This call was the latest and so far, most decisive mistake from the replacement officials. This one single play and subsequent bad call from the officials was the first time that the replacements had directly and wrongly decided the outcome of a game.
Forget who came down with the ball, if the officials hadn’t some how missed the blatant push off by Seahawks receiver Golden Tate, the rest of the play would have been a moot point.
That said, in general officials do not decide the outcome of games, that is down to coaching and above all players making the plays that they are paid to make.
Let’s get one thing straight, I am not making excuses for the officials in this situation or in any other case of them getting it so badly wrong. What I will say is that these guys are well out of their depth, going from low-level college games straight to the NFL is like asking the hospital porter to stand in for the Doctor on his day off.
That said, had the Packers, one of this season’s Superbowl favourites not completely stunk the place up for four full quarters then they wouldn’t have been in a position to let the officials decide their fate in the first place.
Denver Broncos head coach John Fox was fined $30,000 for his ‘bullying’ of the replacements during a week 2 loss in Atlanta. The only surprise here is that it doesn’t happen more often in the case of Fox, who consistently manages to moan and complain his way through most of the games that he coaches in. Maybe turning the ball over 4 times in the opening quarter may have been a contributing factor in Denver’s loss rather than the zebra’s who admittedly did get some things wrong on the night.
Washington Redskins Offensive Co-ordinator Kyle Shanahan has been fined $25,000 for his treatment of the officials during the week 3 loss at home to the Bengals, note to the Redskins if you want to win more games try playing some defense. There is no doubt that Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick should be next in line for punishment after grabbing an official after loss in Baltimore, where the game winning field goal was in dispute as to whether it was actually good or not. I’ve seen it three times and still can’t decide if it was good or not.
The point is the recurring theme here, all the guys complaining where all on the losing side. So is one bad call from an official who happens to be a replacement that is not in total control of the game and is not 100% on all of the rules completely to blame for your team losing? Actually in most cases the answer is no, in the case of a close game like the one in Seattle then, yes. Even though, that maybe the team in question didn’t play well enough to justify the win anyway. It is the NFL and a lot of games will be decided by one score or one big play or a defensive stop at the end of the game.
Despite the debacle and furore that the current replacement officials have brought to the NFL, for Goodell to pull the plug now would account to him admitting that he was wrong in the first place about the holdout of the regular officiating crews and I just can’t see Goodell going down that road. It is more likely that the NFL’s current commissioner is waiting for the replacements to have a strong showing or to get a few major calls spot on before pulling the plug on the whole issue.
Ask yourself, or more importantly ask Goodell what if a call like the one in Seattle happens at the end of the Superbowl because the replacements are still at the helm?
Would the losing team and its fans have the right to sue the NFL?
During last summer’s player holdout, Goodell said the season would not take place with replacement players, so why is it ok to have replacement officials?
For some, it could be a case of, it’s not the replacements fault until it directly impacts their own team. Remember though it was the NFL that put them there and the NFL who hasn’t trained them up enough to have a clear knowledge of the rules. If it doesn’t get sorted soon this NFL season may have to gone down in the record books with a rather large asterisk beside it.
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