We aren't talking about Russell Wilson playing well as a rookie. We aren't talking about the defensive efforts of both teams. We aren't talking about anything but that call. The worst possible scenario for this labor dispute has just unfolded - a game's outcome has been determined by the zebras.
A reading from the NFL Rulebook.
Forget the wrong pass interference call against Sam Shields instead of Sidney Rice in the same game. Forget the terrible calls in the Patriots-Ravens game (not the field goal). Forget Week 2 for a brief second. This is the Tipping Point. A clear sign of ineptitude and chaos. Grantland's Charles Pierce called it "dishonest vaudeville" in his Monday column and I can imagine what he'd say after this.
The worst part is that the NFL and the owners created this dilemma. Roger Goodell and the 31 NFL owners (Packers are owned by the city of Green Bay) should be ashamed to let this charade continue. All in the name of money. And they don't care because people enjoy trainwrecks, no matter how bloody, tragic or farcical it is. Ratings are up and they'll keep stonewalling because any attention is good right?
Multiple NFL players telling me tonight that blown call won't bring back regular refs, as owners don't care about one game's outcome
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) September 25, 2012
Sportscenter went in on this in brilliant fashion. Hats off to Linda Cohn, an emotional Scott Van Pelt, Stuart Scott, Trent Dilfer and Steve Young for leading the charge in shaming the NFL. ESPN is a business partner with the NFL so it's HUGE that they didn't make excuses.
Retired players and the Green Bay Packers team voiced their frustration on Twitter. The chorus continues to grow louder. And for the 2nd week in a row, I'm realizing the NFL and their owners are no different than the NHL or NBA. Preach defending their brand but won't reward the folks who make their engine run or pockets fatter.
In short, the NFL is disgracing their brand. The very thing that Roger Goodell wanted to protect from troublesome players is being corrupted worse by bad owners.
Some non-MNF related tidbits
God bless Torrey Smith for playing after finding out his brother was killed. Even more respect after he played very well (2 TD's, 100+ yards) These next days, weeks and who knows how long won't be easy and I pray for his families (personal and football) to be with him.
Joe Flacco, you may not be elite, but you are a Top 10 quarterback. You've proven yourself beyond winning playoff games. You've earned my respect.
Shout out to Tennessee and Detroit re-enacting Tecmo Bowl in the 4th quarter. Final numbers? 85 points scored in the game. The Titans scored on 5 plays of 60 yards or more. Detroit scored twice in 18 seconds to force OT. Chris Johnson only had 24 yards. And Detroit's reputation as a lights out defense is in shambles.
Jamaal Charles. 233 rushing yards. A reminder that he's back after ACL surgery. One of the most underrated backs in the league.
The 0-3 Saints are in trouble, y'all. And they gotta face an angry Packers team Sunday. Real talk, they miss Gregg Williams more than Sean Payton.
My Cowboys looked like dog crap in victory. Where was the offense? How did Tampa Bay make them look so lost??
Worse, how did my Chargers not score a touchdown? The last time they had a game like that I was a freshman in college. November 2002. Atlanta's D is that good but that was ugly.
One final note. This Thursday, Cleveland heads to Baltimore. There's already tension between the teams as the Ravens are the former Browns. Art Modell's recent death has reopened old wounds in Cleveland. God help the NFL if the replacement refs make a similar mistake.
One final image from Monday. Says a lot.
(As expected, the NFL announced Tuesday that they would uphold the TD despite admitting that Golden Tate should've been called for pass interference.)