Green Bay Packers fans won’t see it this way, but we can look back at The Inaccurate Reception as the play that forced Roger Goodell and the NFL to come to an agreement with the locked-out referees, who will return to the field tonight. There are three photos that sum up the madness that was the final play of the Packers-Seahawks game in Seattle.
The first shows Tate with, at best, one hand on the football (that white thing next to Wilson’s stats is my attempt at an asterisk):
The second is the two referees making conflicting signals (the ref on the left is signalling for a touchback, as he thought the ball was intercepted). For some reason, they never seemed to huddle and discuss their differences before the on-field ruling was determined to be a touchdown:
The third photo is the funniest of all and may best describe the scene on the field: Seattle head coach Pete Carroll giving an interview before the Seahawks have even attempted their PAT, with Seahawks mascot Blitz in the background acting a fool.
Other notes and thoughts from the game:
- Tate has actually made a catch like this before, which is to say he has made a catch like this a total of one time.
- One of the referees on the Monday night crew was Richard Simmons. The state of officiating compels me to tell you it was not that Richard Simmons.
- If you were watching the game, as I was, how long before you finally turned off the TV? I couldn’t stop watching. The on-field interviews were great, as was the postgame SportsCenter, which turned out to be the highest-rated SportsCenter ever. I thought Steve Young might storm off the in-stadium set. I really thought Trent Dilfer might cry as he talked about the replacement refs “tearing at the fabric of the game.” And I still have no idea why the Seahawks had to attempt the PAT.
- After the game, “XFL” was trending on Twitter. That tells you everything you need to know about the quality of the replacement refs.
- The Wisconsin newspaper headlines were all fairly tame: OUTRAGE; NFL EMBARRASSMENT; GRAND LARCENY; TAKEN AWAY; SPEECHLESS IN SEATTLE. That’s because Midwesterners are nice people. If the Giants or Jets had been screwed like that, parents would have had to shield their childrens’ eyes when passing newsstands.
- As an NFL insider, I was able to email a Packers owner after the game. He told me he couldn’t believe what had happened. “It’s like a bad dream,” he wrote.
- I also emailed the replay official from the game—contrary to many reports, the simultaneous possession was reviewable since it was in the end zone—and he told me NFL rules prohibit him from speaking to the media during the season. So this was essentially a worthless bullet point.
- Sometimes with a terrible call like this, fans will wonder whether the referee had money on the game. These replacement officials were way too incompetent for anyone to think that. And besides, it is much more likely the ref was simply a Seahawks fan.
And now we move into far less controversial, but just as interesting news from Week 3…
I didn’t think it was possible, but Tim Tebow has faded from the spotlight. Through three games he has yet to throw a pass. He has ran the ball seven times and picked up two first downs. But before you declare Tebow Mania dead, remember this: not until Week 5 last season did Tebow see any meaningful action. When the Jets’ regular offense stalls against San Francisco on Sunday, might Rex Ryan turn to Tebow to lead an improbable, come-from-behind victory? A boy can dream.
Quote of the Week: “I felt fine. I just lost a piece of my ear.”
—Matt Schaub, Houston Texans quarterback, Sunday, after a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit took out a small chunk of his left earlobe.
Quote of the Week (Runner-up): “It’s been recovered.”
—Matt Schaub, Houston Texans quarterback, yesterday, in reference to the small chunk of his left earlobe.
Uniform of the Week: Titus Young Sr. The Detroit wide receiver had a son a couple of months ago and decided to add the “Sr.” to his jersey, which is made even funnier (at least to me) by the fact that his last name is “Young.”
Tweet of the Week: “If only Aaron Rodgers had Allstate instead of State Farm. He’d be protected from mayhem like this.”
—danny_reardon (Danny Reardon), referring to the Monday night debacle, in which officials discount double-checked the play and still got it wrong.
Best Bets: Survivor: Panthers (I am now going to try and pick a loser every week and then claim I didn’t know the rules); against the spread: Chiefs pick (season record: 2-1)