Zero Integrity, Dept.
The Human Highway Stripe broaches the topic of embarrassment


Out of the Green Bay locker room* on Monday Night:


“13th man beat us tonight.” — Green Bay tight end Tom Crabtree.

“Got (robbed) by the refs.. Embarrassing. Thanks nfl” — Green Bay offensive lineman T.J. Lang.

"Any player/coach in Seattle that really thinks they won that game has zero integrity as a man and should be embarrassed." - Lang


Any player has a right to be outraged about a game-deciding call.  We're all good there.

What I have a problem with, is Lang not allowing that he had just gone through a bitterly-fought war.  Wars like that are going to be decided, either way, by a single play on one side or the other.  If you are the world champion backgammon player and we play for six hours and the whole match comes down a final roll?  ANY final roll.  If I need 11 or 12 to win the match after six hours, then, my friend, your problem is that you shoulda beat me cleanly.  In reality, a backgammon match between Dr. D and a good player is not going to come down to a final roll.

If we're playing poker, and we've been at it for 36 hours, and now I need a flush draw to save myself, and the spade lands?, don't go crying about how anybody who thinks I won has zero integrity as a man.  If you wanted to win, T.J., why didn't you make sure you were up 21-10 with eight seconds left?  Instead, you get incinerated on the line, to the tune of several NFL records, and then you demand that we all cast flowers during your chariot ride through the streets?

The Green Bay offensive linemen had the right to remain silent after getting their jocks handed to them in front of 20 million people.  If somebody had a right to open his mouth, it would have been Aaron Rodgers.  Who, you might observe, said doodly squat.

If one of the kiddies here wants to play me a game of basketball 1-on-1 for the right to publish next year :- ) and we go to a hunnerd.  And he's trash talking about how I'm not in his league, yada yada.  And if we go out on the court and I spot him the 20 years and after two hours it's 99-99, comes down to one shot, and he thinks I fouled him the last play, does he have the right to say "anybody who thinks Jeff really won has zero integrity?"  

If you want to command respect, BEAT me.  Beat me down.  Leave the situation such that nobody wonders who won.

Honestly, I thought every athlete knew that.  I wonder why T.J. Lang forgot it.


There is a controlled chaos to a sports event as viciously fought as the Seahawks-Packers game.  Most of those games are decided on a lucky bounce of a fumble, like that last one by Green Bay on their 2.  Or on a ref's call.  Or on a ref's hat being thrown onto the field, or on somebody forgetting they didn't have a time out left, or some stupid slop like that.  If you don't want the last play to be subject to fate, then beat the other team down and make sure the final play is meaningless.

I thought every athlete knew that.

Usually T.J. Lang does know that.  But then, the 9 sacks may have thrown off an offensive guard's sensibilities as to what creates a solid basis for embarrassment.


Anyway.  Does Dr. D think that the Seahawks "won?"  Or is he embarrassed to talk about the victory?

Well, there isn't any question that the Seahawks still have a ways to go, before they're as good as the 15-1 Green Bay Packers.  That isn't the question, is it, whether the Seahawks are as good as the Packers.  What were the Mariners, 8-9 against the Rangers?   It's not enough to be a good player, T.J.  You must also play good.

Or:  was the final ref'ing call counterbalanced by that phantom Pass Interference call on Kam Chancellor, which itself kept alive a Green Bay touchdown drive?  The Chancellor P.I. call cancelled about 60% of the final call, for me ... but the dubious Personal Foul that cancelled a Russell Wilson interception more than cancelled the Chancellor call itself.

What really counterbalanced the final call, was the way that Green Bay was allowed to hold to protect Rodgers in the second half ...


Ref'ing is a factor, a huge factor, a game-deciding factor, in LOTS of games.  The referee'ing tonight was especially weird-looking, but in terms of affecting the game outcome?  Seen.  Much.  Worse.

Athletes go out onto the field and they know what they're getting into.  They know that the ref'ing might be worth 10, or more, points in ANY given game; Mike Holmgren IMHO watched a fixed outcome during the 2005 Super Bowl -- and he acknolwedged the Steelers' win after it.  Also, athletes know that luck might be worth 10, or more, points in ANY given game; Green Bay had a goal-line fumble bounce back into their hands Monday and the Seahawks didn't whine about that.

Athletes know that in a war like that one, they never completely control their own destinies.  They go out and fight like lions, and sometimes the refs, or luck, or whatever, decides the outcome.  In my experience, between two evenly-matched teams who won't back down, usually something freakish decides the game.  Athletes go out and bleed and sweat and die, and they watch stupid slop happen.  They trudge back in, reluctantly mouth nice things about the opponents, and they get ready for next time.

Sure, the Seahawks deserved, and earned, this victory.  So did Green Bay, even more so.  But I've seen athletes play a lot better than T.J. Lang just did, and lose more undeservingly, and still acknowledge the winners.

But then, you're talking about athletes who had intregity as men, and who had no reason to feel embarrassed after the game.




Auto5guy's picture

This doesn't make us even.
Not by a long shot.

ghost's picture

Remember when the umpires union went on strike and were summarily fired and replaced? The media was all over the replacements expecting a bonanza of bad umpiring and died down when it became clear that the new guys were there to stay. Same thing for the NFL, IMHO...once the players, media and fans realize that the scabs will be at least part of the reffing solution long term, they'll chill and the refs will have an easier time controlling the game.

misterjonez's picture

I think I was for awhile, but it mostly made me hyper-critical of the NFL as an entity, and I lost respect for the institution.
Which is an absolute shame, because there isn't a comparable sport on Earth. It's essentially a team combat sport with highly specialized members and tactics. There is nothing like watching 22 men actually simulate a ground war live.
I just object to the $250,000/5 years in prison copyright warning on every. single. movie. when we all know people who have violated that particular statute enough times to land their entire genetic legacy in jail until.the end times. Football officiating is like that to me: completely subjective. There are so many more uncalled fouls than called ones that it's hard for me to get invested in the system. Is it purely random which 20-30% of the fouls get called on any given Sunday?


Am sure that the NFL was hoping for that scenario, to use against people for the next 30+ years... you want to be '012 referee'ed, pal?
Not looking like the media and players are going to let them get away with it this time, though.  Critical mass seems to have been reached.  Every time a call affects a game there's going to be another media lynching.

Dixarone's picture

......called that last play a touchdown. He may have been the only one to see the "truth" in real-time. I've gone over and watched the play in question probably fifty times intently, maybe another hundred more than that without paying super-close attention. I hope I'm not seeing what I want to see, but I feel like I've seen enough and read enough to actually conclude that perhaps - and I still have to include that caveat, it's not near 100% - it really was Tate's ball according to the letter of the rules.
There's a really good breakdown of the way the rulebook reads as far as definitions of "control" and "simultaneous" and "catch" on there that does the play justice from as inpartial a standpoint as you can get from a "hometown" blog over at Field Gulls. I don't know if anyone has seen the internet video of the Q13 camera that captured the play from the back angle - no other TV camera has it - but it really instills doubt on the, "there's no way that wasn't an interception" mantra that we're hearing.
I've come to the point where I feel that it's entirely possible that the right call was made, but it wasn't the right looking call, and as a result people are feeling it doesn't pass the smell test. And it's true - it doesn't look right, even if you break it down and say it was called by exactly the letter of the rule.
At the end of the day, the replacement refs are doing a lousy job, but about as good as they can be expected.

Auto5guy's picture

Am I alone in finding it rich that an offensive lineman would dare show his face let alone criticize someone else after letting the opposing team feast on his quarterback for eight sacks in a single half? No one benefited more from the controversial call than the GB O-line. If Seattle wins the game on a clear call that unit would be hounded about its pathetic performance for weeks. And now they have the chutzpah to act indignant? wow.
As to making things even you're right, nothing ever can. I'll settle for having a football fan chip on my shoulder and hating all things Pittsburgh, What fun!


There is all the room in the world for that "letter of the rules" interpretation.  It is NOT as though Golden Tate only had a couple fingers on it or something.  Four hands on the ball, and one guy has it closer to his chest, since when is "closer to his chest" the rule?
Even Jim Rome was backpedalling the day after:  My problem is with the Seahawks pretending like it was an easy call...
Your point about calls that don't look right has traction also.  There are many, many times that the correct call is counterintuitive.
But we have been witnessing the media in full-on lynch mode.  Reasonable discussion need not apply.  It's all about taking the outrage to higher and higher levels.  RIP, NFL dept.

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