Play Between Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers Continues To Live On in Infamy

Published on September 24th, 2022 3:24 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

The story about the famous NFL call that quickly ended the referee strike. People love to trash NFL referees, but the fact of the matter is that almost all of them are very, very good at their jobs.

Want evidence of this fact?

Go back to the start of the 2012 NFL season, when the NFL decided to lock out their referees while in the midst of a contract dispute.

The league decided to use replacement referees, and the results were laughable.

The situation culminated in a Monday Night Football game between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers, which produced the famous (or infamous) "Fail Mary".

After the "Fail Mary", the NFL realized that the replacement referee situation was untenable, and an agreement with the locked-out referees was quickly reached.


It was September 24th, 2012, and the Seattle Seahawks were hosting the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.

With the Packers leading the game 12-7 with just seconds left in the game, Russell Wilson heaved a pass into the endzone.

Golden Tate and M.D. Jennings both got their hands on the ball while in the air.

M.D. Jennings, however, had both hands wrapped around the ball, while Tate had one hand on the ball and the other on Jennings.

The two officials in the area gave conflicting signals - one ruled it a touchdown, while the other ruled it a touchback. After some conferring, the officials ruled it a touchdown for the Seahawks.

The play went to video review, and it was found that there was not enough evidence to overturn the ruling.

The Seahawks had won the game.


The NFL universe immediately melted down over the incident, for two reasons:

1. Golden Tate had committed an egregious offensive pass interference infraction which hadn't been noticed by the replacement refs.

2. The catch was not a "simultaneous catch" (which is what the replacement referees had claimed) and instead should have been a Green Bay interception, as Jennings had clear control of the football, while Tate just had one hand on the ball.

The locked-out referees relished the blown call, with many of them claiming that the play should have resulted in offensive interference and a Green Bay interception, giving the Packers the win.

Players from all over the league were furious over the situation, with many claiming that they would be willing to pay the locked-out referees themselves to settle the dispute.


The league realized that the situation could not go on, and the league and referees announced an agreement two days later.

There has not been another referee lock-out since.

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