With seconds left on the clock, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson launched a ball deep into the Monday Night lights and into the arms of Green Bay Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings. Side judge Lance Easley, apparently oblivious to the fact that Jennings was wearing green and yellow instead of (ugh) aquamarine and neon green and sea-foam (?), signaled touchdown and halfway across the country, thousands of television sets were pelted by cheese curds and empty bottles of Leinenkugels.
And there were a million instantaneous explanations.
Jennings shared possession of the ball with Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate and, well, tie goes to the runner and all that jazz.
Only this certainly didn’t appear to be a tie. M.D. Jennings—excellent name for a television show about a doctor, by the way—pretty clearly had that ball all to himself before Tate got his doughnut thieving paws on it.
This should have been an interception and a touchback, and a Packers victory.
Well perhaps not, but that’s flawed, playground logic and in this situation, it’s completely irrational.
The Chiefs played like dehydrated monkey dung on Sunday for a majority of the game and won it in OT in what ended up being a fluke of a contest. Does that mean it’s not a win? No—it’s still a win. (Just not a very confident one.)
So the Packers got screwed and in a sport where playoff implications are determined by quarters and sometimes even singular plays, erroneously losing an entire game due to a blown call is monumental. Suffice it to say, Packers fans, players and personnel are less than happy about the outcome.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Packers’ vice president of sales and marketing Tim Connolly said, “That was the most horse (bleep) thing I’ve ever seen.”
Packers guard TJ Lang—who will almost certainly be fined an unheard of amount—tweeted “Got fucked by the refs.. Embarrassing. Thanks nfl.”
He followed that up with a solution: “Fuck it NFL.. Fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs.”
Tight End Jermichael Finley tweeted, “@nfl Cheap as hell!! Get us some NFL REFS! Not PEE WEE league refs! But it’s all Abt the Saints!”
Rookie linebacker Dezman Moses—perhaps the smartest of the bunch—stated simply, “I’m staying off twitter for the night for my own good. Thanks again for all the support. #gopackgo.”
So what’s the takeaway here? This doesn’t validate anything for anyone who’s been paying attention. Fans have known from day one that the replacement refs were awful so this comes as no surprise. Similarly, fans and pundits have been stating the obvious for just as long: “These fill-in ass-clowns are going to cost someone a game.” Well, congrats, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, they finally did.
Much to the Packers’ chagrin, we can’t go back in time and right this wrong. You can’t take a victory away from an undeserving team, you can’t somehow make this a tie and you can’t have a do-over. So you’re left with what it is: an epic double-black-eye on an already bruised and battered opponent.
So the only thing that can be done is to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again. I don’t care if the real-refs are requesting to be paid as much as the players and demanding a bee-jay from Sofia Vergara during every halftime, THE NFL MUST MEET THEIR EVERY DEMAND.
Because here’s what’s going to happen: all of this scrapping after the whistle that is currently going unchecked due to frightened referees is going to erupt into an orgy of unsanctioned violence that would make the Pistons-Pacers blush, or a referee is going to get punched in the mouth by a player eight times his size.
It’s almost a foregone conclusion at this point, and I highly doubt Goodell wants ref-blood on his hands, even if it IS less-than-human, fake-ref blood.