By far the top sports story yesterday was the crazy ending to the Green Bay Packers / Seattle Seahawks game on Monday Night Football. In fact it was probably the top news story overall. If you haven’t already seen the footage a hundred times here is what happened. Late in the 4th quarter the Seahawks are down 12-7. We all knew what was coming; the Hail Mary. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson tossed it up and from there the chaos began. It appeared that packer safety M.D. Jennings rose above everyone else and scooped up the pass for an interception. However Seahawks receiver Golden Tate got his hands on the ball on the way down. It was ruled a simultaneous possession and therefore a touchdown. Stunningly bad call.
It seems that New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney has seen enough. Sweeney, a Packer fan, plans to introduce legislation that will ban replacement officials from being used in professional sporting events in New Jersey. He stated, “This past weekend in the NFL has not only made a mockery of a great sport, but shined a very bright light on how important fully trained and professional officiating is to player safety,” said Sweeney. “We wouldn’t allow a factory or construction site to operate without fully trained supervisors on hand to ensure the safety of employees. Why should we do anything differently when the job site is a playing field?”
The question is with all the troubles facing the residents of New Jersey should Senator Sweeney be using his time to put this legislation together? Last I looked unemployment is up, taxes are high, gas and tolls expensive and people are scared. Sure, something needs to be done. This is very embarrassing for the National Football League. However the NFL is a business and will have to settle this on their own. This is not a political issue.
The bigger question is who is really to blame. Sure there are awful calls but did the replacement refs have enough training? I bet not. The debacle that was Monday Night Football this week will hopefully light a fire under some people to come to the table and resolve the conflict quickly.
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