Sports Opinion & Analysis

Sacrificial Lamb

In NFL on September 28, 2012 at 11:41 am

After finally winning the labor stalemate, the real NFL refs were greeted with a standing ovation upon their Thursday night return. Now everything is back to normal, and all is well again in the land of American professional football.

Or is it?

Why Roger Goodell wouldn’t come out and directly say the game winning/losing touchdown from Monday night was blown, the league did come out and admit that Seattle Seahawks receiver Golden Tate did push off on the play. Even Tate admitted it. This means Tate should have been called for offensive pass interference, which would have consequently ended the game and given Green Bay the victory.

Now the second biggest controversy in the history of MNF.

Since then, Goodell has brought back the real refs and issued a letter of apology to fans for the replacement officials. When the integrity of the game was seriously brought into question, and owners knew they couldn’t get away anymore with cheaply stiff-arming the real officials in their labor dispute, and made Goodell do the right thing.

Mostly.

I say mostly, because they forgot atonement for the Green Bay Packers.

The Packers 2012 season.

Let’s be perfectly straight forward here; the Packers were robbed of Monday night’s victory by a bunch of unqualified officials who were employed by a league that demonstrated clear disregard for the game simply by hiring them. The mistakes made weren’t just those of Lance Easley and the rest of the replacement officiating crew, but of the commissioner, the owners, and the league, by entrusting the replacements with duties they were grossly unqualified for.

And if it wasn’t for Monday night’s outcome, the league would most likely still have replacement officials indefinitely scheduled to call games. We might have been given more legitimate fodder for Saturday Night Live and (Warning: Extremely Offensive) South Park parodies. But we’re not, and now amends need to be made. Now, as logistically difficult as it will be, the league needs to make right on their biggest failure.

They need give Green Bay their rightful win.

Be clear, I am not a Green Bay Packers fan. I have nothing against the Seattle Seahawks (except maybe their uniforms). I understand the difficulties included by changing the game’s final outcome after the fact.

But for a league with a season only sixteen games long, a single loss could be the difference between a Super Bowl and watching the game on television. If Seattle were to make the playoffs, and Green Bay sent home early, the Seahawks would not rightfully deserve their place in postseason play. The season would truly need an asterisk by it in the record books.

Furthermore, Roger Goodell reverses plays and penalties all the time. If he and the rest of the owners are truly interested in saving face this tainted season, there is still one more thing they need to do. There is still one more wrong from the whole replacement-era that needs to be fixed. The owners need to stand together for a team that does not have one, but many.

They need to do right.

Green Bay over Seattle (12-7).

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