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Packers players vent after strange loss

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Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy reacts after a play against the New York Giants in the second half of their NFL football game in Green Bay, Wisconsin December 26, 2010. REUTERS/Darren Hauck
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy reacts after a play against the New York Giants in the second half of their NFL football game in Green Bay, Wisconsin December 26, 2010. REUTERS/Darren Hauck

UNDATED (WSAU)  The first topic of conversation in most of Wisconsin today will be how the Green Bay Packers apparently got robbed by the N-F-L’s replacement officials last night in their 14-to-12 loss at Seattle. The Seahawks scored the winning touchdown on the final play. Quarterback Russell Wilson threw a 24-yard Hail Mary pass to the back of the end zone, where Packers’ safety M-D Jennings looked to have the ball clutched to his chest for an interception, while Seattle receiver Golden Tate had just his arms on the ball while landing underneath Jennings. One official on the field called it a touchdown, and another called it an interception. After a few minutes, the officials ruled it a touchdown, and N-F-L replay official Howard Slavin – who’s not a replacement – upheld the call.

Referee Wayne Elliott said both players possessed it, and Seattle coach Pete Carroll said the ball and the touchdown were correctly awarded to his receiver. Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy – knowing that other N-F-L coaches have been fined up to $50,000 for criticizing replacement officials – restrained himself by saying he’s never seen anything like this.

Green Bay players were also restrained in their remarks to reporters. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers simply called it “awful.” But they later went on Twitter with a battering of obscenity-laced tweets. Packers’ guard T-J Lang wrote that the league should quote, “fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs.” Packers’ guard Josh Sitton tweeted that the league should get its normal officials back quote, “before we strike and they make no money.”

Even Wisconsin Senate Democrat Jon Erpenbach of Middleton got his two cents in. He sent a message to N-F-L Commissioner Roger Goodell’s office phone. And Erpenbach said in a separate tweet that if last night’s final call did not spark an end to the league’s lockout of the unionized officials quote, “This season will be a joke.”

The loss dropped the Packers to 1-and-2 – their worst three-game record since 2006, in McCarthy’s first season in Green Bay.

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