The interception-called-touchdown heard ’round the NFL. Green Bay 12, Seattle 14.
The game had been a defensive battle, Seattle sacking QB Aaron Rodgers 8 times in the first half. Green Bay found their groove in the second half and took the lead 12-7 in the fourth quarter. With just under a minute on the clock, the Seahawks were spottily moving down the field. And then came, the play.
Eight seconds left, fourth down and a few. Russell Wilson snaps and scrambles left, then lobs a pass up and into the left corner of the end zone. Seahawks WR Golden Tate and Packers DB M.D. Jennings, along with three other players from both sides, jump for the ball. The former two come down with it, falling to the ground with both of their hands wrapped around the ball.
Finally, in this moment, for this play, when the officials could have redeemed their reputations as incompetent scabs, the officials have finally decided a game. And not correctly.
Penalties littered the game with 100+ missed yards. Those penalties matter none at all now. Debate with small things like those are irrelevant with the game on the line. Any and all events before this play were leading up to this memorable moment: when it mattered, the officials messed up the one call they needed to get right.
M.D. Jennings had the ball.
On the play, one official called it a touchback, the other raised his hands for a touchdown. The head official made his way to the replay booth as the Seahawks’ sideline began their premature celebrations and the crowd boomed with noise. This was the play that the home crowd was hoping for, and seemingly they had gotten it. Some Packers were shouting at anyone within earshot hoping to God for some justice. Others were already shuffling to the sideline, just trying to wrap their heads around what had just occurred.
The official came back onto the field to report his ruling. A ruling that the NFL will come to regret with every day that passes without a deal with the NFLRA.
“After review, the ruling on the field stands. Touchdown.”
And the crowd goes wild.
This play was a decision ready to be discussed post-game, about whether the refs got it right or wrong. I’m happy as a jumping rabbit for my Seahawks coming out with the win. This is huge for a team that has been building an identity or toughness under former USC Head Coach Pete Carroll. The defense was stifling all game, and Marshawn Lynch was fighting for every yard like he was running with the bulls in Spain. This is exactly the team that Pete Carroll was looking to build in Seattle. And they were just as deserving of the win as Green Bay was with the way that they played tonight.
But the fact is that the NFL has caused one of the greatest sports travesties in history. This is not an overstatement: Roger Goodell and his negotiating staff have caused a team to actually lose a game.
Think about that. The commissioner, not the players or coaches, decided a game.
I know I advertise no politics, but when he decided that it was more important for the league to win a small percentage of money, compared to what the league is actually worth, he forced the politics to decide whether or not the Packers won or lost tonight.
You can’t even say it started when he suspended Saints players in the Bounty Scandal (whether he pulled those allegations out of his ass or not is not the question) because frankly the Saints were not the league’s most respectable team to begin with and they absolutely could have carried out a pay-to-hurt system.
It started when a bureaucrat with seemingly autocratic power over a billion-dollar industry believed the integrity of the game would not be affected by a few respectable men not getting the money they deserve. Roger Goodell is jumping butt-naked into a winter-cold creek of national hate.
I really feel for the Packers, I do, regardless of how I feel about Seattle winning such a close, nerve-wracking game. But it always feels better when the right team won. How do you know? You just do.
When teams work their asses off for several months, 2-3 times a day before the season to win games like these, they expect to win them when they do the right things. To have caught that pass in the waning seconds of the game, only to have his moment of glory snatched away from him by these old farts who vacated their bed pans for this, M.D. Jennings better be angry. He has every right, and he won’t be told off for it. This was his interception, and it was pulled from his fingers unjustly.
The NFL is suffering. Teams are suffering. And fans and analysts should be calling for Goodell’s head in 3…2…wait, they already have. BIG time.
This isn’t just a game anymore.
Here’s a message to YOU Roger Goodell:
If you continue to refuse the demands of the NFLRA, I warn you now: war will ensue. This is not about you. This is not about money. This not about ego, or leverage, or plain old power anymore.
It’s about everyone else.
I know y’all have opinions. Tweet us @aceing82, or comment down below. Let’s hear what the fans have to say.