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:
— Brian McDonald (@BrianFNMcDonald) September 25, 2012
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.
— Anthony De Rosa (@AntDeRosa) September 25, 2012
And here’s the outrage from around the league:
Any player/coach in Seattle that really thinks they won that game has zero integrity as a man and should be embarrassed.
— TJ Lang (@TJLang70) September 25, 2012
Fuck it NFL.. Fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs. — TJ Lang (@TJLang70) September 25, 2012
Only thing I regret from my tweets are the F bombs.. Sorry bout that. — TJ Lang (@TJLang70) September 25, 2012
— Greg Jennings (@GregJennings) September 25, 2012
13th man beat us tonight.
— Tom Crabtree (@TCrabtree83) September 25, 2012
Other NFL players
Ironic that our league punishes those based on conduct detrimental. Whose CONDUCT is DETRIMENTAL now? — Drew Brees (@drewbrees) September 25, 2012
I love this league and love the game of football, but tonight’s debacle hurts me greatly. This is NOT the league we’re supposed to represent — Drew Brees (@drewbrees) September 25, 2012
Refs single handedly blew this one…
— Reggie Bush (@reggie_bush) September 25, 2012
For the NFL to tell u as the fans there is nothing wrong with these officials is a slap in the face to u!!!! #ReplacementRefs
— Chris Harris (@ChrisHarrisNFL) September 25, 2012
I’ve been saying give the refs a break but that TD call was ridicules. How do you miss that? Pop Warner refs would have gotten that right. — Tony Gonzalez (@TonyGonzalez88) September 25, 2012
Other notable Tweeters
I simply just LOVE the NFL to much to see these mistakes. I’m sick like I just played for the Packers
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 25, 2012
— Paul Allen (@PaulGAllen) September 25, 2012
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) September 25, 2012
Back from Seahawks locker room. Officiating top subject there too. Players want real officials back. Citing integrity of game.
— Mike Sando, ESPN.com (@espn_nfcwest) September 25, 2012
Well, the officials decided a game.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 25, 2012
Embarrassment for everyone at the NFL. This ref mess is costing people games and is gonna cost someone their health and a JOB soon!#shame
— Jason Taylor (@JasonTaylor) September 25, 2012
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:
20 years ago, before Twitter, chat rooms and Prodigy…where would people vent/chat after something like that?
— Bill Voth (@billvoth) September 25, 2012
And now, none other than President Obama is using Twitter to weigh in on the situation.
NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs’ lockout is settled soon. -bo
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) September 25, 2012
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.