(SEATTLE) — Football fans have had enough and are demanding that the NFL bring back its regular referees, who were locked out before the season started because of a contract dispute.
The last straw may have come Monday night on what was technically the second-to-last-play of the Seattle Seahawks-Green Bay Packers game when the much maligned replacement referees allegedly blew the call in the end zone.
With Seattle down 12-7 and almost no ticks left on the clock in the fourth quarter, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson heaved a Hail Mary pass as receiver Golden Tate was surrounded by a mob of Packers.
As the ball came down, Green Bay’s M.D. Jennings jumped up and grabbed the interception. Or so everyone thought.
Tate fell down with Jennings, grasping for the ball that the Green Bay safety had cradled in his arms.
The refs ran over and ruled a completion for Seattle, giving them a 13-12 lead. After 10 minutes, in which a replay inexplicably vouched for the refs’ bizarre call, enough Packers returned to the field so that the Seahawks could kick the extra point, sending the hometown fans home happy but angering just about everyone else.
After three weeks, the consensus is nearly unanimous that the replacement referees have done a terrible job and the NFL needs to negotiate in good faith with regular crews to get them back on the field for the next full slate of games this Sunday.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
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Max Blau, Steve Almasy and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN
Heather Kelly, CNN
Rafael Romo and Emanuella Grinberg, CNN