All season, NFL fans have wondered what effect the blunder at the end of the Green Bay Packers vs Seattle Seahawks game would have on the playoffs, as well as going forward in future seasons. Until now, that answer has remained a mystery. For those of you who do not know or remember, the end of the game was marred by a serious controversy, that was so erroneous and widely broadcast that it resulted in the NFL complying to the referee union’s terms to bring them back. The Packers intercepted a last second pass in the end zone, but wide receiver Golden Tate put his hand on the ball as MD Jennings was coming down, and the referees ruled it as a touchdown. After review, they upheld the touchdown and the referees’ fates were sealed. As a result of the Packers losing in Minnesota this past weekend, Green Bay lost its first round bye and now has to play the Vikings again in a quick turnaround on Saturday night. Had that call been correct in Seattle, the Packers would have locked up that bye in week 16, and would comfortably be watching the San Francisco 49ers battle against the Vikings and potential MVP Adrian Peterson.
As it stands, Green Bay still had an opportunity to keep the bye heading into the playoffs. Whether or not they lost in Seattle did not effect their ability to control their destiny, something most teams only hope for at the end of the regular season. With that said, however, the Packers still got jobbed and now suffer the consequences of the replacement referees and the lockout that may have had playoff implications for other teams as well. Hopefully this blunder can serve as an example for the future of how important it is to have professional referees in the biggest money making professional sport in the United States, and hopefully more NFL teams like the Packers will not have to suffer for it again.