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NFL Issues Statement On Golden Tate’s Game Winning Touchdown Catch vs Packers

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 24: Wide receiver Golden Tate #81 of the Seattle Seahawks makes a catch in the end zone to defeat the Green Bay Packers on a controversial call by the officials at CenturyLink Field on September 24, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr, Getty Images

Everyone has an opinion on Monday Night Football’s exciting, but controversial touchdown pass in the endzone as the Seattle Seahawks (2-1) pulled off a miraculous game-winning pass as time expired.

Football fans were anxiously awaiting the NFL’s official statement on the play, but what the league said may surprise you.

While the league ruled Green Bay (1-2) should have won the game due to an offensive pass interference, which was not called but would have voided the play, the statement reads: ”The NFL Officiating Department reviewed the video today and supports the decision not to overturn the on-field ruling following the instant replay review.”

Wait, what?

That sentence is followed by a several NFL official rules, including simultaneous possession:

Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 5 states:

Simultaneous Catch. If a pass is caught simultaneously by two eligible opponents, and both players retain it, the ball belongs to the passers. It is not a simultaneous catch if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control. If the ball is muffed after simultaneous touching by two such players, all the players of the passing team become eligible to catch the loose ball.

Okay, so then why is that the correct call? Does the league think the NFL fans did not see the play, or the instant replay, or some point on Tuesday, watch and re-watch video clips on the internet (below).

Green Bay’s M.D. Jennings intercepted the ball. We all saw that. Granted, Seattle’s Golden Tate had a hand on the ball, and later both hands on it, but the defender clearly caught the ball – i.e. it was not simultaneously possessed.

The analysts on the ESPN broadcast, and on the Dial Global Radio Network on WIBX all reacted in shock and disappointment that what many sports fans have feared has actually happened – replacement referees, while trying their hardest and doing the best they can do, have actually cost a team a game in a league where every game is so important because there are only 16 of them during the regular season.

It’s one thing to mis-spot the ball on the field, mark off the wrong number of yards on a penalty or – like we saw in the Vikings-49ers game – grant a team two challenges although they do not have the timeouts required to challenge the play. But, after what happened Monday night, it’s clear the NFL and the ‘real’ referee’s union need to come to some type of agreement to settle their labor dispute.

 

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