The poor NFL replacement refs working in place of striking seasoned officials have had their day in the sun, and it wasn’t a pretty one. Here is what happened. Vegas odds on the Seattle Seahawks playing at home against the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football this week showed Seattle as a 3 point underdog going into the contest. That was even though Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers have struggled in this early NFL season. Also, Seattle has been impressive in MNF games, is very strong as a home underdog the last couple of years and plays well at home. Despite those clues that Seattle would cover against the spread at home against Green Bay, many bettors around the globe put their money down on Green Bay to get back on track with a big win on the road. But with 8 seconds remaining in the game and trailing 12 – 7, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw what was ruled on the field as a touchdown pass to wide receiver Golden Tate as time expired, and the Seattle faithful at CenturyLink Field exploded in celebration.
But wait a minute! According to new NFL rules, every touchdown scored must be reviewed. With Green Bay players and coaches nearly up in arms, and after more than ten minutes of looking over the play, the replay official sided with the original call on the field and the touchdown was upheld. Green Bay Packer players, coaches and fans worldwide were beside themselves, because replays shown on television appeared to clearly show Tate was never in possession of the football, and should not have been awarded a touchdown. This would have given Green Bay a 12 – 7 victory as no time was remaining in the game, but more importantly for outraged Packer backing gamblers watching the game live, online and on television sets around the world, they would have won their bets.
Responsible adults understand the risks in betting on sporting events over which they have no control. But the uproar over the Keystone Kops officiating provided by the replacement refs in this particular NFL game in specific, and thus far through the season in general, reached a crescendo after that Monday Night Football meltdown. How obviously wrong was the call agreed upon by several referees that resulted in the Green Bay loss and lack of ability to cover the three point spread? The New York Times has reported that online sports wagering portal Sportsbook.com has taken an unprecedented step and refunded any Packer backers who wagered on the contest, and that they are not alone in their attempt to do the right thing.
Derek Stevens, who is the owner of The D Las Vegas casino and sportsbook, offered refunds for those who bet on the Pack at his Las Vegas-based sportsbook as well. Can any good news come from what was obviously the worst case of a blown call dictating the outcome of an NFL football game in recent memory? Actually, yes. Because of this last and most egregious example of refereeing rubbish and officiating offal, NFL executives and striking NFL refereeing representatives worked all day Tuesday and through the night into Wednesday evening, and reached an agreement to get seasoned NFL officials back on the field. The striking officials will hit the field as soon as Thursday night for the Cleveland Browns – Baltimore Ravens matchup. After the horror show which has been the replacement refs experience in the NFL this season, we predict very few yellow flags and blown whistles for the first couple of weeks by the returning referees who have overwhelmed and under-prepared scab officiating crews to thank for their new NFL deal. You can now wager online safely again on NFL contests, knowing that the right zebras are back on the field.
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