NFL upholds ‘MNF’ finish, but outrage still in air
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org September 25, 2012 10:46PM
Updated: October 27, 2012 6:21AM
Even with a mass of voicemails and emails sent to the league office in the wake of the finish to the Seattle Seahawks’ 14-12 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Monday night, the NFL reaffirmed the ruling that the Hail Mary catch by Seahawks receiver Golden Tate should not have been overturned.
The NFL conceded Tate should have been called for pass interference before the catch, but that did little to soothe the masses.
‘‘NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs’ lockout is settled soon,’’ President Obama tweeted.
On the final play of the game, Russell Wilson threw the desperation pass toward the corner of the end zone. Packers safety M.D. Jennings jumped up with Tate and appeared to have control of the ball when he hit the ground.
‘‘It was pinned to my chest the whole time,’’ Jennings told reporters.
Two officials arrived at the pile of players. Derrick Rhone-Dunn seemingly was signaling for the clock to stop on a touchback and change of possession. Lance Easley signaled touchdown.
The NFL said Easley has four years of officiating experience but none above Division III.
The outrage of the players and fans was felt Tuesday, with Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed telling reporters, ‘‘It’s an integrity part of the game that they expect the players to uphold — protect the shield. They don’t protect the shield when it comes to the owners and everybody else getting the money.’’
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell met with representatives of the locked-out officials Tuesday, but that meeting was scheduled before the chaos.
The sides are holding firm, meaning a fourth week of replacement officials is on the docket.
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher was asked about the replacements last week, and considering there were very few miscues that stood out in the Bears’ games, he wouldn’t add fuel to the fire.
‘‘I don’t want to be one of those guys that talks about it because I’m tired of hearing about it,’’ Urlacher said. “But they’re doing the best they can. We haven’t had any issues in our games. I think there are less penalties called this year, from what I’ve been hearing on TV, but I think they’re doing the best they can.’’