As many of you know, I was raised to root for two teams: the Chicago Bears and anyone playing against the Packers. However, I watched the Packers-Sea Hawks game last night and even I had nothing but sympathy for the Packers. It is clear that the final Hail Mary pass was intercepted by Packers safety M.D. Jennings and Seahawks receiver Golden Tate only belated got one hand on the ball. Yet one replacement ref called it a touchdown and the game was given wrongly to the Seahawks. We clearly need a team of high-trained lawyers on the field led by an endomorphic law professor from our nation’s capital.
A replay clearly showed the ref was wrong but the ruling was upheld. This followed a clearly wrong call on pass interference against the Packers.
We have all been discussing the errors by the replacement refs in the last couple weeks. I felt that people were being a bit harsh on the refs, but this game saw some of the most egregious errors, including handing the victory to the wrong team. It was a shame because it was a great game — much like the Patriots/Ravens game on Sunday. The Seahawks sacked Aaron Rogers nine times, but the Packers came back and played brilliantly. What is interesting is that one ref is calling the pass intercepted while the other is calling it a touchdown.
Normally I relish the legal disputes in these games, but this is a case where the rulings were not just wrong but threw the game to the losing team. Here is the video and you can decide.
What was also striking is how the teams had to be called back on the field after the Packers stormed off and many were already out of their uniforms. It was interesting to see the impact of the Seahawks rushing the field and celebrating the touchdown — a celebration that may have influence the refs in reviewing the game. The celebration may have been a bit intimidating at the thought of announcing that it was the Packers who had won the game after all. As upset as the Packers were (justifiably), most showed considerable restraint in the face of the bad call.
Here is the legal rule:
Rule 8 – Section 3 – Article 1 – Item 5: 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.
Now I am just a small country lawyer but that did not seem to me to be a simultaneous catch. The Packers had the ball and only then did the Seahawks grabbed a partial hold on it. What do you think?
Source: LA Times