Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Replacement Referees' Incredible Work

Wow, what an amazing ending to the game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers, 14-12 with Seahawks' receiver #21 Golden Tate being awarded a touchdown after getting his hands on a ball also being held by Green Pay Packers' defender #43 M.D. Jennings on a last-second Hail Mary throw by Russell Wilson for a 24 yard TD.

What was going on with the replacement referees and the replay official?  Aaron Rodgers said it was surprising that the replay official did not overturn the call, but maybe that type of issue is not reviewable.

A few initial thoughts:
  • Jennings got both hands on the ball first.  Tate only had one hand near the ball and later moved his other hand onto the ball.  Although Jennings was still in the air and had not yet landed, he had both hands on the ball first.
  • When they landed, Jennings had the ball in his chest and Tate's head was lying underneath Jennings's head.  Tate had to try to position his hands around Jennings's side to get to the ball that Jennings was clutching.
  • How much was the key referee influenced by the home crowd?  It might have been an unconscious influence in the excitement of the situation.
  • What happened with one referee seeming ready to signal an interception before the other referee signaled a touchdown and did they have a chance to talk to each other about what they saw?
  • Of course, Tate pushed off Packers defender #32 Sam Shields before leaping up for the pass.
The NFL gag rule looks even more ridiculous after a call like this.  The coaches and players are gagged from saying anything negative about the referees --  even on a controversial call like this one that decides the game.

Some of the games seem influenced by poor refereeing in the sense that it introduces a major factor of randomness to the games.  Sometimes, it does not seem like they are favoring one team much more than the other -- but by introducing inconsistent calls and questionable rulings, the better team is less likely to win and random noise affects the games.

If the NFL continues to lock out the real referees, it would be a poor move that appears especially greedy.  I predict that the NFL owners will continue to lock out the real referees even though they will look extremely greedy and obsessed with taking away pensions.

If the lockout ends, look at the teams that had less home games at the time the lockout ends.  Those teams will suffer from the lockout more than the others if you believe that the replacement referees generally have been favoring home teams.


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