Foul Ruling: Replacement Refs Blow Call and Gives Seahawks Unjustified Win Over The Packers

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

29 thoughts on “Foul Ruling: Replacement Refs Blow Call and Gives Seahawks Unjustified Win Over The Packers”

  1. Seahawks suck. Is the former Packer’s coach still there? Why did Denver beat Green Bay? Maybe the coach should turn in his Harley for a Suzuki.

    Maybe he should get in a hot tub in his undies with a bunch of high school students in Waukesha County. Then he can be a law clerk. Pro Bono.

  2. Jude:

    Ideally you knock it to the ground. However in a scrum like that you just want to keep the other guy from catching it. So it’s any which way you can.

  3. Marvin – Why wouldn’t defenders try to catch a Hail Mary pass in the end zone? Knocking it down is great, but what if you knock it down and into the hands of a member of the other team? Catching it, if you can, is better.

  4. Mespo,
    I understand the rule, but what I saw was the receiver putting his Hanson the ball as they landed. He never possessed the ball, IMHO.

  5. rafflaw:

    The operative moment of possession is when the feet of the receiver(s) touch down in bounds and a “football move” is made. While the defender MAY have gotten to the ball first, it’s a free ball until he comes down in bounds with both feet, has exclusive possession of the ball, and makes a “football move.” Good call, bad game result.

  6. Mespo,
    I don’t disagree that a pass interference should have been called, but that was not the issue at hand. When I watched the replay, it seemed evident to me that the defender had full possession of the ball before Tate stuck his arm in there. If it was truly a simultaneous catch, the call and subsequent confirmation from the NFL would be accurate. However, the defender caught the ball and had control before the receiver latched on. However, that being said, as a Bears fan, it is always a good day when the Pack lose.

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