What your view of sports would be if you had too many concussions
OK, by now have seen what happened on Monday night. ESPN has “Zapruder Film“-ed this thing to death, and we are left with two conclusions. There’s those who saw the Packers get flat-out robbed, and there’s those who want Kommissar Goodell and his “Warren Commission” who would like you to believe the replacement referees didn’t egregiously blow that call.
There’s two problems with that latter theory. First of all, it completely ignores at three rules of the NFL. Secondly, it lends itself to a set of ridiculous conspiracy theories, the leading one being advanced by those who hate the Green Bay Packers which is some sort of contrivance stating the NFL wanted the Packers to lose that game in order to make them victims, so the NFL could a) use that game to get out of this replace referee fiasco and b) use that victim status to help make the Packers the league’s most popular team.
The folks over at SB Nation did a breakdown of the controversial play in question, and subsequent to that, we here at Dubsism did our own review keeping those two alternate views in mind.
The replacement referees appeared to botch this call from start to finish, and if you’re banging your head on the desk for the regular refs to comeback then this is the best possible outcome you could’ve wished for. Apologies to those at Acme Packing Company who are feeling about as low as you can feel as a football fan right now, but we needed a massive replacement ref screw-up on the biggest stage — that’s you, Monday Night Football — to shine the spotlight on the NFL’s lockout of the referees.
It’s time to end it, Roger Goodell. Bring the regular refs back. You can’t possibly look at this play and come to any other conclusion than the referees got it wrong. Even if you watch the same thing I watch and come to a different conclusion, then you have to wonder why the replacement referees screwed up their mechanics on the biggest play of one of the biggest games.
They can’t handle the pressure. This game made it obvious (as if it wasn’t before).
Let’s take a look-see at why the NFL and the replacement referees are feeling the heat…
The Seahawks had one final play at the 24-yard line, which is far enough back from the end zone that it’s Hail Mary time. Teams have all different kinds of different versions of a Hail Mary, but at the end of the day you’re throwing it up there and hoping for a prayer.
Russell Wilson had fine protection. He had more than enough time to move around in the pocket and allow his receivers to get set up in the end zone. He releases the ball right at the 39-yard line and it lands near the back of the end zone so this pass was somewhere around 46 or 47 yards in the air.
At the point it became clear the Seahawks had a chance to win this game, the referees were instructed to call everything they could in favor of the Seahawks.
Organizing a conspiracy between Goodell and the replacement referees would be impossible, if for no other reason you have to able to consistently know how to make correct calls in order to be counted on to “fix” them.
This is how it all looks with the bail in the air. The Packer to focus on is M.D. Jennings (43) while it’s Tate for the Seahawks.
Actually, the Packer to look at in this frame is the guy (Packer Sam Shields #37) in front of Tate falling to his knees. This is because a split-second before before this picture, Tate gave him a full-on, two-handed shove in the back right before the ball arrived. Even the NFL in it’s wishy-washy defense of this call admitted this was clearly offensive pass interference.
“That kind of interference never gets called.” Like somehow that makes it right.
Suppose you blow through a school zone at 60 mph, and there’s no cop there? Were you still speeding? Suppose you were blowing through that same school zone and there is a cop there, but he just doens’t feel like pulling you over? Were you still speeding then?
Of course you were. It is the act that is illegal, not the resultant enforcement. The fact that the refs didn’t call pass interference doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t have been called. The conspiracy theorists and the Packer haters know they have to answer for that non-call, because the Packer would have won the game the minute that yellow flag hit the Seattle turf.
Since a great deal of the Packer haters are Minnesota Viking fans, how does the memory of this non-call feel?
A key part of evidence can be seen in this screen shot — Jennings has the leverage on Tate. He makes contact with the ball at a higher point and has more control of the ball than Tate, who appears to only have his arm on it. Jennings has both hands on the ball.
Here’s why the non-call on the pass interfenerce matters. Had Golden Tate not shoved Shields out of the way, neither Jennings or Tate would have touched that ball; Shields would have had the cleanest shot at it.
Tate caught that ball. Oswald acted alone. And bullets can change direction in flight, too.
Another angle. See Jennings with both hands on the ball. Tate is behind him, and does not have both hands on the ball like Jennings does.
Did we mention Tate caught that ball? Oswald acted alone. And bullets can change direction in flight, too.
Yet another angle on the same moment. Jennings has both hands on the ball and appears to have control. Tate is getting both hands on the ball as well, but doesn’t appear to have the leverage Jennings does.
Seriously, the government doesn’t want you to know that Tate caught that ball. Oswald acted alone. And bullets can change direction in flight, too.
Jennings is pulling the ball towards his chest, a sign he has control of it. Tate is trying to pull it away but this screen shot shows Jennings not only had the ball but is now demonstrating possession by pulling it into his chest.
I think by now, you know what the conspiracy line is…
Look at the ball. Who has that? Not Tate. Jennings was pulling the ball into his chest as he came down and now he turns away from Tate and the ball goes with him. Jennings has that ball. Tate is just along for the ride.
Insert “Tate Caught Ball” mantra here.
Remember those rules I said you had to ignore? Here they are:
One more look. Look at Tate’s arms. I mean, c’mon.
Insert “Tate Caught Ball” mantra here.
I can’t really say it any better. In the words of SB Nation:
“Look at Tate’s arms. I mean, c’mon.”
Now see it in action:
And a little closer:
Would you be comfortable calling that a touchdown for the Seahawks? These refs were:
Actually, let me rephrase that. One referee makes a touchdown call. The other one signals for, um, a timeout? Two separate calls two feet away from each other on the biggest play of the only game going of the night. Communication is the most important aspect of a play like this for the referees — the white hat makes the call but he takes input from the others — and they completely blew it.
The referees went back to review the play after the fact, leading to a lengthy delay, but I’m not sure what they were reviewing. They can determine whether the ball was caught in bounds and all that but they cannot determine possession via replay. They said it was Tate’s touchdown — well, one of them did at least — and it wasn’t going to change via replay.
This is the kind of screw-up we needed to see. This is big enough — and it happened to a respected franchise like the Packers — that the NFL needs to seriously consider ending this lockout. The differences between the two sides is not big enough that you can’t go sit down with a federal mediator and hammer it down by lunch today.
I don’t want those at Acme Packing Company to think I’m putting them down; and I don’t want those at Field Gulls to think I’m ruining their night. That’s not the point of this. The game is done and the decision has been made but this is exactly the type of play we needed to kickstart an end to the referee lockout.
Let’s hope I’m right.
I’m with the SB people. This needs to be over, but let’s not forget the real referees are no manna from heaven either. Sure, these replacement guys suck, but that’s only because they lack experience. These guys, as shitty as they are, are only about five years and a gym club membership away from being Ed “Maybe I should have called that fumble” Hochuli.
The conspiracy theorists and Packer Haters are this loose amalgamation of Viking fans who just hate Green Bay on principle and Patriot fans who hate Aaron Rodgers strictly because they hate Aaron Rodgers because he gets more media attention than Tom Brady does now.
You may ask yourself, “why do those people even matter?” Because they are the only groups of people who can fuck up the NFL more than Kommissar Goodell and his replacement stooges have.
All photos courtesy of SB Nation.