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What they're saying about the Packers-Seahawks game

The Baltimore Sun

10:49 AM EDT, September 25, 2012

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A sampling from around the world of sports about the Green Bay Packers-Seattle Seahawks finish Monday night:

Joe Posnanski, Sports on Earth:

Well, it's clear now: The Gods hate the replacement refs. That probably was obvious enough before Monday night's catastrophe, before the Green Bay-Seattle finish that turned the NFL into a laughingstock once and for all.

The Greek Gods had already sent down Herculean labors for the replacement referees -- fumbles that did not look like fumbles, pass interference temptations, screaming players and coaches -- and these replacement referees essentially failed every test.

But Monday night's ending, well, if that doesn't end this farce, then it's clear that the people who run the NFL have simply decided that they don't owe the fans, the players or anyone else legitimacy.

To read more, click here.

Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports:

Sometime Tuesday afternoon, after an emergency session of some NFL owners subcommittee and a quick folding in front of a federal labor mediator, commissioner Roger Goodell should step in front of a podium, declare the lockout of the league's referees over and apologize to the coaches, players, fans and replacement officials for the last three weeks of football.

It's the owners who are locking out the refs and must sign off on a contract. And it is the owners who employ Goodell. But at some point, Goodell has to lead his bosses. That's the mark of a great commissioner, and make no mistake, Roger Goodell believes he is a great commissioner.

A great commissioner doesn't stand around and let his league continue on as a laughingstock.

To read more, click here.

John Clayton, ESPN:

A little less than 40 years ago, I was an 18-year-old high school student credentialed to cover the Pittsburgh Steelers for the St. Mary's Daily Press, a small paper in the middle of Pennsylvania.

The Pittsburgh Steelers made the playoffs, and I was witness to history. Franco Harris caught a deflected pass -- dubbed the "Immaculate Reception" by the late Steelers broadcaster Myron Cope -- and ran directly toward the auxiliary press box at Three Rivers Stadium where I was seated. Several members of the media stood up and cheered the game-winning touchdown pass over the Oakland Raiders. I turned to an NFL official standing behind me and asked for replay because I thought it was an illegal catch.

As Myron would say, "It was deja vu all over again" on Monday night as Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate caught what I call "The Immaculate Deflection." Tate was awarded a controversial touchdown on a Hail Mary pass from quarterback Russell Wilson, in which it looked as though Green Bay Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings intercepted the ball.

What I can't believe is that 40 years of technological development left the Packers in the same situation as the Raiders: hopeless and angry. I'll never forget the scene in the Packers' lockerroom when the offensive players saw the replay of Tate's touchdown. They shouted their anger and threw towels at the television sets. They felt as though they were robbed.

To read more, click here.

Vinnie Iyer, The Sporting News:

And you thought last Monday night was a strong case for the NFL to strongly consider ending the referees' lockout. It took three weeks and 48 games, but the Green Bay Packers became the first team to lose as a direct result of confusion between the replacement officials.

The inconsistency and indecision of the far less experienced crews came to a crescendo with the series of missed calls that allowed the Seattle Seahawks to steal a 14-12 home victory.

There were two chances for the officials to make the correct game-ending ruling, that Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings intercepted rookie quarterback Russell Wilson's last-gasp fourth-down passing attempt in the end zone.

Instead, two officials did conflicting gestures with their raised hands, and somehow gave Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate his second touchdown of the game on a ball that was clearly in the chest of Jennings.

To read more, click here.

Chris Burke, SI.com:

Who knows what was going through Roger Goodell's head on Monday night as he fiddled while the integrity of his league burned to the ground. There can be no more denying the undeniable: The presence of replacement officials has significantly impacted the NFL's product on the field.

Until this debacle between the Packers and Seahawks, the replacement officials were a nuisance, a punch line. They had not, aside from some randomly incorrect calls here and there, directly impacted a game's outcome.

And then Monday's final play happened.

To read more, click here.

Steve Kelley, Seattle Times:

How amazing was the Hail Mary that Russell Wilson threw to Golden Tate that gave the Seahawks the most unlikely win in their history?

It was so good it just might have ended the lockout, might have signaled the end of the replacement officials, might have finally brought sanity back to the NFL.

Because as great as this win was for Seattle, as deliciously improbable as it was, as dramatic as this Monday Night classic became, the final play was a huge embarrassment for the league.

And the controversy from this last play will linger for weeks.

This is what happens when amateurs are asked to call a professional game. This is the result of the deal with the devil the NFL made. This is what happens when the league is more concerned with winning a labor dispute than it is with maintaining the integrity of its product.

To read more, click here.

Tom Silverstein, Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal:

The play that the Green Bay Packers didn't make - or absolutely did, if you ask them - probably will have huge ramifications around the National Football League.

If the league wasn't motivated to review its decision to lock out its officials after the final play of the Packers' 14-12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, then it needs to do so soon for the sake of its fan base, who through social media Monday night lambasted the replacement officials for their interpretation of the game's final play.

But for the Packers, it was a devastating blow for a team that grinded through 59 minutes, 52 seconds of smash-mouth football on the way back from a 7-0 deficit and forced the Seahawks to go 24 yards for a game-winning touchdown on the final play of the game.

If the Packers miss the playoffs by a single game, they'll undoubtedly wonder whether their fate was decided at CenturyLink Stadium Monday night and whether it was their own doing or someone else's.

To read more, click here.