Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate and replacement referee Lance Easley have something in common: Both have been dealing with fallout from the call that gave the Seahawks a controversial victory over the Green Bay Packers on Monday night.
You know the game: the one in which Easley ruled that Tate had come up with a touchdown pass, that M.D. Jennings had not intercepted the ball, that Tate had not pushed off. The result was a victory that created a crisis for the NFL and spurred talks with the locked-out referees into warp speed.
“A lot of people would just like for me to come out and say, ‘I did not catch that ball,’ ” Tate told the Seattle Times on Wednesday.
At least admitted that he did commit offensive pass interference, as the NFL ruled Tuesday.
“The evidence shows on the film. But I never had intentions on cheating. I wasn’t trying to cheat. I was competing. It was in the moment,” he said, after maintaining he was as innocent as a naif Monday night. “Things are happening so quick. I honestly didn’t even notice I did. I didn’t try to hurt him or push him down to the ground, but it happened. It was just a reaction kind of thing. …
“As far as pushing the defender, I was caught up in the moment, playing football. At that point, it was just like backyard football — find a way to get the ball. I didn’t intentionally try to shove him to the ground.”
Easley told TMZ that the he believes the touchdown call was correct and that “I didn’t do anything wrong.” Easley maintains that Jennings and Tate had simultaneous possession of the ball. “Put any other official who knows the rules and they would make the same call.”
Both men have taken their share of verbal abuse since the game ended. Easley called himself a “sacrificial lamb.” Tate said he’s had a lot of “bleep” words directed at him.
“There’s been moments it’s been tough, but when you have family in the locker room and in this building, it makes it a little easier,” he said. “It hasn’t been too bad. My feelings have been hurt a little on Twitter, but whatever.”