Sunday’s debacle ending in a 29-29 tie between our Green Bay Packers and the hated Minnesota Vikings is not just a reflection of our team’s shortcomings and vulnerabilities early in the 2018 season — problems it very well may overcome as the season progresses. It represents yet another wrongdoing perpetrated against the Packers and their fans by the NFL.
The series of horrible calls by Tony Corrente and his crew created an 11-18 point swing (as well as kill another drive with a horrible offensive pass interference call against Geronimo Allison). The calls coincided with a team playing beyond their capacity and finally starting to sputter in the wake of mounting injuries, inexperience and sweltering heat. In the wake of so many adverse circumstances, the Packers continued trading would-be touchdowns for field goals while their valiant, overperforming defense finally succumbed to 85-plus degree weather and sheer exhaustion ONLY because these calls were made.
In this way, this game should represent for Packers fans a perverse hybrid between the Fail Mary game and the dreaded collapse in the 2014 NFC Title Game. That was a game that smacked of the bad juju that this misfortune infected the Packers with. In that title game the Packers also traded too many touchdowns for field goals.
That the Clay Matthews’ roughing-the-passer call is comparable to the Fail Mary should not be disputed. While fouls such as these are regarded as “subjective” and not eligible for review, that every corner of sports punditry is questioning it is evidence enough that it cannot be seriously defended by any reasonable person.
Which of course is precisely why commissioner Rodger Goodell and his cronies have decided to defend it.
Again, though, it was not just this call. There was the dubious holding penalty on Lane Taylor whereby the referees stole a game-clinching touchdown because an opposing player fell down. The offensive pass interference call against Geronimo Allison on what should have been a 15-yard pass completion from the 8-yard line further prevented a struggling offense to find real momentum.
The Vikings were favored by most. The Packers had to contend with a sprained knee on their star quarterback. They had to contend with a young defense that is in a transitional period, both in absorbing Mike Pettine’s new scheme and personnel. In the most valiant fashion, that defense limited the Vikings to seven points through three quarters of “adversity football.” They could not fully overcome 85-plus degree weather. They could not fully overcome the groin injury of walking-wound cornerback Kevin King, but held on long enough. They could stop the Vikings with a game-clinching interception. But with the referees stepping on the scale so much, this exhausted unit could not do it twice. But they should not have had to.
In other words, Corrente, his crew, and now the NFL were the boulder that broke the camel’s back. It was this malfeasance that ultimately changed a heroic effort that was good enough to muster a hard-fought victory over a team that is currently more dynamic to a tie. It was this malfeasance perpetrated against the Packers that was the deciding factor. Yes, ultimately, in the very end, after officiating deprived the Packers of multiple scores, the team faltered on both sides of the ball. The Packers were only put in that position by way of a series of game-deciding calls from which points were directly taken off the board for the Packers and put on the board for the Vikings.
And if this game feels like a loss, it should. For the purposes of deciding which team will the division, the Packers still need to overcome a two-game deficit, unless they can win in Minnesota. Looking at the teams’ schedules, one can hope that one game will be picked up by Minnesota losing to Philadelphia and the Packers winning against Washington. In this team’s current state, one should not hold too much hope for the Saints beating the Vikings, as the Packers will also have their hands full with the Falcons at Lambeau Field. Otherwise, the Packers will need to beat either the Rams or Patriots away or hope the Vikings drop a game against the inferior competition in the division that is the Bears or Lions.
Maybe in the end this team is rebuilding, and we are legitimately in a transitional year where the Packers are not a truly a Super Bowl contender. On the other hand, perhaps this team could develop and grow stronger on both offense and defense as the year progresses and reclaim the Lombardi Trophy a year ahead of schedule. If that proves to be the case, the bogus, game-losing calls put our team at a great disadvantage to winning the division and thereby enjoying home field advantage during the playoffs.
For this reason, Packers fans and indeed football fans should be no less outraged about this than the Fail Mary. In some ways, we should be more outraged because Corrente and his crew are to be held to the standard of professional NFL referees. Corrente should stand right next to Lance Easley in the Eighth Circle of Hell, particularly if that tie is the difference between a division championship or a first-round bye.
This author encourages everyone to send the NFL a nasty letter if not outright hate mail, and if one can find Tony Corrente’s contact information, to him as well. Phone calls and emails are also encouraged, but only with great vitriol and bite.
NFL Office of Commissioner
345 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10154
In the end though, Packer fans — rendered so docile by beer brats and Wisconsin polka, and deluded by starry-eyed good nature that is a little too kind for our own good — are probably going to just sit and take this on this chin.
This is so funny! First and foremost, thanks for making me laugh so many times!
Second, good point about the tiebreaker. A tie in Green Bay in this rivalry is close to a loss for the Packers. Good news is you won’t have to stress about playoff tiebreakers this year. (And neither will the Vikes.)
Still, Vikings need to beat the Packers in Minnesota. The Vikings also have a more difficult schedule. And the teams are currently tied. So the gloom and doom, while quite funny, really isn’t called for.
You’re clearly a “glass half empty” kind of guy. Or maybe an excuse-me-while-I-dump-out-this-half-empty-glass-and-then-bitch-about-it guy. The Packers were incredibly lucky to get out of this game with a tie. Extreme luck! All it took was a dropped pass gift interception and three missed FGs, 2 in overtime, 1 a chip shot only two yards longer than an extra point. Instead of sour you really should be grateful to the football Gods. Various odd to weird failures by the Vikings kept the Packers from losing.
I know Packers love to blame refs and, to be unusually honest as I look in the mirror, so do I at times. I’ve been over this elsewhere but Matthews committed two fouls on that play. Minnesota’s Kendricks had the same call on him earlier in the game and his actions were less flagrant. Refs missed a few things in the game: Gedeon’s PI, the Packer WR who was downed on one knee but got up and picked up a free extra 18 yards or so, and tons and tons of Packer linemen holding. All missed. But they caught the penalty by Matthews. And it was. It was actually two separate fouls: Cupping/lifting and weight/spearing. NFL is correctly backing it up. And no, they do not always. Read the actual rules and look at the actual play. Just picture Cousins wearing a #12 Packer uni. You will definitely notice the foul then!
But you love you some fantasy. Scapegoat the refs. Can’t stop you. All I can do is laugh….
One correction: that was not, as you put it, a “valiant, overperforming defense”. They allowed nearly 500 yards! 425 through the air! 4 TDs! A 117 QB rating! Achieved 2 sacks on a beat up o-line missing 2.5 starters (lost 1 half way through the game) and 1 intercept that only occurred because a WR dropped a perfect pass and bounced it perfectly to a defender. That’s all they did.
That 85 degree heat factor? In the 4th quarter the Packers possessed the ball on offense over 12 minutes and the Vikings less than 3. It was the Vikings’ defense worn down and suffering from the heat… and still performing! as they limited the high power Packers offense to FG after FG and stymied them again and again in the red zone.
Loved the “…rendered so docile by beer brats and Wisconsin polka…” line. Well written that.
“Corrente and his crew are to be held to the standard of professional NFL referees.” Hahahaha, and what standard is that?
E. Wolf vs. The Lonely Boy.
Like watching Loyd Christmas square off against Harry Dunne.
A match made in heav… well, more like purgatory but a match nonetheless. I’d say they would be perfect together if I didn’t think they were related.
The refs in this game were bad, but it doesnt come close to the Fail Mary game. I dont think anything will. That game nearly got out of hand when Jennings was shoved to the ground in the end zone way away from the play. I thought for sure there would be a fight breaking out.
There is something to be said for the Packers taking control of the game and failure to do so led to the outcome. The reality is, the NFL by design is competitive, with the majority of games being decided by less than a TD. The more the NFL leaves calls up to officials to make “judgements” the more often and better chances of there being calls that have a strong affect on the outcome of the game, much like this one. Much like the ambiguity of the catch rule, which the Packers benefited from once. I want games decided by players, and not by officials, particularly in the last couple minutes of games. Unless something is blatant, leave judgement calls out of the equation, or at very least, let replay take over there
This was NOT worse than the Fail Mary game. That game was magnitudes worse.
Everything from the PI call against Sam Shields’ on Sydney Rice, to Golden Tate’s absurdly blatant push-off of Shield’s in the direct line-of-sight of the ref, to the ref awarding Tate a touchdown for catching MD Jennings, nothing will top that bullshit.
With the Hail Mary game against the seahawks going in there favor, Karma has hit them big time. They don’t have a team that can take them to the playoffs. Same with the queens last year. They took out Rodgers thinking they would be a sure bet to represent the NFC, but good old Karma made them shit themselves in the NFCCG. How I love this thing called Karma.
I saw the wall of text and immediately knew who was back. Then I saw the second wall and knew who was here to greet him.
Content creation has been passed from the TMZ twins to the guy whose only dream is to stack more words than Tolstoy, and the nitwit who wants to be him, but without ever providing any real meaning or insight.
And rather than write letters to the NFL offices, perhaps start a petition?