I had a tough time deciding on a way to start this article. My first thought was tease the headline about it being the “one ref call that decided the game,” and then to spend the first 4-5 paragraphs talking about the phantom Pass Interference call that gave the Packers their only touchdown.
My second thought was to run through the litany of time the same thing has happened against the Seahawks, and how this is the first time that one of these calls has ever decided a game in the Seahawks favor. I mean, you only have to go back 1 year to the Cleveland game when a phantom block in the back call cost the Seahawks the win.
Ultimately though, this play doesn’t need that extra noise. It comes down to 2 things: Did Golden Tate make a great 1 handed catch in traffic? and can anyone honestly say he didn’t?
I can say, I’ve seen every view, every angle, and all slowed down to super slow-mo speed. I’ve also seen literally (and I actually mean literally, not figuratively) 100′s of still shots of the play, from every photographer that was at the game. There isn’t a single view in which you can see whether or not Tate made that 1 handed catch with his left hand.
There is only one person on Earth who was in a position to see what happened there, and that was the line judge, the one who signaled that it was a touchdown. The back judge couldn’t see it, he was looking through the backs of the players. No, there was only one person anywhere who had the right vantage point to see if Tate made the catch, and he signaled that it was a TD.
Now, for the record, I don’t believe he did. I think the Seahawks were given a gift here, but that’s just my opinion. As I said above, there isn’t any camera angle that definitely says one way or the other.
And that is the problem.
Ultimately we don’t know, but this isn’t the cut-and-dry obvious call that we’re being told it is.
There’s a reason why ESPN is refusing to show all the camera angles. There are ones that clearly show Tate getting his hand in there, making the refs ruling of a 1-handed catch possible. The reason, because controversy sells. Their TV ratings were up 20% today. Their website probably had over a million extra hits. They are playing up the “Packers got robbed” angle because it’s good for their bottom line.
And the sad thing is that so many sports fans are eating it up.
I also think that it is stupid that the entire sports world is focussing on this 1 play. Even if you believe that this one all was horribly wrong, was it any more wrong that the Kam Chancellor PI call? Or any of the six (SIX!) absolutely egregious holds that weren’t called on the Packers on their TD drive? Or any other of the 20 or so other absolutely horrible calls the refs made?
Would we still be focussing on that play had it happened the first time the Seahawks got down there and there was still 2+ minutes left on the clock? I honestly don’t think it would be the focal point that it has become. At that point in the game, the Packers would have gotten the ball back and had a chance to re-take the lead, but had the Seahawks stopped them the outcome would have been the same.
That one call isn’t any more important to the outcome of the game as any other call. It’s the focal point only because it was a last play of the game, and because ESPN is selling the controversy.
Well, It’s time for use to be better than that, and to be smarter than that.
There was 59 minutes and 59 seconds of very interesting football that is being ignored, and right now that ends.
This will be the final time I discuss this play. After this, if you’re looking for additional commentary on it, you’ll have to look elsewhere on the internet.