Replacement refs? I'm tired of hearing about them. Every call is scrutinized. If it's right, the announcers let it go. If it's wrong, they harp about it. If it's right, but 'picky'- they still complain that they should 'let them play'. The media circus surrounding the whole situation is worse than the officiating.
Case in point: Near the end of the game, pass interference was called on Green Bay, when it was apparent that the receiver pushed the defender. Nevermind that the defender pushed as well- the announcers were looking for something to nit-pick the officiating on. During all the yammering about poor officiating- Gruden and Tirico failed to notice on the replay that the Green Bay player had a handful of Seattle jersey- without a doubt, THAT is what the official called.
As far as the end play- I probably would have ruled for Green Bay. That being said, I can make a compelling argument against it. ESPN called in Austin (former official) who insisted possession belonged to Green Bay because the defender held the ball to his chest. Really? An official of 27 years uses that as a possession guage? My faith in the replacements has been restored. If you watch the replay (without bias for team or officials) clearly, Tate catches the ball with BOTH hands (again, Austin harps about only seeing one ARM on the ball-maybe he has only one good eye, I don't know) at the same time Jennings does. As any good replacement official knows (I guess Austin doesn't), you may possess the ball without having it against your body. The technical mistake Tate makes is he adjusts his grip on the ball momentarily- thus giving up possession to Jennings who never loosened his grip on the ball. Austin ends up being right about the call being bad- but not for the reason he believes. So much for having 27 years experience.
I can live with replacement officials. That being said: I'm hoping for a quick resolution just so I can quit hearing all the bitching.
Oh, by the way: when the 'real' refs start blowing calls- I'm not going to cut them any slack.