MADISON, Wis. - Green Bay Packers fans are reacting after the NFL upheld the Seahawks' disputed 14-12 win over the Packers on Monday Night Football.
The league said in a statement Tuesday that Seattle's last-second touchdown pass should not have been overturned.
The NFL said Seahawks receiver Golden Tate should have been called for offensive pass interference before the catch, which would have clinched a Packers victory, but that cannot be reviewed by instant replay.
The replacement officials ruled on the field that Tate had simultaneous possession with Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings, which counts as a reception. The NFL said that once that happened, the referee was correct that no indisputable visual evidence existed on review to overturn the touchdown call.
On the final play, Russell Wilson heaved a 24-yard pass into a scrum in the end zone. Tate and Jennings both got their hands on the ball, though the Packers insisted Jennings had clear possession for a game-ending interception.
Packers fans said something needs to change before the NFL's week four.
"I've been officiating for about 42 years now," said Dick Arndt, who has been donning the official's uniform for decades and knows exactly how it feels to be the one making the call.
"The back judge was in the proper position, but I thought the line judge was a little slow in getting to the goal line," said Arndt.
The veteran high school referee is among the many football followers who are dissecting Monday night's questionable result.
"I thought the official blew the call," said Arndt, who said the last-second pass from Wilson was an interception in his estimation.
Meanwhile, those in law enforcement said making split-second calls is never an easy task.
"It's disappointing," said Madison police officer Jerry Briesath. "I feel for the refs. They're good people doing the best job that they can. But they're people who are doing the job at a level that they're probably not trained for and don't have the experience for."
Employees at Emerich Vision Care in Fitchburg recommended that the replacement refs get eye exams.
"We would love to help them get their eye exams," said Emerich employee Tara Giannunzio. "That way we know that their calls, they're making the appropriate call. We saw (M.D.) Jennings have both hands on that football."
Reaction from local referees ran the gamut Monday. Some refused to comment on a fellow referee's call, while others raised concerns about what may happen if a bad call results in a serious injury on the field.