The Seattle Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers last night in a football game that ended on a controversial touchdown call that is destined to be remembered for a long time after this season. It’s impact not yet fully known; but I predict it will become controversial again at the end of this season. With both Seattle and Green Bay likely playoff contenders one loss or one win could provide the difference between making the playoffs or not, winning a division or not, hosting a home field playoff game or not. We have just begun to feel the ramifications of the Fail Mary Pass that had Seattle’s Golden Tate awarded a touchdown on the games final play that so many believe should never have been awarded and should have instead resulted in an interception and Green Bay victory on Monday Night Football.
Let me start by acknowledging there is no doubt, NO DOUBT, that were I a Packer fan I would be as outraged as anyone and like so many argue for the final play’s call to be overturned an a victory awarded to my team. But I’m not a Packer fan. I’m a Seahawk fan who was at the game enjoying my team from my season ticket location, up until the end of the game when I left.
I did see the final 2 minutes of the game, including the play in question. But like so many at CenturyLink Field I got up to leave after Seattle failed to score with just under two minutes to play inside the Green Bay 10 yard line and gave possession up on downs. As I was making my way through the stadium, just before ducking into a tunnel out of sight of the field, I glanced back over my shoulder and saw the Packer fumble inside the 5 yard line on first down after taking possession. Green Bay recovered the fumble. But with my brother, who I attended the game with, we watched the green-and-gold fail to get even one first down necessary for running out the clock and the game for the Seahawks, and then punt from their own end zone. Giving the ball back to Seattle with plenty of time for them to win.
Seattle won that game. And nothing will convince me that they didn’t. First off, I am in no way convinced that the controversial play was THAT controversial. It was ruled a simultaneous catch; which by rule is awarded the offensive player. Tate had at least one hand on the ball from the moment both players received it while jumping in the air. And he had both hands on the ball when he/they fell to the ground. The argument that he didn’t catch it would have clout with me the moment you show me a rule that says a catch is not a catch unless you pull the ball fully into your chest. He didn’t. But he doesn’t have to. The fact that all the complainers have the benefit of slow motion instant replay also dramatically changes the perspective of what you’re seeing. The referee on the scene, facing the play, not the one behind the play who initially started to signal an interception, only had live full speed action in front of him at field level for just a moment to make his judgement. And as the NFL stated in its press release today, the morning after the game, a regular (not replacement) instant replay official did review the play and ruled not enough evidence existed to overturn the ruling. And unlike what the pundits claimed the NFL cleared up that a simultaneous catch is by rule reviewable if it occurs in the end zone, as this one did.
I am really surprised to hear and read the volume, and bitterness at the outrage over this play. Surely the fact that replacement officials made the call is 90% responsible for the extreme nature of the sentiment.
But let’s get this straight. Seattle should apologize to no one at any time for taking this victory. If Green Bay felt they should have won they should have scored more than just 12 points.
Not a lot of teams win scoring only twelve points. It’s only the second time since the 2010 season the Pack has failed to score 20-or-more points.
Green Bay should have run out the clock. They had the ball, with a first down, with under two minutes to play and couldn’t do it. The Seahawk defense is proving quite the force so far this year. They really are looking awesome. They had nine sacks last night; eight in the first half when the Packers failed to score. Hall of Fame Quarterback Steve Young Tweeted that he’d never seen such a mauling put on another team the way the Hawks defensive front four mauled the Packer offensive line.
And let us not forget at about the 8:50 mark of the fourth quarter on a third-down Aaron Rodgers was stopped on a scramble at the Seahawk 2 yard line and ruled short of the first down. Green Bay was trailing 7-6 at the time. They were going to kick a field goal. But Packer coach Mike McCarthy successfully challenge the ruling of the placement of the ball and had it moved forward far enough to give Green Bay a first down and then a touchdown. The replay that I saw seemed to indicate that Rogers’ knee was down prior to him stretching for the necessary 1st down yardage. With just a Green Bay field goal Seattle would never have had to attempt that Fail Mary pass at the end. At the 27 yard line they were plenty close for a chip shot field goal to win the game.
And lets not forget that after Green Bay’s only touchdown they failed on a two point conversion attempt. Had they succeeded Seattle’s last second touchdown would only have tied the game. Yes, Green Bay had plenty of chances to win, both earned and questionable, and they failed to do it.
And lastly, Seattle is long, long, LONG overdue for some luck to come their way like this. The Emerald City has long been the town in which sports dreams go to die. If you go back to 1998 the New York Jets were awarded a last-minute touchdown, beating the Seahawks, when Vinnie Testaverde was ruled to have crossed the goal line on a quarterback sneak. It’s 14 years later. He STILL has not crossed that goal line. The loss was part of what ended in an 8-8 season. Seattle failing to make the playoffs by one game. THAT game. It also resulted in Coach Dennis Erickson losing his job.
In the biggest single sporting event in Seattle history our Seahawks got screwed by officials. Super Bowl 2005 is one in which countless officials penalties handed a victory to the Pittsburg Steelers, a victory they didn’t win.
Karma is a bitch when it finally turns on you, and such an angel when it turns for you. Could it be that after long-last, and years of disappointment last night’s Tate Touchdown signals a turn in karma for Seattle’s long-suffering fans and teams? Time will tell.
In the mean time Seattle has been everybody else’s lap dog for so long we refuse to apologize for a questionable officials call that went our way at the end of a Monday Night Football game in September. We’ll just say thank you. “Next!”
Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.