This post will probably be unpopular, but what do I care if we lose all 13 of our readers. So here goes.
Monday night, the replacement refs got it right.
Back to that in a minute. First off, the refs were hardly noticeable at the Bear game on Sunday. Sure they blew a call here and there, but can you remember one Bear game since you started to understand football where you weren’t mad at the refs for something?
Most things I have read seem to be holding the replacement refs up to the standard of perfection, rather than to the standard of the REGULAR REFS. If the regular refs were held under the same microscope as the replacement refs (which they won’t be) would they hold muster? No. We have been arguing holding and pass interference since this game was invented.
The problem is that this is really trying to measure the immeasurable. Some penalties, such as offsides and delay of game are absolute. Others, such as pass interference and holding are subjective and can be interpreted different ways. So you can’t go back to a game and say that there should have been “x” holding penalties, because nobody, including the refs, knows the standard. Sure there is a definition in the rulebook but still – impossible to apply in an absolute fashion, such as fair or foul ball (speaking of subjective, balls and strikes, anyone?).
But back to Monday night. And don’t get me wrong here, I am not just saying the following because I hate the Packers, I am saying it because I understand the rules.
First and foremost, both referees that made the call were out of position on the hail mary. This isn’t anything new either. I see regular refs out of position all the time.
The Seahawks receiver committed pass interference by pushing Shields out of the way. Completely indisputable.
But on the catch, the receiver and defender came down and hit the ground with joint posession of the ball. Nothing else counts after that instant as the play is now dead since the receiver(s) is down by contact.
Simultaneous posession goes to the offense.
One ref calls touchdown, the other is (inexplicably) motioning for a clock stoppage, in theory because he is wanting to either think about this or have a conference with the official who signals touchdown. This clock stopping motion is NOT the same as a touchback motion, mind you – which would be one arm waving in a 180 degree arc from leg to top of the head. Obviously, if the ref was signaling for a touchback, that would have indicated an interception.
So the only call on the field is touchdown. We go to review. The non pass interference is NOT reviewable. There wasn’t video evidence to overturn the simultaneous posession call. The call stands. The Packers lose.
It really is that simple. But the bigger issue is how are the replacement refs doing? Frankly, I think they are doing pretty well, all things considered. YES they are going to blow a call here and there. NO they didn’t rob the Packers of a victory Monday night. Will the regular refs be held to the standard of perfection? I highly doubt it.