McCarthy says call to ref was the ‘right thing’
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Friday that he called
the replacement referee who made the call on a final play that cost
the Packers a game against the Seattle Seahawks to offer his
”I felt the phone call was the right thing to do. That’s why I
made it,” McCarthy told Newsradio 620 WTMJ.
A pass to Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate that appeared to be
intercepted by Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings was ruled a
touchdown, giving the Seahawks a 14-12 win on Sept. 24. Referee
Wayne Elliott didn’t make the call but he reviewed the play and let
the ruling stand.
Elliott revealed the call in an interview shown Wednesday on
Showtime’s ”Inside the NFL.”
”He called me at my house last week because he had heard I was
having a rough week with all the calls and everything. He wanted me
to know he thought that what I did … maybe he didn’t agree with
it, that I handled it with class,” Elliott said.
In McCarthy’s interview he was reluctant to talk about his phone
call to the referee.
”It was a phone call that I placed with the intent of it being
a personal phone call. Obviously, I didn’t think this was going to
be the outcome,” McCarthy said, referring to praise he’s received
from around the nation for making it. ”I’ve asked the football
team to move on.”
Elliott was asked what he would have called if he had been one
of the two referees in the end zone.
”I’d probably call interception,” Elliott said.
Replacement referees worked the first three weeks of regular
season games, triggering a wave of outrage after a number of
questionable calls. It was the one that cost the Packers a win that
seemed to recharge negotiations between the league and its union
referees, who reached a deal later that week that ended the
As for the last play, the NFL issued a statement a day after the
game that the final play was correctly ruled a reception but that
interference should have been called moments earlier on Tate, which
would have given the Packers the win.
In the Showtime interview, Elliott was asked about how officials
are trained to handle the so-called ”hail Mary” plays.
”(For) the deep officials, it was brought up that you don’t
really call interference on a hail Mary… The deep officials were
trained that during a hail Mary, there’s a lot of bodies in there
and you just let it go,” Elliott said.