As you may have heard, hobos and miscreants are in charge of refereeing NFL games now! Or, rather, the NFL has decided to use high school referees as replacements while it negotiates with the actual referees' union, which has led to the occasional minor controversy. And while Monday's night's disastrous ending to the Packers-Seahawks game is probably the pinnacle (or nadir) of this sad saga, there were already plenty of questionable, puzzling and downright infuriating officiating decisions leading up to it.
By now, even non-football fans have heard about the officiating debacle in last night's showdown between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks (just check your Facebook feed). Facing a 12-7 deficit with just seconds left to play, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson rolled out of the pocket and threw a desperation heave into the end zone, resulting in a game-clinching interception for the Packers.
Except it wasn't. Instead, the NFL's much-maligned replacement officials inexplicably ruled the play a touchdown for the Seahawks, ignoring an obvious offensive pass-interference penalty and cementing the phrase "simultaneous catch" into the lexicon of poor sports officiating.
This screw-up will, hopefully, lead to the return of the real refs—but let's not forget that they too have made their share of awful calls over the years. Here's a look at some of the NFL's most controversial officiating decisions:
On July 18 the New York Yankees held a comfortable lead in the A.L. East and seemed destined for a deep playoff run. Since then, the Bombers have somehow managed to blow a 10-game advantage over the Orioles, leading to a scramble for first place and an extremely rattled New York fan base. Still, this is hardly the first time that a team with a comfortable lead has suffered a late-season collapse.
Let's take a look at some of the worst September meltdowns in baseball history:
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