When I first saw Golden Tate catch the game winning touchdown against the Green Bay Packers last night I must admit I had my homer glasses on. I thought there was a legitimate case for a simultaneous catch and the refs made the right call. My mind couldn't be swayed from my opinion until I was sure the call wouldn't be reversed. After the game became final I took a look at the play more objectively.
The call was sketchy at best. It was a very "liberal" interpretation of the rule, but it wasn't even close to the worst call of the game. Sidney Rice was clearly guilty of pass interference a few plays earlier on the drive and Golden Tate shoved James Shields out of the way with two hands before ever going for the ball. The fact the refs missed those two blatant penalties says a lot more about the competency of their performance than the catch at the end of the game.
Football fans were hoping the dispute between the owners and the NFLRA would be resolved before something like this happened. No one ever expected playoff opportunities and player safety to be compromised to this level. If the Packers miss the playoffs and the Seahawks get a wild card berth everyone will turn to this controversial play as the reason. Never mind the fact there are 13 games left in the season and the Seahawks held Green Bay (the 2nd highest scoring offense in NFL history) to a touchdown, that play is all people will remember.
The Golden Tate touchdown may be the catalyst that gets negotiations moving in a positive direction. No one wants to see the integrity of the game questioned to this extent. Players work too hard and the fans deserve better than having their hearts ripped out by some zebra out of position. Of course Sam Rothstein would say Monday's game was the watershed moment in this whole situation. Approximately $200,000,000 in wagers were affected on that one play. If Vegas can't trust your product enough to bet on there's a good chance the problem will get fixed.