nfl-replacement-officialI just witnessed a crime on Monday Night Football.  The NFL Replacement Officials just made perhaps the greatest series of mistakes every made in the history of the National Football League (NFL). In my opinion, the NFL just  experienced a significant blow to their reputation.

I’m a huge NFL fan!  But, ending this week when we commemorate the passing of an NFL legend, Steve Sabol, President of NFL Films, the NFL blew a huge one!  I would think Steve Sabol is turning in his grave.  I doubt very much if he ever saw anything like this in his life.  However, his impact and affect on football lives on.  No doubt, NFL Films have recorded this game for posterity.  I witnessed NFL history tonight, and it was extremely disappointing.  This is game that will surely go down in history!  And, it will show the fallibility of the NFL.  So, for the first time in NFL the league has a “black” mark recorded.

This was the game the NFL dredded, at least I hope they did.  The NFL Replacement Officials were finally instrumental in deciding who won or lost a game, based on their inexperience and lack of knowledge on the rules of the game.  It was heading this way, but I never really expected to happen.  Nor, did I ever believe the NFL Replacement Officials could blow a series of calls this way.

As someone put it tonight, Seattle Seahawk quaterback, Russell Wilson, is the first quaterback in NFL history to win a game by throwing an interception.  And, this is not something that will disputed.  It was a clear mistake, and a huge one! Adam Shefter, ESPN has deemed this to history as the Innacurate Reception.

This was the ultimate disaster the NFL could imagine… and it signifantly harms the reputation of the NFL.  This is a billion dollar industry with a reputation that has been built over a long period of time and with considerable effort by many very honorable men!  They built something great!  But, now, the current owners and league leadership are dragging it down!  The NFL is too good for this.

This distracts from the fantastic performance of both teams.  Just in case you don’t know, the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Green Bay Packers 14-12 this evening.  The first half was dominated by the Seahawks defense.  They completely mauled the Packers.  But, in the second half, the Packers starting generating some offense and completely shut down the Seahawk’s offense.  It was a great game!

With the Packers leading 12-7 with only minutes remaining, it looked like their defense would protect that lead.  Then it started.  There was a questionable roughing the passer call.  That was close and the officials ruled on the merit of protecting the quarterback.  It allowed Seattle to maintain control of the ball on this final drive.  However, this was followed by a horrendous bad call by the NFL Replacement Officials.  It occured on a downfield pass to Sidney Rice.  The Packer defender made a nice defensive play, but was called for interference.  This extended the Seahawk drive.  Yet, both these calls will be forgotten in NFL history.

The major blunder by these NFL Replacement Officiasl occured on a last ditch effort by the Seahawks to score with only seconds remaining.  Russell Wilson threw a “hail mary” pass into the left corner of the endzone.  Golden Tait, the Seahawk intended receiver, clearly pushed off a Packer defender… a clear offensive pass interference call.  The game should have ended there, but the call was never made.  With the ball in the air, a Packer safety , M.D. Jennings, jumped and reached over everyone to bring the ball down.  …a clear interception.  That should have ended the game.  Golden Tait managed to reach for the ball, attempting to wrestle it from M.D. Jennings.

Two officials ruled on the play.  One called it a catch and possesion by Golden Tait.  The other ruled it an interception.  The play was reviewed.  If you watched the review, you were probably as surprised as anyone when the NFL Replacement Officials ruled it a touchdown for the Seahawks.  The game commentators and comments following the game by NFL experts all spoke on the NFL  “possession” rules and that it was clearly an interception.  Clearly, the NFL Replacement Officials did not know or abide by this rule.

This will go do down as one of the most famous plays in NFL history… like the Immaculate Reception and the Music City Miracle.  However, unlike the former, this will be a permanent blemish on NFL history.

According to ESPN analyst, John Clayton… If this was the play the NFL was waiting for for their replacement officials to blow a game, this was the game.  I’m paraphrasing here, but this is extremely close to how Clayton phrased his response.  The NFL has some serious catch-up to do on this one!

 

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