The Seattle Seahawks’ 14-12 win over the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football will forever be remembered for its controversial ending, with the replacement officials blowing several calls down the stretch. From a phantom defensive pass interference penalty on Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor that led to the Packers’ lone touchdown of the night, to an equally bad pass interference penalty on Packers cornerback Sam Shields, to a missed offensive pass interference penalty on Golden Tate, who had pushed Shields out of the way to haul in the “game-winning” touchdown. While everyone clamors for a deal to be struck that will end the NFL’s lockout of the real officials, last night also serves as a reminder that the regular officials, while better than the replacements, are not impervious to mistakes. For example, last night’s on-site officiating supervisor was none other than Phil Luckett, who botched the coin toss in overtime of a 1998 game between the Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers. Monday’s game might not even be the worst display of officiating in a game involving the Seahawks. On Dec. 6, 1998, New York Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde was stopped short of the goal line on a quarterback sneak, with only his helmet crossing the plane of the goal line. The referees ruled a touchdown on the field and there was no instant replay, let alone high-definition images from multiple angles that we’re accustomed to today to overturn the ruling. The decision cost the Seahawks a playoff berth, head coach Dennis Erickson lost his job, and in the following offseason, NFL owners voted 28-3 to institute instant replay. [ Related: Seattle-Green Bay controversy prompts massive change in payout, frustrates bettors ] And then there’s Super Bowl XL, where several controversial calls, including a fictional holding penalty on Sean Locklear in the fourth quarter, negated an opportunity for the Seahawks to take the lead over Detroit native Jerome Bettis and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Locked out referee Bill Leavy, who worked that Super Bowl, admitted that his crew made game-altering mistakes during the 2010 offseason.
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