Man, I am really starting to enjoy this whole devil’s advocate thing when arguing in favor of the replacement officials. I still stand by my assertion that the NFL’s regular officials are no better than shambolic as a whole. They suck. They are too old, slow, and inconsistent. Sure, they get most false start and offside calls right, but when it comes down to it, nobody is ever really happy with them. I have to admit, though, Monday night’s finish was pretty… interesting.
I’m not going to disrespect any reader by insinuating that the end of Monday’s game between Seattle and Green Bay was handled correctly. Admittedly, it did look like Seattle got away with two pretty obvious offensive pass interference penalties. On the other hand, the regular refs call offensive PI so infrequently anyway, what’s the fuss about? On any change of pace, or direction route, the receiver often pushes off on the cornerback with impunity. It’s only when the infraction is so glaring that it’s practically impossible to ignore that they call offensive PI.
But let’s talk about the final play for a second. Can we stop making a villain out of Golden Tate? Sure, it appeared that MD Jennings was first to the ball and came down with an interception. Then, Tate may or may not have ended up with partial possession? I dunno, hard to tell. But is what Tate did any different than what goes on at the bottom of a pile after someone fumbles? Is it? The guy who ends up “recovering” the fumble is not always the first guy to have it, guaranteed. There is a fight for that ball under that pile, and if Tate did anything but fight as hard as he could to gain possession of that ball from Jennings, he didn’t do enough for his team. Can we agree on that? Good.