Officials signal after Seahawks receiver Golden Tate pulled in a last-second pass for a touchdown from quarterback Russell Wilson to defeat the Green Bay Packers 14-12 Monday night in Seattle. The touchdown call stood after review. (Associated Press)
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 1:53 PM
NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL conceded Tuesday that a bad call cost the Green Bay Packers the game while upholding the Seattle Seahawks' victory.
As coaches, players and fans — and even athletes in other sports — ripped the use of replacement refs, the league met with its locked-out officials Tuesday in an attempt to resolve the impasse.
Two people with knowledge of the talks told The Associated Press that the sides were meeting Tuesday. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions were not made public.
The NFL said Seattle's last-second touchdown pass Monday should not have been overturned — but acknowledged Seahawks receiver Golden Tate should have been called for offensive pass interference before the catch for a 14-12 victory.
The ire around football at the struggles of the replacements had been steadily building this season, and it reached an apex Monday with what everybody had feared would happen: a highly questionable call deciding a game.
On the final play of "Monday Night Football," Russell Wilson heaved a 24-yard pass into a scrum in the end zone with Seattle trailing 12-7. Tate shoved away a defender with both hands, and the NFL acknowledged Tuesday he should have been penalized, which would have clinched a Packers victory. But that cannot be reviewed by instant replay.
Tate and Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings then both got their hands on the ball, though the Packers insisted Jennings had clear possession for a game-ending interception.
"It was pinned to my chest the whole time," Jennings said.
Instead, the officials ruled on the field that the two had simultaneous possession, which counts as a reception. Once that happened, the NFL said, the referee was correct that no indisputable visual evidence existed on review to overturn the touchdown call.
"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 league said in a statement.
Saying there was no indisputable evidence, though, is not the same as confirming the initial call was correct. When the players came down with the ball, television showed one official standing over the pile ruling touchdown, while another next to him did not signal a score.
On his weekly appearance on Seattle radio station 710 KIRO-AM, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made no apologies Tuesday, saying, "The league backed it up and game over, we win."
"Golden makes an extraordinary effort. It's a great protection; it's a great throw. It's a great attempt at the ball and he wins the battle," he said. "They were right on the point looking right at it, standing right over the thing and they reviewed it. Whether they missed the push or not — obviously they missed the push in the battle for the ball — but that stuff goes on all the time."
The NFL locked out the officials in June after their contract expired. Unable to reach a new collective bargaining agreement, the league opened the season with replacements, most with experience only in lower levels of college football.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas oddsmakers say $300 million or more changed hands worldwide on a controversial referee call that decided the Monday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks.
Sports book chief Jay Kornegay said Tuesday that bettors at The LVH casino registered shock, some celebration, then anger when the outcome swung the game in favor of Seahawks bettors.
"We've seen regular refs blow calls. That's always been part of the sport," Kornegay said. "But this one was just a blatant bad call at the end of the game that decided the outcome of the game."
The Seahawks won 14-12 after referees ruled that Seattle receiver Golden Tate came down with the ball in a pile of bodies in the end zone after a Hail Mary pass on the play's last game.
The Glantz-Culver line for the game opened favoring the Packers by 4½. Had the final play been ruled an interception — as many players, analysts and fans believed was the right call — Green Bay would have won by 5 points.
The officials ruled on the field that Tate had simultaneous possession with Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings, which counts as a reception. The NFL upheld the call on Tuesday.
Gambling expert RJ Bell of Las Vegas-based Pregame.com said an estimated two-thirds of bets worldwide were on the Packers, with about $150 million more bet on Green Bay than Seattle.
"Due to one call by the replacement refs, the bettors lost $150 million, and the bookie won $150 million for a total swing of $300 million on one debatably bad call," Bell said.
Mike Colbert, head oddsmaker for Cantor Gaming, which runs seven sports books in Las Vegas and provides betting lines to 90 percent of Nevada's casinos, said Cantor's books took in about 20 percent more money in bets than usual for a Monday night game after a wild weekend.
Colbert said that as an NFL fan, he felt for bettors who lost because of the play even though his sports books won money.
"When everything when down, I gotta tell you, I was absolutely sick to my stomach," Colbert said.
Casinos had already begun to react to replacement officials before Week 3 began, predicting the most scoring ever across the league.
Now, adjustments for replacement referees that were only talked about previously are being factored into betting lines, Colbert said.
"We've seen it now," Colbert said. "If we do see trends and we see bets, we'll move more aggressively than we did in the past."
Obama spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One that the president, an avid sports fan, watched the game and "thinks there was a real problem with that call." Green Bay is in politically important Wisconsin, adding significance to Obama's stance.
The Seahawks won 14-12 after referees ruled a Seattle receiver caught the ball amid a pile of bodies in the end zone in the game's last play. The NFL conceded the bad call Tuesday, but upheld the Seattle victory.
Carney called the play "very distressing for every American football fan."
Posted By: Robert C. Rettke On: 9/25/2012
Title: What replay were they watching?
I didn't really care who won the game and I don't see how anyone without a bias could not see that the Green Bay player had the ball in both hands and clutched it to his chest while the Seattle player had only one hand on it. You can see his other hand free. If that's the NFL's idea of a legitimate call on review then what's the point of instant replay if they can't see what's in front of their eyes? Refs are only human but this goes way beyond a simple mistake.