Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Refpocolypse: A Seattle Perspective

Well, it's been nearly 24 hours since the entire western world came to an end.

Yep, in case you've been living off the planet over the last day, you know that the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers played a Monday Night Football game last night that was marred repeatedly by bad calls by replacement officials working the game instead of the league locked out regular officials. The game culminated in a highly controversial call on the last play of the game in which a Seattle receiver was awarded a touchdown catch when it looked like a Green Bay defender had intercepted. The result, even after review, was to uphold the call. Seattle won and Green Bay lost.

And oh how the media and, well, the general populous has reacted. Middle East troubles? Presidential election? Unemployment? Nothing compared to this today.

The overwhelming sentiment can be summarized as: a bad call at the end of the game "cost" the Packers the game...and how big a shame that is. Horrible! Detestable! Unacceptable!

That's right. Pretty much anywhere outside of Seattle, the conventional wisdom and outcry is how badly the Packers were wronged...on the last play. But that's not what most people in Seattle think. Far from it. Sure, most of us realize the final play of the game was controversial and probably was not called correctly by the officials. But here are four perspectives from the Seattle side of things that you will not be hearing anything about in the national or sports media, but explain our side of things...

First, the Packers owe their lone TD to poor officiating too. What? How could that be? After all, the media is just talking about the last play. Well, if you watched the entire game, you'd know that the officials made many, many bad calls during the four quarters....benefiting and hurting both teams. This includes two calls on the one drive the Packers could put together - the drive resulting in their lone touchdown. Yes. There was an absolute abortion of a pass interference call against Seattle mid-way through that drive that bailed the Packers out of facing a fourth down and moved the ball substantially down field. Then, later in the drive when it appeared very obviously that Seattle had stopped Green Bay on the one yard line and forced them into a field goal attempt, the officials bungled the review of the placement and clearly made a mistake in giving the Packers a first down...which they then capitalized on for their lone TD.

Got that? To re-cap...THE PACKERS BENEFITED from horrible ref calls too - and in particular two calls that resulted in their go-ahead TD. Take away those calls, and it's an entirely different game. Who wins? Who knows. But, it's a different game...one in which the Packers are either still behind in the fourth quarter or only up by two points late.

Two, the Seattle defense had just as much to do with the outcome as the officials. That's right Green Bay fans. You think you team got robbed? How about your offense play better and score more than 12 points? Oh, that's right...they couldn't. They were dominated all game long. Or even, hey, forget all that...just make a first down late in the fourth quarter in your own end. Game over. You couldn't and had to punt it back to the Seahawks and, well, you know what happened next.

That was a serious butt whipping administered by the Seattle D and this should not be forgotten or overlooked.

Three, the Seahawks fan base is probably the most unsympathetic to the "the Packers were robbed" cries than any group of human beings in the sporting world. That's right. The Seattle Seahawks have been on the losing end of two of the most egregious officiating fiascoes in modern NFL history. Packers fans, you will get no sympathy or shame from them. Here's why...

  • First, in the 1998 season, the Seahawks played an important late season game. It was against the NY Jets. It was a close. Near the end, the Jets drove the ball down near the Seahawk end zone. Their QB ran the ball and was tackled at about the three yard line...where his knees were down. He fell forward and perhaps the crown of his helmet touched the goal line after he bounced forward after hitting the ground. The ball was literally nowhere near the goal line. But the officials signaled TD. It was reviewed and upheld. Seahawks lost the game on that and it played a big role in them missing the playoffs that year.
  • Next and more significantly, the Seahawks were consistently on the wrong end of several MIND BOGGLING calls by the officials in Super Bowl XL in Jan. 2006. There was the phantom pass interference on a Seahawk receiver on a TD reception, a phantom holding call that negated a big play that could easily have ended up setting up a score, there was a baffling "blocking below the knees" call on the Seattle QB as he tried to tackle a defender who had intercepted his pass, and then their was the super eerie repeat of the Jets situation from 1998 when Steelers QB was tackled and down short of the goal line on a fourth down, but then bounced forward after hitting the ground near the end line. Refs called TD, it was upheld. These calls really did cost the Seahawks the Super Bowl win. It was so bad that the referee of that game eventually apologized publicly.

Keep in mind, these horrific calls in 1998 and 2006 were made by REAL DEAL NFL officials. Not scabs. Oh, and you know what the hew and cry was - if any - following BOTH these incidences from the media and other fans? Get over it. That's football. Move on.

And finally, four, you would not be hearing much about what happened last night if were the Seahawks who were "robbed" on the last play OR if the Seahawks had been playing, say, the Kansas City Chiefs. Indeed, one of the NFL's "darling" teams was the "victim" in this. And that. Can. Not. Be. Right. Nope, if roles were reversed or if there was a different visiting team, today's news would have been more along the lines of, "Well, there you go...just one more proof point that darn it, we gotta get the real officials back." But instead, with the Packers on the "wrong" end of things, it's "The world is ending, get the real guys back NOW!" That's why this is as big a story as it is.

So to summarize...as much as Seattle fans also want the real NFL officials back just like everybody else, no America, you are NOT going to get any sympathy or shame from Seattle fans for winning that game last night. In fact, I think most Seattle fans would give you the same advice oh so many of you and the media gave us when this sort of thing happened to our team...get over it. That's football. Move on.

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