GREEN BAY — Green Bay’s Mayor Jim Schmitt is taking Monday night’s Packers’ loss hard — and not just because he’s a big fan. Schmitt says the final play of the game, and the replacement refs call could have financial implications on the league’s smallest town.
“It’s early in the season, but if that call costs us a playoff game, that would be awful for this community because it’s millions of dollars,” Schmitt said.
Monday night’s controversial ending to the Packers-Seahawks game outraged players and fans alike.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw a pass into the end zone. Several players, including Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate and Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings, jumped into the air in an attempt to catch the ball.
While the ball is in the air, Tate can be seen shoving Green Bay cornerback Sam Shields to the ground. This should have been a penalty for offensive pass interference, which would have ended the game. It was not called and is not reviewable in instant replay.
When the players hit the ground in the end zone, the officials determined that both Tate and Jennings had possession of the ball. Under the rule for simultaneous catch, the ball belongs to Tate, the offensive player. The result of the play was a touchdown.
Replay Official Howard Slavin stopped the game for an instant replay review. The aspects of the play that were reviewable included if the ball hit the ground and who had possession of the ball. In the end zone, a ruling of a simultaneous catch is reviewable. That is not the case in the field of play, only in the end zone.
Referee Wayne Elliott determined that no indisputable visual evidence existed to overturn the call on the field, and as a result, the on-field ruling of touchdown stood.
Seattle beat Green Bay 14-12.
The NFL said Monday its decision is final.
With the two sides unable to come to contract terms, the NFL locked out its officials before the preseason began, and brought in replacement refs who have officiated for the first three weeks of the season.
There are four main points the two sides are discussing: pay, retirement plans, more officials and full-time status for some officials.
Wednesday, it appeared the two sides may be close to a deal.
The league’s next game is Thursday night between Cleveland and Baltimore. There are 13 games scheduled for Sunday and one on Monday.
CLICK HERE for additional Green Bay Packers coverage via FOX6Now.com.