NFL Replacement Officials
The world is up in arms today over the Seatlle Seahawks victory on Monday night.
A mistake was made, the NFL has acknowledged that. Offensive pass interference should have been called against Golden Tate, which would have ended the game.
Up for debate is the call that was made. The officials determined that Tate and Green Bay Packers defensive back M. D. Jennings caught the pass simultaneously, and therefore possession belongs to Tate and the Seahawks.
Whether you agree with the call or not, the fact is that these replacement officials have become a scapegoat. The Packers should be pointing the finger at themselves first for even being in that position.
Here’s the breakdown of the Packers’ first half: five drives, 27 plays, 82 yards, Aaron Rodgers was sacked eight times, and Green Bay never crossed midfield.
Those two scoring drives in the third quarter? Both stalled out. Credit the Seahawks defense for holding the Packers to a field goal both times, but Green Bay was driving and ran out of steam.
They made enough mistakes to lose that game.
Complain all you want about the officials making a poor call at the end of the game, at least they showed up for the full 60 minutes.
Honestly, I can only tell that Jennings caught the ball first – not simultaneously – after seeing it about 10 times on a 37-inch high-definition screen. On my smaller 32-inch HDTV, (which is foolishly connected to a cable box that does not receive an HD signal) I can’t tell whose hands are where. I think we are predisposed to doubt the ruling on the field because we doubt the officials. We see the mistakes because we are looking for them.
But what about the mistakes ESPN has been making? Last week they showed a graphic that had Carolina playing the New York Giants on Thursday, and playing the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 20. The problem? Thursday WAS Sept. 20. Unlike the replacement officials, who are rookies working games far above the usual skill level they have worked in the past, ESPN is “the worldwide leader in sports.” Simply double-checking their own website (or the NFL’s) would have given them the information they needed. Even if it were a typo, I will not accept that excuse. Why? Because they won’t cut these officials a break.
I’m not saying the officiating has been good. In fact I agree it has been atrocious. However, I am tired of the officiating being used as an excuse. The Packers and Seahawks both played poorly. They should be focused on fixing their pathetic excuses for offense rather than on the officials.
Who would have ever thought Jay Cutler complaining about his teammates would actually be the most correct response to a poor performance?