The controversy surrounding the end of Seattle’s 14-12 win over Green Bay at CenturyLink Field Monday night certainly did not stop at the final whistle.

Between the NFL deleting questionable posts on Facebook and players venting their anger via Twitter, the social media world exploded with rage following Seattle’s questionable victory in front of millions of fans around the country.

The primetime game last night is the talk of the sports world this morning, and if you haven’t heard by now, here’s what went down.

The Seahawks were down 12-7 and Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson heaved a 24-yard desperation pass to the end zone as the final seconds ticked off the clock. Hawks receiver Golden Tate and Packers safety M.D. Jennings appeared to simultaneously catch the ball, and that’s where the craziness began.

One referee signaled for an interception, while another put both his hands up in the air for a touchdown. Even though it appeared Jennings had more control of the ball, the ruling on the field was a touchdown. After reviewing the replays, the referees — the much-talked about replacements — again concluded that Tate had possession of the football and the Seahawks pulled off the miracle win.

Here is the NFL’s official statement on the call, which was released Tuesday morning.

First, let’s start with the Facebook fiasco. Immediately after the game, the NFL put up this picture and status update below:

Except that picture wasn’t from the Hail Mary catch at the end of the game — it was a random play from earlier in the game. Some may call it clever, others say it’s deceiving. Regardless, the picture-headline combination causes confusion.

So the NFL took that post down within minutes and rewrote it with the same picture and new caption:

They still caused confusion and uproar with fans because of the same picture. This post was also taken down and replaced by a video link to highlights of Seattle’s 1st half defense. But even three hours after the game had ended, the Seahawks official site still used that photo and included it on a blog post titled, “Tate’s Golden moment.”

 

Now on to Twitter and another NFL attempted cover-up. The official league account Tweeted “Touchdown or Interception?” and then quickly took that down.

And here’s the outrage from around the league:

Packers players

Other NFL players

Other notable Tweeters

And I’m sure there were thousands of incensed — and ecstatic — gamblers in Vegas also taking to the social world to express their anger. It’s interesting to see how social media has created a melting pot for fans to express their opinions. This Tweeter raises a good question:

And now, none other than President Obama is using Twitter to weigh in on the situation.

Finally, as we can see from this situation, companies need to pay extra special attention to how content is presented via their social media outlets. Even if a deleted post is left up for no longer than a minute, screenshots seem to always appear and live forever. While social media can certainly be an exceptional marketing tool for businesses, it can be detrimental at the very same time.

Comments

  • Guest

    Please correct the game score.

    • http://twitter.com/Taylor_Soper Taylor Soper

      We’ve fixed the score and it’s now correct. Thanks for the tip!

      • http://www.facebook.com/robofhood Robert Hammond

        This made the iPhone5 launch look like a small dinner party.

    • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

      Thanks for the help — we’ve corrected the score above.

  • Forrest Corbett

    “After reviewing the replays, the referees [...] again concluded that Tate had possession” – actually, in reviewing a pass ruled as a dual possession, they’re only allowed to review if the pass was complete or not – not who possessed it. The reviewers concurred that the pass was not incomplete.

    • http://twitter.com/Taylor_Soper Taylor Soper

      Hi Forrest,

      Initially I thought you were right, but after reading the NFL’s statement on this it appears the official could have reversed the “simultaneous” part of the call because this play happened in the end zone:

      “Replay Official Howard Slavin stopped the game for an instant replay review. The aspects of the play that were reviewable included if the ball hit the ground and who had possession of the ball. In the end zone, a ruling of a simultaneous catch is reviewable. That is not the case in the field of play, only in the end zone.”

      Here’s the statement:
      http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000066164/article/nfl-supports-decision-to-not-overturn-seahawks-touchdown

    • http://twitter.com/Taylor_Soper Taylor Soper

      Hi Forrest,

      Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve read over the NFL’s statement on this and it appears that the officials could have actually changed the “simultaneous catch” call because it happened in the end zone:

      “Replay Official Howard Slavin stopped the game for an instant replay review. The aspects of the play that were reviewable included if the ball hit the ground and who had possession of the ball. In the end zone, a ruling of a simultaneous catch is reviewable. That is not the case in the field of play, only in the end zone.”

      To me, that sounds like the simultaneous catch ruling could have been changed and the referees could have ruled that Jennings had possession.

      Here’s the official statement: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000066164/article/nfl-supports-decision-to-not-overturn-seahawks-touchdown

      • Forrest Corbett

        Ahhh… more time, more clarification. I stand corrected. Thanks :)

        • http://twitter.com/Taylor_Soper Taylor Soper

          At first I thought you were right, too, but the statement says otherwise. Still, it’s very confusing because the replays showed the catch wasn’t really simultaneous (at least in my opinion). And since it could have been reviewed — the NFL said so in the statement — you’d think they would have overturned it.

  • gimmer

    Saw some death threats on twitter, as well… ridiculous and unacceptable. I wish they would enforce their terms of service & get law enforcement involved.

  • Sally

    Nicest HD slo-mo footage I’ve found:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpV5xIJax4s

    Look at the hands. Look at the feet.

    It was an interception.

    Actually, an interception right after Offensive Pass Interference.

    But, we live a Country where the Supreme Court elects presidents. So, why should we be surprised that Lingerie League referees decide professional football games?

  • Guest

    Congratulations to Twitter and Facebook for tapping into the zeitgeist of the NFL! We’re very impressed by the ecosystems these companies have built to help shape our world.

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