Packers and Seahawks jump for the ball on the final-second Hail Mary pass… (Stephen Brashear / Associated…)
Who knew it would be only one day after New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes (@BrandonSpikes55) tweeted, "Can someone please tell these [expletive] zebras foot locker called and they're needed Back at work!!!! #BreakingPoint" that the breaking point for many players and fans alike would strike?
If you happened to miss the end of Monday night's game between the Packers and Seahawks, all you really need to know is that a 24-yard touchdown catch by Seahawks receiver Golden Tate on a last-second Hail Mary pass from rookie quarterback Russell Wilson wasn't a touchdown.
First, in plain view of an official, Tate shoved Packers cornerback Sam Shields in the back without drawing a call of offensive pass interference. Then, Packers safety M.D. Jennings intercepted the pass. Tate tried to wrestle the ball away from Jennings as they rolled around in the end zone, but it was clear that Jennings maintained possession from the catch all the way to the ground and that Tate never truly possessed the pigskin.
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One official paused, paused again and then called it a touchdown, while another signaled for the clock to stop -- the way an official would if it was an interception resulting in a touchback. After review, the touchdown call was confirmed and the Seahawks won the game.
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After the game, many Packers took to Twitter, just as Spikes had the night before, to vent their frustration with the replacement officials. Packers guards T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton went from protecting the quarterback, not so successfully in the first half, to protecting the integrity of the game, with profanity-laced tweets directed at league Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL.
Lang (@TJLang70), the Packers' left guard, was the most outspoken, tweeting, "Got [expletive] by the refs. Embarrassing. Thanks nfl."
He followed that with, "[Expletive] it NFL. Fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs."
Sitton (@jsitton71), the Packers' right guard, also let loose, tweeting, "This is getting ridiculous! The NFL needs to get the refs back bfr we strike and they make no money!"
Packers receiver Greg Jennings (@GregJennings) posted, "#NFL C'MON MAN! Can't even be upset anymore. All I can do is laugh. Laugh at the #NFL for allowing America's game to come to this. WOW!"
Some notable figures joined in on the pile-on of the replacement refs and tweeted their frustration.
[View the story "Interception tweets" on Storify]