outclasses call of ref and fans
Saturday, October 06, 2012 8:54 PM
It would have been so easy for Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy to make the worst of a situation ... even worse. He didn't.
When the Green Bay Packers faced the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 24 in what has become known as the game that helped settle the labor lockout between the NFL and the NFL referees, no one could have predicted the ill-fated outcome.
With time running out, Seattle was awarded a touchdown by the replacement referees who gave them the victory in a key game between NFC foes. It was clearly an interception. There was confusion following the call, where one ref signaled touchdown. The touchdown signal became the official call on the field and was upheld by the NFL.
Wayne Elliott is the replacement ref who made the call.
With no time on the clock to make the game official, a point after had to be kicked. Green Bay and Seattle players were already in the locker room or heading to the locker room.
Seattle's kicking team made its way back on the field in a timely fashion. Green Bay had a little trouble getting back on the field. TV showed players digging through bins looking for their helmets. The Packers would get players on the field and the point after was kicked and was good. Final score: Seattle 14, Green Bay 12.
Following the game, McCarthy took the high road and made few remarks about the call during his press conference.
"Don't ask me a question about the officials," McCarthy said. "Most unusual football game that I think I've been a part of. I know it's been a wild weekend in the NFL, and I guess we're part of it now.
"I've never seen anything like that in all my years in football."
Actually, nobody had. McCarthy must have felt as if he were on an island with his silence. There were hours of tweets and conversations on sports talk shows about the call.
Packers players were among those who tweeted. So did former Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame quarterback and play-by-pay announcer Troy Aikman.
"These games are a joke," Aikman tweeted.
Wisconsin state Sen. Jon Erpenbach tweeted NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's office phone number.
During the press conference, McCarthy seemingly took the blame for the play. He blamed himself for the lack of offense by the Packers.
Through it all, McCarthy was publicly silent. Privately, it was another story.
During Showtime's "Inside the NFL" on Wednesday, Elliott shared something very interesting.
He revealed his phone didn't stop ringing for about 72 hours. Many of the calls were from Wisconsin.
One of the calls was from McCarthy.
Here's what Elliott told "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," Elliott said. "Wanted (me) to know that he thought what I did - controversial and maybe he didn't agree with it - (but he thought) I handled it with class."
There's little doubt about the class McCarthy exhibited throughout the whole debacle. He didn't whine. He didn't pout. He wasn't burned by the heat of the moment.
He didn't do a lot of the things that could have been expected by someone who was put in the situation he was put in.
I'm a longtime suffering fan of the New York Jets, and I'll root for the New York Giants.
I don't see myself becoming a fan of the Pack or wearing a cheese head, but it's nice to know there are still people in this world with some class - such as Mike McCarthy.
Sitarz can be reached at 943-2529 or via email at email@example.com. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.