Catch the defender to win

Now the NFL has gone too far.

As a fan of the Green Bay Packers and the NFL, I’ve put up with a lot of crap from the league.

There was the strike shortened 1982 season. The scab players season of 1987. Then there have been lockouts and threats of lockouts and threats if walkouts and again last year we almost had a lockout. No regular season games were missed. In fact, only the Hall of Fame preseason game was missed. But training camps were missed and it showed. The players looked out of shape and the games for the first few weeks were jokes.

Now this year the refs have been locked out. The NFL must think any old slob off the street can do what trained, professional NFL refs can do. So, as an experiment, the NFL has hired a whole bunch of slobs off the street and the fans are paying for it with missed calls, bad calls, wrong calls, and calls that make absolutely no sense. It’s the Keystone Cops in zebra shirts.

But last night for me was the end of it. I guess I didn’t really mind the strikes if 1982 or 1987 because my team, the Packers, benefited from them. In the shortened 1982 season they played 9 games and 16 teams went to the playoffs. The Packers, who had sucked throughout the 1970s and 1980s were one of those teams. So it was out one bright spot during a 25 year slump.

As for 1987, that occurred during the Forrest Gregg years. A dark, sad time when the Packers hired thugs and rapists as players. But in 1987, for three shirt weeks, we had a winning team to root for. The Scab Pack went 2-1 in that stretch and Alan Rischer became a local folk hero.

This current lockout however, has not gone our way. The Green Bay Packers, in fact, have fallen victim to the poor penalty calling of the Scab Refs.

Forget most of the game, both teams had their share of bad calls against them. The ending, that’s where we want to concentrate. On the very last play there were a series of bad calls and non-calls that gave Seattle a win they didn’t earn or deserve.

First was an offensive pass interference call that was missed. WR Golden Tate pushed off on Sam Shields as they all went up for the Hail Mary. Had that been called — game over, Packers win.

But it wasn’t called and for some fluke of the rules, it can’t be reviewed, overturned, or justified in hind sight.

But then… Then we have the mystery of the football somehow magically passing through Packer Safety M.D. Jennings into Tate’s hands.

Of course that didn’t happen. Jennings had possession the whole time. It’s blatantly obvious in any video or photo of the play.

One ref got it right. He waved it as a touchback, meaning Jennings had possession. But the head ref, who had blown his fair share of calls all game, lifted his hands in a touchdown signal. Somehow, the rule became “catching the defender who has possession of the ball transfers possession tithe offensive player.”

The booth ref in reviewing it could clearly see that Jennings had possession. Tate had his hands wrapped around Jennings. But he was a real ref, not a replacement ref, so he figured “if I change the ruling to the correct one, everyone goes home happy and the lockout continues. But if I say the ruling stands, all hell will break loose: fans will be angry, the NFL will have egg on its face, and they’ll all be forced to concede to our demands. Win. Win.”

So he failed to do the right and correct thing. He didn’t reverse the division. And every football fan was outraged, except for a few selfish Seattle fans who couldn’t see the big picture. Even the Seattle players acted like it was all part of their game plan.

Of course the call was pure bullshit. And the NFL, who had a chance this afternoon to rectify this travesty, came up with all sorts of nonsense to backup their bad call. Crap about when a defender and receiver both come down with a ball possession goes to the receiver. Except that’s not how it happened! Jennings clearly had possession he was holding it to his chest. Tate was UNDER him reaching around!

So here we are. At a crossroads. We can either keep watching an inferior, joke of a product that the NFL is too arrogant to fix and thinks we’ll blindly keep watching, or we go find something else to do with our Sundays.

Me, I’ve got better things to do then waste my time watching this debacle. I’ve got a dryer to fix. A garage door opener to repair. Some painting to do in the garage.

It’s nice weather for it. Screw NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Jennings with clear possession.



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