Let me start off by saying I am a lifelong Packers fan. I am one of the 350,000+ shareholders of the only publicly owned team in the NFL. I was one of the victims of the Super Bowl seating debacle in Dallas two years ago. I was there when Favre laid down to hand over the sack record to Strahan. I have been at Lambeau Field for some amazing moments in Green Bay history. What happened last night makes me absolutely sick to my stomach above anything else that I have witnessed in all of my years as a Packers fan.
What really gives a team a home field advantage? Is it the familiarity with the playing conditions? The crowd noise? The weather? What I believe is the ultimate factor (and there are articles and facts backing up my theory) is that the referees feel the heat of the crowd and make calls favoring the home team. It was the perfect storm last night. Replacement officials, feeling even more scrutiny than the ordinary referee, officiating in arguably the most hostile environment in the NFL, during a nationally televised game. It was the perfect formula for disaster.
This was bound to happen. It’s unfortunate that it happened to my team in a game that they clearly dominated. As I sat watching the game, I was constantly messaging back and forth with friends commenting on how horrific the officiating was. To be fair, it was gong both ways, and up to the final play the Packers may have even been getting more calls. To cost the Packers the game on the final play though after they utterly dominated the Seahawks in the second half is a travesty. If this game comes back to cost the Packers a division or even a playoff spot, how is the NFL going to justify what happened?
Finally, what upsets me more than anything else is the lack of respect and honesty for the game. Perhaps what offended me the most was Golden Tate staring into the camera after the game was over claiming that he caught the ball. He egregiously committed a foul against Sam Shields, pushing him and knocking him out of the play. In the scuffle for the ball he clearly did not have possession. If he had stood up and said I did what I had to do to win the game, I would at least have somewhat respect for him for owning up to his actions. This is not just a problem in the NFL. This is a problem in American society. Where are the morals, honesty, and virtues? Where is the respect for one another? Football is a competition, I get it. Players do what they need to do to win. But at what cost are we now going to go to win? Everyone likes to win, but no one should enjoy winning that way. What happened last night was the most offensive and despicable event I have ever seen in sports.
Pete Carroll parading around like his team actually deserved to win the game was disturbing. I can live with the Owens touchdown catch from Young. I can live with the blown 4th and 26 against McNabb in the playoffs. I can live with the Elway dive in the Super Bowl. But I can’t stomach what happened last night. The Packers didn’t lose the game last night. The NFL stole it, and the only way to make it right is to give it back.