By John Boyle
While nobody (outside of perhaps some angry Packers fans) expected the league change the outcome of last night’s Seahawks victory, the NFL had to say something about last night’s controversial ending to Seattle’s 14-12 victory, so the a statement was released today supporting the decision to not overturn the touchdown. You can click the link for the full statement, which does note that pass interference should have been called on Golden Tate, but below is the portion where the NFL stands by the call:
“When the players hit the ground in the end zone, the officials determined that both Tate and Jennings had possession of the ball. Under the rule for simultaneous catch, the ball belongs to Tate, the offensive player. The result of the play was a touchdown.
“Replay Official Howard Slavin stopped the game for an instant replay review. The aspects of the play that were reviewable included if the ball hit the ground and who had possession of the ball. In the end zone, a ruling of a simultaneous catch is reviewable. That is not the case in the field of play, only in the end zone.
“Referee Wayne Elliott determined that no indisputable visual evidence existed to overturn the call on the field, and as a result, the on-field ruling of touchdown stood. The NFL Officiating Department reviewed the video today and supports the decision not to overturn the on-field ruling following the instant replay review.
“The result of the game is final.”
Also, I think what’s being overlooked here is the little known NFL rule that states that, when one official rules touchdown and another signals for a touchback, then Charly Martin is the tiebreaker. OK, I might have just made up that rule.
On to some links…
In today’s Herald, Rich Myhre has the game story looking at a wild night, while I had a column looking at the controversial ending, which was good for the Seahawks, but a debacle for the NFL. We also had a notebook on Seattle’s eight first-half sacks, which for a while were the big story, but became almost and afterthought by the time the night was over.
Mike Silver of Yahoo Sports says this could be the moment when the NFL jumped the shark noting that if the integrity of the game can’t be trusted, a sport that already has to deal with concerns over head trauma could someday head the way of boxing if fans feel they can’t trust the sport.
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King addresses the officiating on the final play noting that communication, or lack thereof, was an issue.
Greg Bishop of the New York Times also tackles the issue of the final play saying, “The focus lingered, instead, again, on the officiating, on the last people the league wants underneath the spotlight. That should be the most compelling case to resolve the labor dispute immediately. An on-field product that can no longer be trusted.”