If you watched last night's Monday Night Football game, or checked out any sports media this morning, you no doubt saw the complete absurdity of the final pass of the game. Not only did Golden Tate commit obvious pass interference on the final hail mary, he also did not even catch the ball, yet was inexplicably awarded a TD and the Seahawks won the game. Here's the play.
Actually, he was awarded by one ref as the other signaled an interception.
It's a keystone cops situation if there ever was one. That image of the two ref giving opposite signals will be the lasting reminder of this absurd season so far in the NFL.
We've got an even better frame by frame breakdown of the play over at SBNation.com.
The outrage from the game was so great that the NFL felt compelled to issue a detailed statement in response.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw a pass into the end zone. Several players, including Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate and Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings, jumped into the air in an attempt to catch the ball.
While the ball is in the air, Tate can be seen shoving Green Bay cornerback Sam Shields to the ground. This should have been a penalty for offensive pass interference, which would have ended the game. It was not called and is not reviewable in instant replay.
When the players hit the ground in the end zone, the officials determined that both Tate and Jennings had possession of the ball. Under the rule for simultaneous catch, the ball belongs to Tate, the offensive player. The result of the play was a touchdown.
Replay Official Howard Slavin stopped the game for an instant replay review. The aspects of the play that were reviewable included if the ball hit the ground and who had possession of the ball. In the end zone, a ruling of a simultaneous catch is reviewable. That is not the case in the field of play, only in the end zone.
Referee Wayne Elliott determined that no indisputable visual evidence existed to overturn the call on the field, and as a result, the on-field ruling of touchdown stood. The NFL Officiating Department reviewed the video today and supports the decision not to overturn the on-field ruling following the instant replay review.
The result of the game is final.
Well obviously they aren't changing the result of the game and really the league doesn't have much choice but to support the official's call. If they didn't, it would open up an entirely new can of worms that would have fans screaming about changing the result of every game.
But that's not even the point here. They problem is that they have to stand by bad officials who made bad calls. This has to be the last straw. Settle with the real refs, get different replacement refs... I don't even care. This can't happen.