As bad as the controversy over the erroneous call in the Seattle Seahawks-Green Bay Packers was, NFL players have to continue to play, just as they do every week. There’s a game Thursday night, between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns, and a full slate on Sunday and Monday.
It may be just another work week, but replacement referees will be back on the field and the possibility of another debacle is always a possibility.
“Every player in this league worries about it,” New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck told ESPN New York. “I know players are on eggshells and the replacement referees are on eggshells because they know that everything that they say, whether it’s right or wrong, is going to be scrutinized. I look at it as a lose-lose situation.”
Tuck’s Giants went on to win the Super Bowl after posting 9-7 regular-season record and he knows just how razor-thin the line is between being a postseason team and hitting the golf course.
“And now, I am very curious to see how this is going to go because it has cost a team a win,” Tuck said at an appearance to launch his R.U.S.H. for Literacy charity initiative. “And if you look at the last two champions — Green Bay and ourselves — one win would have cost us a playoff berth. I honestly believe this is inexcusable.”
The NFL’s image is suffering, the integrity of games is taking a hit and fans aren’t getting their money’s worth.
“As a fan, you pay all this money and PSLs and honestly games are just being tossed up like … you were throwing dice on a craps table,” Tuck said.. “You play that [Green Bay-Seattle] play over 10 times, a regular bar-going fan would be able to tell you that was an interception and that definitely was not a touchdown.”
Tuck wasn’t surprised at the intensity of the reaction. Nor was he blaming the replacements — after all, for the foreseeable future, he is at their mercy. Someday, the regular refs will return and they’ll miss calls, too.
“You could kind of see the writing on the wall with that,” Tuck said of the fallout from Monday night. “When the referees come [back], they make mistakes too. At least you could kind of deal with their mistakes. Their mistakes were limited.”
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