The ruling made by replacement and replay officials of a simultaneous catch in the end zone by wide receiver Golden Tate in Monday’s Green Bay Packers loss to the Seattle Seahawks will have a far-reaching impact that will extend beyond the borders of Wisconsin and Washington.
The national media is already in a frenzy. Take a moment to soak in the coverage on the cable television networks, sports talk radio and any of a million websites and blogs, and the discussion is about last night’s blown call.
Reversing the outcome of the game was never a realistic option. That would open up a can of worms the likes of which the NFL could never handle.
Most fans, however, would love to hear that the NFL has come to an agreement with the official’s union in time for Week 4. That would at least show the NFL is taking the integrity and respectability of its game seriously.
For those who bleed green and gold, from the fans to the owners to the players to the coaches to the front office, the fallout from Monday’s officiating blunder will be acutely felt in Green Bay and at 1265 Lombardi Ave.
As much as the changing of the autumn leaves, last night’s call in the end zone will color the rest of the season and how it plays out.
Instead of being 2-1, having a winning record and feeling good about their standing in the NFC North and the rest of the conference, the Packers are now 1-2 and will have to dig themselves out of a hole.
Consider that Monday’s ruling that robbed safety M.D. Jennings of an interception and the Packers of a win could be the difference between having home-field advantage throughout the playoffs or having to play on the road in the NFC championship game.
It could be the difference between having a bye to the divisional round of the playoffs and having to play in the wild card round.
It could be the difference between being the division champion and hosting a game at Lambeau Field versus have to travel to a hostile environment in the first round.
Indeed, it could be the difference between qualifying for the playoffs or watching the postseason from the couch.
There’s only course of action open to the Packers, and that’s to use Monday’s “Fail Mary” as motivation for the rest of the season.
How the team responds to adversity will tell the tale of the 2012 Green Bay Packers.