The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Seahawks-Packers game ends with more NFL refs controversy

I had some Redskins topics I wanted to broach this morning, some things that were discussed in yesterday’s comments.

Then Monday night happened.

If you slept through it — and for a game that was mostly a snoozer, in Seattle, against Green Bay, I wouldn’t have blamed you — you missed one of the all-time epic finishes in NFL history. No exaggeration.

Last-second passes thrown into the end zone get caught from time to time — Detroit’s Titus Young hauled in a game-tying Hail Mary on Sunday. This, though, was a play where the catch — or non-catch — was just the start of it.

The officials, apparently the same crew that worked Redskins-Rams last weekend, gave conflicting indications as to whether it was a touchdown or interception. In the moment, it was a thrill, no matter which way it went. The officials came over, took their time to look at it — and made opposite rulings. The one that favored Seattle eventually stood.

I’m going to assume here that you know how to operate whatever computer you’re on, and that if you haven’t seen the final play, you’re able to watch it. Here’s a link to a photo gallery of the Seahawks-Packers game-ending play.

But this is a Redskins blog, you say. You didn’t come here for all that 12th Man/Cheesehead jazz. Understood. Yet last night affected everybody. People kept saying replacement officials were going to cost somebody a game. And now they have (though the Packers allowing eight first-half sacks of Aaron Rodgers also had something to do with them losing). Though it hasn’t cost the Redskins in such an obvious way, there have been issues. At some point, it might.

Given the episode with Kyle Shanahan and the 20-yard markoff of a 15-yard penalty at the end of the Redskins’ game, and issues that cropped up for the Broncos and Patriots, this is league-wide, and far beyond people being hard on the new refs. It’s now undermining the play on the field … although somehow it’s not undermining the NFL’s entertainment value.

Feel free to complain about Jim Haslett’s poorly timed blitz calls, or Raheem Morris’s pass coverage unit in the comments. Robert Griffin is taking a lot of hits, we know. For a day, there’s someone out there taking a worse beating than the Redskins’ secondary, and it seems like it’s worth talking about.

Bashing replacement refs for doing a replacement-level job seems silly. It clear they’re not as good as the regular guys, and maybe never were going to be. They’re out there trying, and being made examples of. Doesn’t look so easy anymore, does it?

Points have been proven. How soon do you think the NFL and the referees’ association can strike a deal? Do you think NFL owners care? Was that the low point for the NFL and the replacements, or can it get worse? Have you ever seen a finish like that before?

Floor’s yours.