 45 on the Seahawks, but they had the replacement Packers in, soooooo it comes down to this. Md Jennings should have knocked that ball down. Packers got a PI that kept their scoring drive alive. GB got away with plenty of these games over the years with the real refs in Lambeau. Just ask any Vikings or Bears fan

  38. We all know it was a bad call but for the record-Golden Tate is a turd. A reporter point blank asked him about the pushoff and with a straight face he said “I don’t know what your talking about, I don’t know what your talking about”

  39. jrock3x8 says:
    Sep 25, 2012 9:02 AM
    what blame? both players had the ball – it could have gone either way – not following where this is a clear cut interception or imcompletion…

    last time I heard the rules, tie goes to the receiver.


    Then let me educate you. The simultaneous catch rule clearly states that if one player has control first (Jennings clearly did – two hands with the ball to his chest while Tate had one arm underneath), the other player cannot subsequently gain possession. Only homer Seahawk fans (not all, some know they stole one), Packer haters, or the uneducated (which apparently include the referees) don’t understand this.

  40. Finally. I’ve been waiting for someone to mention that the play was reviewed by people other than the locked out officials.

    Everyone is saying that this situation is hurting the NFL (maybe), but what is everyone talking about today? Last night’s football game. No such thing as bad press…

  41. kernelreefer wrote:

    First-and-10 on A20. A2 controls a pass in the air at the A40. B3 then also gets control of the ball before they land. As they land, A2 and B3 fall down to the ground.
    Ruling: A’s ball, first-and-10 on A40. Not a simultaneous catch as A2 gains control first and retains control.

    First-and-10 on A20. B3 controls a pass in the air at the A40 before A2, who then also controls the ball before they land. As they land, A2 and B3 fall down to the ground.
    Ruling: B’s ball, first-and-10 on A40. Not a simultaneous catch as B3 gains control first and retains control.


    You just cannot argue with that.

    In fact, that makes it nearly impossible to EVER have simultaneous possession.

  42. Poor Cheeseheads.

    How quickly Packer fans forget that they benefited from calls going their way all of last year (both Giant games come to mind).

    Welcome back to planet Earth, Titletown!

  43. “The final play was reviewed, and the ruling on the field was upheld.”

    This is what blows me away, how on earth did they look at it and rule it a catch?

    All I can think of is they were intimidated by the home crowd.

  44. To anyone saying “knock the ball down” – please watch how knocking the ball down worked for TEN against Det this weekend.

    Regardless of player strategy, they have to get that call right as it happens. It’s simple. A horrible call cost the Packers a W. That’s the bottom line.

  45. It doesn’t matter what team you root for. If you weren’t disgusted by the calls in that game you’re not a football fan. The integrity of the game is on the line with these refs…

    Go Texans

  46. To the people claiming it could not have been reviewed: Change of possession is always review-able. As are scoring plays.

    This ball was either intercepted or there was a touchdown. In both instances the play if review-able.

    All aspects of the play. By the way… the Calvin Johnson rule applies. There is an added burden on the offense to prove possession throughout.

  47. You think unions are the problem? Is that a fact or did you hear it on Fox News? It sickens me that bloviating Internet knowitalls try to make terrible officiating a political topic. Yes, unions are going to try to get the best terms for their workers. Yes, owners are going to try to maximize profits. We’re the ones getting screwed and the only ones making out are the lawyers. The problem isn’t labor unions (who brought you “weekends” to watch football in the first place), or owners (who largely finance the product on the field), it’s the fact that in 2012 Americans seem more unwilling to compromise for the benefit of all parties involved than ever before. We can communicate instantly using our thumbs with people half a world away. We can sit still on a flying machine and span the globe in less than 24 hours. We can sit on our sofas and press a few buttons and watch nebulae give birth to stars millions of miles away. But we can’t seem to compromise like reasonable civilized human beings about anything.

  48. Doesn’t anyone remember the Bears-Lions season opener from a couple years back, where Calvin Johnson catches a TD pass to win the game and the refs ruled he didn’t maintain control of the ball because he didn’t make a “football move” before spiking the ball to the ground?

    That was a very bad call that cost the Lions the game made by the regular referees, not the replacements, so lets all quit pretending like the replacement refs are ruining the game. They are not.

  49. Was it a bad call? Not really – could have gone either way under the rules – it was not nearly as bad as people are screaming about. I’ve watched it a dozen times:

    In slo-mo, yeah, Jennings caught the ball more solidly than Tate – but Tate also got two hands on it, and before they hit the ground you can see Jennings, with the ball in his chest and arms wrapped around it and Tate getting both hands around it as well. On the ground, you see Jennings trying to rip or twist the ball out of Tate’s hands – both of them, as Tate had a good grip on the ball.

    Did Jennings have more control over the ball? Yeah, I think so – but that does not change the fact that Tate had two hands on it as well – and had them on it strong enough that Jennings was not able to rip the ball away from him. They both caught it, tie goes to the offense.

    The missed push off was MUCH worse as it was plainly obvious – THAT was the horrible missed call that should have ended the game in the Packers favor – but gee, I guess that’s never happened before?

    Are the replacements as good as the regulars? Hell no! Did we expect them to be? You gotta be kidding me. But the NFL’s gonna do what they’re gonna do – and as long as tickets are selling and TV’s are tuned in, that is not going to change one bit.

  50. They only reviewed the play because of the nature of the situation (scoring on a hail mary to win game on final play).
    All scoring plays are reviewed in the NFL. The nature of the situation has nothing to do with it.

  51. I am subscribing to the George Carlin theory here and rooting for debacles like this, as long it doesn’t happen to my team. Sure is making for some interesting tv and debates.

    In all seriousness, this needs to end soon. Although I don’t think the owners will blink when it comes to their money.

  52. I hope when the regular officials come back everyone magnifies every bad call they make like they’re doing to these guys.

    The regular refs make bad calls too! They just do it a little faster and more decisively.

    I think we as fans just need to get over ourselves and enjoy. It’s just a game.

  53. Well know you all know how us Raider fans have been feeling for years with the real refs.

    You don’t ever get used to it though. It’s bad, it feels like you wasted 3-4 hours of your day watching a rigged event. Last night’s game was worse than that Manny Pacqiou decision.

  54. LOL @ Packer fans acting like the world is gonna end because a call went against them. Did a ref trip Jordy Nelson with his hat or something? I can’t imagine the refs allowing unnecessary head shots against Packers players two weeks in a row with no flags. Can you?

  55. since when does a catch with the hands not count? Tate’s hands got to the ball the same time Jenning’s caught in his body. I guess if you say it is an interception then maybe the catch by David Tyree should not have counted in the superbowl against the Patriots. He did not have it in his body!

  56. I disagree that in a year we will all forget this. The officiating as a whole has been so bad that I can say I have never ever seen an uprising of discontent amongst players, coaches and fans like there is now.

    I think the NFL as a whole is a hypocritical organization, always leveling out fines in the interest of player safety, yet allowing injuries like D.H.Bey and an enormous loss of control of games.

    Players have no respect for the refs, coaches now have no respect. I mean they now fine folks for speaking the truth, just because they issued a “memo” saying don’t do it. But by the same token they can take Mike Vick and drag him back to the league office because he was dishonest with the commissioner and need to be truthful. The NFL wants to promote honesty when it benefits them.

    Its awful. The ones who need to be fined are the Refs when they blow a call. When that happens the NFL will operate as the rest of the workforce operates. You suck you get penalized. To issue fines and to place your whole basis of fining players for harmful hits then turning a blind eye to whats happening on the field is hypocritical IMHO.

    They care about money (billions of dollars), not players. Anybody who thinks otherwise has probably already drank the Kool Aid.

  57. I don’t think there’s a correlation here between the Calvin Johnson play and this one. Totally different circumstances, not to mention that the Calvin Johnson play was on (I believe) second down and the Lions still had two more shots at the end zone.

  58. Regardless of whether simultaneous possession can or can’t be reviewed, aren’t all touchdowns reviewed, thus forcing them to review the simultaneous possession?

  59. Not sure I buy the whole “You should have knocked it down” and it wouldn’t be an issue argument.

    “Knocking it down” doesn’t always go as planned. Jennings was in VERY close quarters, and any attempt to “knock it down” could very well have resulted in it ricocheting off another player and ending up in Seattle’s hands.. legitimately.

    He did the right thing. He intercepted it, and it should have been end of game, but since the Refs were not in a good position to see it, they called it wrong.

    By the time they made it to the scrum, Tate had his arms around the ball too. But the ball was clearly intercepted, and it really was never simultaneous possession.

    BTW… I’m a Vikings fan… so no bias here in my opinion. Glad it happened, but the Pack got jobbed, no way to paint it any other way.

  60. For people saying GB needed to bat the ball down, that is more dangerous as evidenced by the Detroit Hail Mary earlier the same day. Sometimes it is better and safer to just catch the ball.

  61. The NFL has amended their rule book to include the new Hug Rule.

    “Anyone who catches the ball and then is subsequently hugged by an opposing player will immediately lose possession as long as two different refs make two different calls simultaneously and neither of them know what to do.”

  62. I am done with the NFL for the year or until the regular refs come back. The Pats were cheated out of a win on Sunday night. This has become an absolute farce. Why watch the game when you know the refs will screw it up in the end? I’m getting way too agitated watching this crap. Pats were screwed on Sunday.

  63. this is straight from the nfl website this morning….

    The play was reviewed, and the touchdown stood.

    Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 5 of the NFL rulebook discusses a simultaneous catch.

    “If a pass is caught simultaneously by two eligible opponents, and both retain it, the ball belongs to the passers. It is not a simultaneous catch if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control,” the rule states.

    That strongly indicates Jennings should have been awarded an interception. Tate never seemed to truly gain joint control. A little known part of the rule explains why it wasn’t overturned.

    The rulebook also states when a simultaneous catch is ruled, you can’t review who made the catch. You can only review if it was complete or incomplete.

  64. For all the complaining the players are doing- why not join their union brothers and walk. That may get the owners checkbooks out faster than all of us complaining.

  65. Wasn’t it reviewed because it was in the last two minutes of the game? And also because it was a scoring play? Didn’t have anything to do with it being a controversial call.

  66. The problem was the ruling on the field of a Touchdown could not be reversed by the replay unless they decided to call in an incomplete pass which would have been impossible to do. The real refs are taught to make the call so that it can be reversed, like when there is a fumble and the defense picks it up runs it for a score the refs let it play out cause that is a reversible call. Where blowing it dead the defense can challenge and get the ball at the spot of recovery but who says they score? The refs on the field should’ve gotten together, there was clearly confusion as one ref signalled TD and the other was signalling a timeout which means there was an interception.

  67. You don’t have to boycott all games. Watch your own team. Just don’t watch any other* games. That means every person only watches 1 out of 5 possible games. That means an 80% drop in potential viewership. That means tons of lost advertising revenue. That means the NFL could actually be hurt, while people still get to watch their team play each week.

  68. If you must watch these games click to cooking shows when the NFL ads come on. Be as public as possible about it.

    You do not need a Toyota anyway.

  69. “The rulebook also states when a simultaneous catch is ruled, you can’t review who made the catch. You can only review if it was complete or incomplete.”

    Here’s the thing: It wasn’t a simultaneous catch! Jennings had the ball first and he had it on his chest; THEN, reached his arm around the ball, while underneath him on the ground.

    Not only was the push off BS — but even the regular refs don’t call that on hail mary passes, fine — the official got it wrong, too. One ref rules a touchdown, and the other rules a touchback. The official should’ve spoken with the refs and got the call right.

    The WORST thing is the replay system failed. From what I understand, the replay system can rule if it was a “touchdown”, and that language means, in this case, if the ball was inbounds and the players were inbounds, if there was a catch, not who who caught the ball. That is total BS! The reply system was designed to catch the officiating mistakes and correct them! You mean to tell me the NFL’s replay system can’t be used to make the correct call on a game-deciding play?!? TOTAL BS! They need to change this rule not in the off-season but immediately.

    When there is a touchdown and if it’s being reviewed, the replay system should permit the officials to review EVERYTHING on that play, from offensive pass interference, to who caught the ball and had control. There is no excuse for this nonsense!

  70. Come on, people. If just putting two hands on the ball after somebody else pulled it to their chest constitutes a “simultaneous catch,” why wouldn’t every WR and DB just do that on every single play. All you have to do it touch the ball and it’s yours?

    Is that the precedent you want set in this league???

  71. After all, the members of the NFL Referees Association who moonlight as supervisors of officiating at major college conferences made clear that anyone who accepts a short-term assignment as a replacement official with the NFL will lose his regular college gig.


    I have heard this a number of times. However, I haven’t been able to find any articles/reports to substantiate this. While I tend to believe it….has anybody got any links to info on this?

  72. Remember Super Bowl XL? The “regular” refs screwed that one up. I say you fire the refs, write off this season, and hire all new professional, full-time refs.

  73. It is obvious to all non-Seahawk fans, two major mistakes were made on the final play, the obvious offensive pass interference and the secure possession of the football by the defensive player all the way to the ground. Unfortunately these two missed calls cost Green Bay the win. This play will be shown over and over for many years to come as an example of a horrible call. After this weekend the NFL has got to take immediate action to save the integrity of the game. These games are becoming a farce and making the hallowed NFL look like a joke.

  74. No, Florio, simultaneous catch ISN’T reviewable. Whether or not a catch was made at all is reviewable however, and all scoring plays are now required to be reviewed. So, the real review official was required to take a look at the play, but prevented by the rules from overruling the one thing that actually needed to be overturned. So, all he could really do was take a look at the play and say that a catch had actually been made. The fact that it was Jennings rather than Tate making the catch was something he wasn’t allowed to consider. So, the league screwed the Packers from pretty much every angle on that play.

  75. Simulataneous possession my a$$. Anyone with average eyesight can see the Packer caught the ball. So, I guess going forward, if it is intercepted, the other team’s receiver should just hug the player who caught the ball right?….simulataneous possession. The true refs are laughing right now. I could potentially understand making the wrong initial call, but, how can one not review this and clearly see what it was, an interception. Ridiculous.

  76. Why not just call it an incomplete pass? Take M.D. Jennings completely out of the equation. Did Golden Tate catch and control the football all the way to the ground and through the catch?

    Incomplete pass. Game over.

  77. Idiot! Jennings cauagth while he was in the air. Posession happens when you hit the ground! At that point, both receivers had posession and it goes to the receiving team.

  78. Yes it was simultaneous possession. Jennings didn’t catch the ball; they both did; Jennings never had control of the ball – the tie always goes to the receiver. That’s why when it went to review they had to agree it was a touchdown.

    There is no need to make a deal with the NFLRA – they do not have any case, either for the pension they want (because by now it’s too obvious that pensions are economic poison) or for indicting the “replacement” refs. The Seahawks call was the correct call.

  79. The Packers had so many chances to stop the Seahawks but didn’t, either way the call went the Packers have nothing to complain about except their Defense not stopping the Hawks on the fourth down prior or the 4 following downs….

  80. What is this “tie goes to receiver” nonsense? This isn’t baseball. Based on the NFL rulebook, a simultaneous reception is darn near impossible.

  81. gowhitten nails it – It is NOT possession while you’re in the air.

    dragonfly is wrong – Jennings didn’t have secure possession to the ground; Tate had his hands on it. Tie always goes to the receiver.

    Remember it was reviewed and upheld.

  82. These refs are in over their heads.There is no question about that.All the owners in collusion with the league to break the union will feel the pain at some point. (Jerry Jones) and I’m a cowboy fan. No one is talking about the blown review of the first and goal that gave GB the 5 point lead. The call on the field was correct. The booth overturned it. It was clear the QB was down even before the original spot. Maybe its the replay refs we should be looking at. How can you look at a play 20 times and still get it wrong. The game should not have come down to that last play. A field goal should have won it for Seattle. The right team won the game.

  83. Golden Tate is building up a lot of bad football karma – there was last week’s cowardly cheap shot on Sean Lee, and how he gets away with blatant pass interference and a lame imitation of simultaneous possession.

    It always comes around, Tate. Time to clean up the act.

  84. One way to stop this is for the players and coaches to boycott the games. If every player on every team refused to take the field for 10 minutes at the start of the game, instead standing on the sidelines with their arms crossed across their chests, it would cause everyone to think about what is happening. For 10 minutes TV screens across the nation would be showing an empty field. Fans in the stands would start chanting. If it is possible to embarrass the NFL owners (and I’m not sure that anyone can embarrass the NFL owners) this would do it. If you agree with this please copy and post this message on every forum you visit.

  85. According to peter king “Now, as to the replay: Let’s be clear about what can and can’t be reviewed. Simultaneous possession between the goal lines cannot be reviewed. Simultaneous possession in the end zone can be reviewed. That’s an important distinction that many in the media have not made since Elliott went under the hood.”

  86. The people who are screaming for Tate to be called for offensive PI must not watch much football, or are looking through green and gold glasses. When was the last time any of you saw ANY referee, replacement or not, call a penalty on a last second Hail Mary? The reason for this is that they are loath to make a call that decides a game, which is what, in effect, they would be doing, rather than have the players decide it with their play.

  87. For the people that bring up the Hochuli incident, in my opinion that argument doesn’t hold water. Yes Ed screwed up a call, and it affected the outcome of a game… but the replacement refs have been historically bad the past few weeks from start to finish. It’s not a single call that is affecting outcomes, it is a game worth of blown or missed calls that is killing the integrity of the game.

    We understand everyone (replacement or locked out refs) make in game mistakes… I feel that overall the Ravens-Pats game is a better example of how bad they are. It wasn’t a single play, single drive, or single quarter that was called poorly. It was the whole game.

    In the first quarter alone the refs potentially took 8 points off of the board for the Pats. It was 3rd and 9 from the 19 when Brady threw a pass into the endzone to Edleman. Ed Reed hit Edleman in the face mask with a forearm and nothing was called. That was a classic hit to the head on a defenseless WR. It should have been 1st and goal from the 4, instead it was 4th and 9 from the 19 and the Pats kick a FG. Later in the same quarter Brady (at the 20) connected on a pass to Edleman for a first own at the 11. The Ravens DB never turned to make a play on the ball and had hands on Edleman during the catch. Instead of 1st and 10 at the 11 the Pats would up kicking a FG from the 20.
    That game saw over 200 yards of penalties and brutal missed calls.

  88. The refs are clearly throwing games all around the league and this isn’t the first one. The media is completely ignoring other calls that have changed the outcome of games over the past 3 weeks. A perfect example of that is 2 touchdowns that the officials robbed the Saints of in a game where they lost by 3 points. And I find it very coincidental that there are 2 teams in the NFL that have a player who was involved in the ALLEGED “bounty program” the Browns and the Saints, and both those teams are the only 0-3 teams in the NFL. Very interesting. I am not a Saints or Browns fan, but I do not trust the NFL and I think something very fishy is going on here to say the least. Idk if the NFL is changing the outcome of games to create more parody in the league or what, but there have been way too many controversial calls in EVERY game around the league that have swung momentum or kept drives alive or in this case blatantly changed the outcome. Somethings going on and the media won’t go anywhere near it. Maybe now they will, but like I said, this is not the first bogus outcome of the year.

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