The Seattle Screwjob. Batgate. Batghazi.
No matter the name, Monday night’s game between the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions ended in controversy when K.J. Wright illegally batted the ball out of the back of the end zone following a Calvin Johnson fumble at the goal line. The play happened in clear view of the back judge who initially reached for his flag, but decided against it at the last moment.
Dean Blandino, the NFL’s vice president of officiating, immediately said the call should have been made. Other experts, like former referee Gerry Austin and Mike Pereira also weighed in, saying it was a judgement call, but a simple, straightforward rule:
“A player may not bat or punch a loose ball (that has touched the ground) in an direction, if it is in either end zone.”
If you can’t count on the officials to know the rules, well then what’s the point? Even worse, it appears the ref knew the rule and was like “nah, forget it, not today”
Unsurprisingly, Lions fans (and NFL fans in general) were irate at the botched call and took to Twitter to unleash their fury (and memes).