The Seattle Seahawks were victorious over the Green Bay Packers on Monday night, but the game could be the final straw in the controversy surrounding replacement referees.
Since June, replacement referees from the lower college level have been used to substitute the regular NFL refs in light of a labor dispute. Now, what started as a mere annoyance has fueled a mass controversy with one coach already fined, and another charged with placing his hands on a referee.
Packers Coach Mike McCarthy kept his cool, but that doesn't make him any less infuriated about Monday night's game against the Seahawks. With the Packers in the lead, a final pass was made by Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in the last minutes of the game. The controversial refs ruled the disputed pass as a touchdown, costing the Packers the game.
"Wilson scrambled from the pocket and threw to the corner of the end zone as the clock expired. Tate shoved Green Bay's Sam Shields out of the way, then wrestled with M.D. Jennings for possession," the Associated Press described. "It was ruled on the field as a touchdown, and after a lengthy review, referee Wayne Elliott came out from under the hood and announced 'the ruling on the field stands,' and CenturyLink Field erupted in celebration."
End of story? Not likely.
"I was told M.D. Jennings had the ball," McCarthy said in a careful tone to The Washington Post. "I've never seen anything like that in all my years in football."
The players, of course, have been less afraid to express their outrage.
"Got [expletive] by the refs.. Embarrassing. Thanks nfl," Packers player T.J. Lang said in one of many tweets. "Any player/coach in Seattle that really thinks they won that game," Lang tweeted, "has zero integrity as a man and should be embarrassed."
The NFL will address the controversial call on Tuesday morning, according to the NFL website.