I love hosting the prime time games in Seattle. It’s a great opportunity to showcase a great city, a loud and proud fan base, and the Seahawks always produce in prime time, owning the best home record on Monday Night Football in the NFL, 13-5.
This was a game that excited and scared me the most when the schedule came out, mainly because of the quarterback issues for the Seahawks and the high octane offense of the Packers. But I hate it when the enjoyment of a game gets sidetracked by bad officiating and controversy. yet that’s what happened last night in the Emerald City. Everyone already knows about the last play. It’s obviously the play of the game.
I won’t even begin to argue about that one except to say that I wouldn’t have been shocked for the call to have gone either way. Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate obviously caught the ball with his left hand, which ended up between the ball and Packers cornerback M.D. Jennings’ body. Jennings obviously got both hands on the ball and had possession as well. Tate removed his right hand momentarily but put it back as he landed on the ground.
Did Tate ever lose possession in the process? No, I don’t think so. If you’re going to argue that he only had one hand on it, I’m going to ask if you’ve never seen a receiver make a one-handed catch before. Hell, I saw Tate make an incredible one-handed catch against the Chargers in 2010—it was one of my plays of the game.
If you then try to distract the argument with the obvious push Tate put on a Packers defender while the ball was in the air, I’m going to reply to you if you have ever, and I mean ever in the history of football, seen pass interference called on a Hail Mary pass. It’s a ridiculous attempt to try and say Tate should have gotten a flag in the first place which isn’t the argument at all. In a normal play, I’d agree, but not on the last play of the game on a Hail Mary. That will never happen and really shouldn’t as long as the push isn’t administered with a taser.
If you want to go into calls that changed the game, how about the overturning of Aaron Rodgers’ (discount double check) 3-1 scramble at the two-yard line? That was initially ruled a stop for no gain but a review gave him a yard and the first down. I don’t agree with that change and think about how it affected the game after that. Instead of kicking a field goal to make it 9-7 in favor of Green Bay, meaning Seattle only needs to kick a field goal to win instead of a touchdown, thereby negating the need for the Hail Mary entirely.
Or the complete bullshit pass interference call on Kam Chancellor that kept Green Bay’s drive alive earlier? Or the non-call when Seattle QB Russell Wilson tried to slide and took a Packers cornerback Sam Shields shot to the head? Or how about the pass interception by Packers safety Jerron McMillian that got called back because Packers linebacker Erik Walden gets called for roughing the passer?
You see, if you overturn one bad call, it unleashes a shit storm of calls that need to be overturned by the commissioner—and we’re only talking about one game here. There is no way you’ll ever get anyone to agree what is a good call and what is a bad call. If one gets overturned then there is always another one to overturn, so you might as well just play the game over again. Oh wait, that won’t work either, as there are bound to be bad calls all over again.
There was so much more going on in this game that should be getting talked about here. How about the eight sacks the Seahawks defense put on Rodgers in the first half? How about the Seahawks offense that, apart from a 41-yard touchdown to Tate in the first half, really didn’t look threatening at all? How about Russell Wilson not progressing fast enough as a rookie to make me feel confident in starting him over Matt Flynn? How about Bruce Irvin finally getting to the quarterback or Chris Clemons getting four of the eight sacks?
There are a lot of other things to discuss but it will get overshadowed by whining, bitching, complaining, and tweeting. It’s sad to me really because there was 59 minutes and 59 seconds of football out there that should be getting dissected by the experts. That interests me more as a fan to learn about than to hear another bad joke by a wanna be comedian on Facebook.
So Packers fans, you have my sympathies, really you do. Everyone has gotten screwed over in a game; it’s the human nature of sports that makes the heart burn and stomach acid churn. It gives fans and critics things to argue, talk trash, and taunt each other over.
But that’s all you’re getting from me. As a Steelers fan told me after Super Bowl XL, it’s over, STFU and suck it up buttercup. You can either get over it or wallow in it, so it’s your choice.
And that game had the regular refs. Imagine a Super Bowl with the replacements, if you dare.
Photo Credits: Joshua Trujillo/AP, John Lok/The Seattle Times, Bettina Hansen/The Seattle Times, and Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times