By John P. Lopez
It finally happened.
We all saw it coming … admit it. That’s why we watched replacement refs foil and flub their way through so many embarrassing gaffes.
An NFL game — a Monday Nighter, no less — was decided directly by incompetence. If you didn’t watch the end of Packers-Seahawks on Monday night, the Seahawks completed a Hail Mary pass from Russell Wilson to Golden Tate for a 14-12 win.
But it wasn’t. It was intercepted by Green Bay’s M.D. Jennings, only the most humiliating chapter in Roger Goodell’s career had its most notorious moment.
O.J.’s glove fit. Tim Donaghy was right.
And it all unravels from here, unless Roger Goodell decides to become something he hasn’t been in quite a while now — a commissioner.
Until Monday night’s moment, Goodell has been a puppet to the owners. It’s the owners that don’t want to part with what would amount to a mere $3 million per-team to settle the NFL-initiated lockout.
That’s what most people forget. The NFL did this. The NFL can fix this, but not unless Goodell fulfills his job description and that is to serve as the voice of reason not the voice of Howdy Doody.
Goodell must come out today and acknowledge the despicable series of calls that led to the spaghetti-sauce in his face today.
After Monday night, there is no going back. There is no waiting, hoping calls will get better and all will be fine. Replacement refs will only be more intimidated from here. They will only get worse from here. Players and coaches only will bully them more.
Two images will define Goodell’s entire career from here. One, is the two officials in the endzone Monday night — one signaling a touchback, the other a touchdown. The other? The look on Goodell’s face if he tries to justify or defend the NFL’s darkest on-field controversy in decades.
The lockout MUST end. Owners must understand that the integrity of the game no longer is at stake, it’s already gone. Now is the time to repair it and bring some semblance of integrity back into the game as soon as possible.
Millions of fans invest their lives into this game of Roger’s and it’s no longer what they remember. Las Vegas is on its ear. Owners look like buffoons. If nothing changes come February, the Super Bowl champion won’t be the best team.
It will be the team that got away the most, or was screwed the least.
No one will cover this better than Sports Radio 610. We will hear from Green Bay, Seattle and all across the country.