By Mike Salk
I don’t care what the rest of the country thinks and neither should you.
Nor should Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson, Golden Tate or any member of the Seahawks.
Yes, Seattle probably got away with one. Who hasn’t?
Despite the controversial finish, coach Pete Carroll and the Seahawks have every right to celebrate their 14-12 win over the Packers. (AP photo)
Yes, Tate’s right hand may have come off the ball as he and cornerback M.D. Jennings battled for the catch. So what?
And yes, the NFL continues to embarrass itself with overmatched replacement officials who can’t handle the speed or complexity of the game.
But the final play of Seahawks’ 14-12 win on Monday night was hardly the most egregious call of the season and Seattle is hardly the only team who has benefited.
The great thing about the NFL is that the Seahawks will have (at least) 13 more opportunities to show the nation who and what they are. And even if some fans will want to discredit this win, it will stand in the record books and in the minds of everyone who watched.
No one can take it away from you.
Just ask a Steelers fan how much he cares when he’s taunted about the phantom holding call in Super Bowl XL? Notice how hard a Patriots fan laughs when someone mentions the tuck rule, or a Yankees fan when he’s told that the entire 1990s dynasty never would have happened were it not for a truant named Jeffrey Mayer.
The point is that bad calls happen and sometimes you catch a break. But the Seahawks put themselves in position to capitalize on it when it came.
Referees didn’t falsely award them eight first-half sacks nor did they leave Tate wide open for his first touchdown. They weren’t responsible for the prolific Green Bay offense accounting for just one touchdown. They didn’t help Marshawn Lynch come just two yards shy of another triple-digit performance. They didn’t cause Green Bay to punt after failing to pick up the one first down they needed to win the game. No one in stripes moved the ball down to the 28-yard line before controversy ensued.
The Seahawks can take credit for all of those things.
I know many will wish the story was about how a plucky and physical team from parts unknown upended the Packers with a combination of grit and guile. But that’s just the national narrative and it has no bearing on the game played on the field.
Respect comes later.
When seasons are completed and records are tallied, that’s when it matters.
As for now, sit back and enjoy the show. Let yourself laugh in a smug way. This isn’t the first fanbase whose team eked out a win with a controversial ending, nor will it be the last.
The Seahawks are 2-1. Feel free to enjoy it.
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