Sep 24, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll celebrates at the end of the game against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the Packers 14-12. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Gut Reaction: Seattle vs. Green Bay

This was a tough one. No matter how the game ended, I wasn’t going to feel very good about it.  There were multiple times in the third quarter that I nearly turned my television off due to horrible officiating.  Normally, I write this post right after the game, but I was about to blow a blood vessel so I had to marinate in my thoughts for a while.

My Facebook wall exploded with garbage from fans of various other teams to the point that I actually closed my wall to comments for the first time ever.  This is the type of game that even Seattle fans can’t feel wholly okay with. Seahawk fans were just as disappointed in the officiating as anyone else – nobody wants a win to be questioned.  That being said, it is important to remember a few things.

First, the Seattle Seahawks owe an apology to no one.  If anybody thinks that any other team would have tried to give the win away after the game ended they are lying.  Green Bay would not have done anything differently nor would any other team.  Also, in no way are the referees or the calls they made the fault of any player, coach, or personnel of the Seahawks.  Twitter comments and plenty of talking heads spouted off either implicitly or explicitly attacking individual players as if they did something wrong.  Rick Reilly went so far as to call Golden Tate a flat out cheater.  Luckily, a friend reminded me that “they should have sent a search party up Rick Reilly’s ass years ago, because he disappeared up there about a decade back.”  According to Reilly’s perverse logic, every player that ever committed a foul of any kind and didn’t get called for it is a “cheater.”  And the worst part is, Trent Dilfer and Steve Young just looked at the ever-moronic Stuart Scott, who had just commented on how Tate learned how to lie well while at Notre Dame, like that was a totally acceptable thing to say.

Where I come from, being called a cheater is a big deal and goes straight to the integrity of a person. In no way did the Seahawks cheat. Neither did the Ravens in kicking their field goal Sunday night, and neither did Jim Harbaugh when he challenged a play using a timeout that San Francisco didn’t have.

I also cannot help but become completely indignant and take a defensive posture after all the comments.  If this had been flipped and Seattle got screwed and Green Bay won, I have no doubt that Seattle would essentially be told to “shut up and take it.”  Much of the country seems to think that we should simply be grateful for being allowed to have a professional team at all.  In Seattle sports history, the Seahawks had an NFL referee apologize to them for making horrible calls against them in the Super Bowl.  There was also the Vinny Testaverde helmet touchdown that kept Seattle from the playoffs in 1998.  While we’re at it, let’s also mention game 7 of the 1993 western conference finals where the Sonics got straight screwed by Dick Bavetta, Ed Rush, and Mike Mathes.  Seattle has had more than its fair share of heartbreak due to horrible officiating.

I only bring up that history because of how personal and antagonistic many people became against Seahawks players and fans in general after Monday’s game.  Last I checked, the refs didn’t allow Aaron Rodgers to be sacked eight times in the first half.  That was TJ Lang and the rest of Green Bay’s offensive line who had no lack for excuses after the game.  There were also the terrible pass-interference calls against Richard Sherman that, at a minimum, helped Green Bay get their only touchdown.  I really don’t want to be defensive and indignant over this, but I’m proud of my city and my sports teams and feel that some lines have been crossed.

You don’t get the results of a study or survey by simply counting the final answer given, you look at the whole set of data.  So, as tempting as it is, we can’t look at just the last call of the game.  It sucks because maybe teams can recover from bad calls made earlier, but sometimes bad calls can also accumulate and can become insurmountable.  The final call last night, unfortunately, came literally at the end of the game but it was far from the only bad call in the game.

I understand that people feel cheated.  Hell, I feel cheated. I don’t want to have this win hang over my team’s head for the rest of the season like an NFL-owners-greed-created sword of Damocles, but I know that it will.  Seattle must now prove itself even more than it already had to in order to get an ounce of credit. And heaven forbid they make the playoffs by one win.

Everyone gushed when pseudo-intellectual Steve Young commented last week that the NFL resided on an inelastic demand curve. The NFL faces no close substitutes for consumers and will be highly demanded no matter what happens.  Therefore the refs’ union should be “busted” as Young put it (a comment I believe inspired by Young’s conservative political beliefs and begs the question of Steve Young’s thoughts on the NFLPA, a union which he was a part of and benefited from).  A humble man would have eaten those words after week three’s games, but I’m pretty sure Young is still suffering from brain trauma and is incapable of humility.  Even if we stipulate that demand for the NFL is inelastic (which is debatable), integrity is a scarce resource and one that the NFL is consuming rapidly at this point.

If people don’t believe that games are being won by the best teams in a fairly officiated contest, they will realize they do have substitutions for the NFL – for example, doing anything else but sit inside in front of the TV every Sunday.  It turns out that having a competent, professional officiating crew is integral to maintaining integrity and fan-bases, and consequently an inelastic demand curve for the NFL’s product.  Steve Young was very upset that the shield was getting tarnished and yes it is, but the solution is simple.  Bring back the refs.

Jerry Jones might think the current situation is fine, but we all know it isn’t. Fans, players, coaches, and even, I’m sure, many owners.  So instead of forcing Seattle fans to defend their city and team, I suggest that pundits (just about everyone at ESPN), idiots (Stephen A. Smith, Rick Reilly et al.), Twits, and frustrated fans from all cities direct their anger at frustration at the people causing the situation – Roger Goodell and the owners – instead of the easy, and incorrect, targets – the team you happen to playing that week.

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Tags: NFL Rick Reilly Roger Goodell Seattle Seahawks Stephen A. Smith Steve Young TJ Lang

  • JP

    Very well said. The Seahawks have often been on the short end of the officiating stick (and that was with the regular refs) — and all we heard then was “shut up and stop whining”. Well, frankly, that is what we should say to everyone else.

    • ricefield

      Bravo JP. Green Bay had their share of favorable calls/non calls. I watched the Ravens/Patriots game and watch Ray Lewis mug Gronk on the plays that were highlighted on the Patriots 4th quarter. No calls. Who knows how many times Lewis tackled Gronk on pass plays. It seems like the teams that played the toughest were winning. By playing tough I mean getting away with as much as you can. Nothing wrong with that.

  • Snackboy

    Hopefully, the vitriol against the ‘Hawks will subside… I believe it’s mostly due to Carroll’s enthusiasm and Tate’s pride in his effort. People need to be mad at someone… how about the team that won?

  • KS49

    It was a gift Seahawks fans, enjoy it. You certainly dont need to apologize, but have some perspective. Golden Tate was guilty of offensive pass interference when he pushed off Sam Sheilds as MD Jennings was coming down with the ball in the end zone. It’s not the Seahawks fault or the Packers fault the refs blew the call or that the NFL has stood by a call they even know was wrong. What bothered me though was the actions of your head coach Pete Carroll and Golden Tate after the game and some of the smack they put out afterward and since. Pete Carroll, Golden Tate and the Seahawks need to take three things into perspective 1) It was a gift, just say thank you and appreciate it and get off the field, act like professionals not children, 2) If you are going to talk smack, I hope you can back it up the rest of the season. Your 2-1 when you know you should be 1-2, and now your team will have a bullseye on them the rest of the season, and 3) If you are going to talk smack check your franchise stats while you are at it…Green Bay 4 Super Bowl Rings, Seattle 0 Super Bowl rings including Pete Carroll and Golden Tate…by the way I am not a Packers fan, but let’s just say I am a fan of one of your division rivals. By the way, they have 5 Super Bowl Rings and are favored to get their 6th very soon, maybe this year. We cannot wait to play you either…But don’t worry, most Seahawks and their fans know that thanks to CBS and FOX, you can always catch the playoffs on TV…Called Shot, Seahawks WILL finish 7-9…please put that on your bulletin board…My second favorate team is anyone playing the Seahawks…

    • Rhudey

      Why would you think anyone here cares what you think or who you cheer for? Do you think you’re punishing Hawks fans when you proudly broadcast you’re cheering for anyone playing them? Way to go guy, but so what? I really don’t understand the “talk smack” statement, please provide some examples of any Seahawks players “talking smack” about the call. As for the ring comment, wow, that’s always the fallback when you have nothing else, pretty lame actually. What’s really funny is that you took the time to troll on a Seahawks site, you know, the team you hate so much. I suggest growing up and getting a life.

    • Hanley H. Bonynge

      Your three “points” were all repeats of the same unfounded “smack talk” argument. (I’d love to see the evidence of this.) The “ring” argument is garbage. It has no relevance in the current season. Maybe you should “shut up and say thank you” for the rings your team got over 25 years ago. Or maybe a thank you for the free timeouts and challenges the 49ers received in their game this week. This also isn’t the first bad call that effected the outcome of a game of any sort. Come back when you actually get a sixth ring, instead of just being “favored” for another soon.

  • GoHawks1234

    this is so dumb, i can’t believe you want pete carroll to “apologize”. What do you want him to do KS go on national television and forfeit the win? are you insane? have you not been taking your meds. This is the NFL a win is a win even on a botched call, ask the steelers. Besides that they should have never scored that last TD, there were so many blown calls, specifically the 3rd & 5 where chancellor clearly waited for the ball to hit the WR before he hit him and jarred the ball loose. I don’t maybe you’re just still butt hurt from the loss against the vikings this last week. You guys got outplayed. Plain and simple. They worked around your defense and werent scared of you. Personally, i think that was the game that puts the 49ers in the tank. Your defense is not immovable. In fact they play so vanilla, a little trickery would go a long way.