The Seattle-Green Bay game moved as if it was played underwater. Players might be fast, but the pace was slow. Here comes a flag, and another flag, and another flag, and here's one more.
The game's final play was as an abomination. Seattle's non-touchdown gave it a 13-12 lead as time expired and a victory it did not earn.
Officials blew the call; they missed a blatant offensive pass interference on Seattle receiver Golden Tate and an interception by Green Bay's M.D. Jennings. Jennings caught Russell Wilson's desperation pass; Tate got his hands on it only after they landed. But Jennings still had the ball.
The blown call changed the outcome and the standings, and millions of fans who invest their emotion and their cash are questioning the integrity of the NFL.
The regular officials are locked out; the NFL won't let them work without a contract. The replacement officials were rushed in.They're new to the NFL. They had no training camp. They learn on the fly, every week, in front of thousands of fans and often condescending coaches and players.
The more mistakes they make, the more mistakes we expect them to make. Coaches scream at them, players don't respect them and announcers who never criticize the league are incessant in their criticism.
The refs were put in position to fail, just as replacement players would be, and they are.
The league needs to settle with the regular officials. And if that means acknowledging that the refs won and the league lost, so be it.
Until the real refs return, everybody loses. Even the better team -- as Monday night attests.