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Players sound off on referee disaster
“Got f---ed by the refs,” said TJ Lang, part of a Packers line that allowed QB Aaron Rogers to be sacked eight times in the first half. “Embarrassing. Thanks NFL.”
Lang didn’t use dashes as he joined social media uproar with that tweet moments after replacement officials ruled that Seahawks receiver Golden Tate, not safety M.D. Jennings, caught the ball on a Hail Mary tossed by Russell Wilson as time expired. Along with missing the fact that Jennings appeared to have control of the ball, officials also overlooked a clear case of offensive pass interference as Tate shoved cornerback Sam Shields as the ball was airborne.
The play, which happened to be in the spotlight due to the fact it came on "Monday Night Football", could spur the NFL to negotiate to end the lockout of the regular referees, who missed the entire preseason along with the first weeks of the NFL season.
“(Expletive) it,” Lang (@TJLang70) later said on Twitter. “Fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs.”
Josh Sitton (@jsitton71), a fellow offensive lineman, was just as harsh with a series of tweets:
“That was (expletive). This is getting ridiculous! The NFL needs to get the refs back bfr we strike and they make no money!
“The nfl needs to come to gb and apologize to us for f***ing us! These refs r bums!
“Golden tate is full of (expletive) too. Saying he clearly caught that is embarrassing! (Expletive) jokers!”
Other reactions on Twitter from the Packers included:
Tight end Tom Crabtree (@TCrabtree83): “13th man beat us tonight.”
Injured wide receiver Shaky Smithson (@ShakySmithson): “Man if they put them replacement Refs on Madden 13 I swear to God I won't touch a game system anymore.”
Tight end Jermichael Finley (@JermichaelF88): “Come on @NFL this (expletive) is getting out of Control. Caused us a DAMN game. Horrible!”
Defensive end CJ Wilson (@cjwilson95): “Can't believe this. Never seen anything like it.”
Running back Alex Green (@AGreen_20): "Guess we (know) the real meaning of 12th man, welp headed back to Gbay...it's still #packernation.”
Linebacker Desmond Bishop (@Desbishop55): “Honestly, It's not about winning or losing here, it's the integrity of this game we love to play/watch. Hate 2 question it! Pack still good!”
Beyond typing out original tweets, defensive end Jerel Worthy (@I_AM_Worthy99) even re-tweeted a message that included the number for the NFL’s New York headquarters. He later sent out a message that seemed to give a backhanded compliment, along with a picture of the controversial sequence.
“Congrats Seahawks you guys were the better team tonight,” Worthy wrote. “(Here) is a sequence of your game winning catch!! You deserve it..”
The Packers, as expected, were more measured on the team’s official Twitter account as they quoted Packers coach Mike McCarthy: “I told our team to keep the faith. What's left is to get back and get ready for the Saints.”
Shields, who clearly should have drawn a flag on the play, was similarly diplomatic.
“It's Alll Good!! #SaintsNext,” Shields (@stickyshields37) wrote on Twitter.
Reaction also was swift from players around the league.
Such tweets are likely to draw a second look (and possibly a fine) by league officails, something Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (@ArianFoster) was all too aware of when asked if he had a reaction to the game.
“Of course I do, it's just a really expensive one, via twitter anyway,” Foster wrote.