Posted this video over on my Facebook profile and it’s spreading like wildfire.
Had a great time making it! It’s full of reaction shots from Seahawks (and a few 49er) fans inside and outside the stadium. A nice reminder of how we all felt Sunday night.
With 33 seconds left, San Francisco faced 1st and 10 from the 18 yard line.
The NFC Championship hung in the balance. This was Seattle’s arch rival, marching for the game-winning score, in their home stadium, in the biggest game in team history.
Then came Richard Sherman.
With one tipped ball, it was all over. Interception. Season saved.
Sure, the move looked spectacular. This was something he had practiced to perfection. He even succeeded with it just a few weeks earlier in the season. But just how important was it?
Advanced NFL Stats (which breaks down win probability by individual plays for each game) determined that at that point, it was dead even. 50/50 chance. Historically and statistically speaking, there was no way to predict who would win.
Then came Richard Sherman.
For almost 20 years Seattle has celebrated and reminisced over the amazing run of the 1995 Mariners, with their “Refuse to Lose” slogan and their likable cast of stars. Edgar’s dramatic double that scored Ken Griffey, Jr. to beat the Yankees has easily been the top play in Seattle Sports History since the moment it happened. It is credited with saving baseball in Seattle, in large part due to the unforgettable atmosphere and the classic call by the late Dave Niehaus.
Although the Sonics were the city’s only major Champion and the Seahawks have historically had more success than the M’s, none of the biggest games from either team had come down to a dramatic, spectacular, game-winning play. The 1979 NBA Champion SuperSonics took care of business without needing a game-winning shot. When the 1996 Sonics finished off the Jazz to reach the NBA Finals, they did so with unsuspenseful free throws. The 2005 Seahawks crushed Carolina 34-14 to earn their first Super Bowl berth, and the outcome wasn’t in doubt for most of the second half.
None of these games provided a heart-stopping, climactic moment that would define the season. Thus, Edgar’s magical moment lived in our hearts above all else.
Quite honestly, Seattle hasn’t had a lot of accomplishments to cheer for over the years. A lot of close, but no cigar’s pepper the history of the best teams this city has cheered.
The closest thing the Seahawks had was Tony Romo’s infamous fumbled field goal to end a 2007 wild card playoff game. An amazing moment for sure, but one that was ultimately meaningless, considering the Seahawks failed to reach even the Conference Championship.
Then came Richard Sherman.
Could there have been a more perfect time? With the entire city of Seattle swept up in an unprecedented fever of Seahawks mania? In the most heavily hyped season we’ve ever experienced? Against our biggest rival, in our own stadium, to go to the Super Bowl?
With 60 million people watching, the hated 49ers looked to add to a miserable history of “close, but not close enough” in Seattle.
Then came Richard Sherman.
Be sure to check out the montage I made of fan reactions to the play!
Check out the extensive breakdown of the play:
The 2013 season for the Seattle Seahawks will go down, at least for now, as their best regular season ever. They matched their previous best record of 13-3, but did it against perhaps even greater competition and while putting up historic numbers on defense. With Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch leading the offense, they were lethal on both sides of the ball. They especially showed this at home, where the crowds at Centurylink Field broke the sound record for an outdoor stadium twice in the same season. But what really set this team apart is their consistency no matter where they played, going 6-2 on the road along with their 7-1 home record. Here are the top 10 moments of the season for Seahawk fans.
10. Golden Tate’s Amazing One-Handed Touchdown at Atlanta
The Seahawks were already beating up on the surprisingly hapless Falcons, but with seconds remaining in the first half, they wanted more. Wilson expertly guided them down-field, ending with this spectacular catch by Tate. It may have come in a blowout, but this catch was too good not to include on the list.
Here’s the full video of the play:
9. Percy Harvin’s Catch + 58 yard kickoff return vs. Minnesota
Percy Harvin has been a carrot on a stick for pretty much all of the season for Seattle. He was injured in training camp and required surgery, delaying his debut in blue and also leading to his fair share of detractors. That frustration was erased, at least for a day, when he made a brief debut against his old team, the Minnesota Vikings. First he made a wild, bobbling catch mid-way through the second quarter for a first down. The crowd ate it up. But it was a few minutes later, in the final minute of the half, that Seahawk fans finally saw the potential they had traded for. Harvin blasted through the Vikings kickoff coverage like a rocket, barely being stopped by a touchdown-saving tackle.
Here’s the full video of the return:
8. Marshawn Lynch Strolls In for a Touchdown vs San Francisco
The week 2 matchup between the Seahawks and the 49ers figured to be pivotal in controlling the NFC West, and the Seahawks looked to prove that their 42-21 drubbing of the Niners in 2012 was no fluke. Although they started slowly on offense, the defense punished San Francisco all night as the crowd broke the Guinness World Record for loudest crowd roar. When the 4th quarter began, Marshawn Lynch showed his well-known swagger as his walk-into-the-end-zone touchdown sealed the deal and gave Seattle the advantage it would need all season.
This game also brought us the Pete Carroll GIF of the year:
Here’s the full video of the touchdown:
7. Golden Tate’s Incredible 71 Yard Punt Return vs Tampa Bay
Simply put, this is one of the very best punt returns I’ve ever seen that didn’t go all the way for a touchdown. But the situation was just as important. Seattle had inexplicably gone down 21-0 to the winless Bucs, at home no less. Although they later trailed 24-7, Seattle never panicked. After adding another touchdown, the defense held, getting the ball back down 24-14 as the 3rd quarter wound down. Tate broke six tackles on the play, firing up the crowd and the team. Seattle completed the ridiculous comeback and won in OT, 27-24.
Here’s the full video of the return:
6. Golden Tate Taunts His Way to a Touchdown at St. Louis
The Seahawks struggled most of the game on offense when they traveled to meet division foe St. Louis. Although the defense had held the Rams without a Touchdown, Seattle clung to a one point lead. Enter this beautiful long bomb from Russell Wilson to Tate, who had engaging in bitter smack talk the entire game with the Rams secondary. Tate couldn’t wait to get into the end zone to celebrate, taunting the Rams safety all the way down the field for 30+ yards. His “bye bye” gestures may have earned him a flag, but it also provided enough for Seattle to come home with win.
Here’s the full video of the play:
5. Jermaine Kearse’s Game-Winning Touchdown Catch at Carolina
In Week 1, Seattle traveled to play Carolina. Although Carolina wasn’t heavily favored in the NFC, the Seahawks knew this matchup could prove very important down the line. Trailing 7-6 in the 4th quarter, Russell Wilson lofted a perfect throw towards the end zone and Kearse came down with what would be the game-winning catch. This win helped Seattle secure the #1 seed late in the season by guaranteeing them a potential tie-breaker against 2nd seed Carolina.
Here’s the full video of the play:
4. Epic Goal Line Stand at St. Louis
Even with Golden Tate’s 80 yard touchdown, the Seahawks only had a 14-9 lead as the final minutes wore down in St. Louis for Monday Night Football. The Rams put together a brilliant final drive, calmly making it inside the 5 yard line as they looked to pull off the huge upset. It came down to one play, 4th and goal, from the one yard line, with 4 seconds remaining. One of the most heart-stopping moments of the season ended happily, as Brandon Browner successfully defended the pass from Kellen Clemens and time expired. The Seahawks had held on for a 14-9 victory and fans could breathe a sigh of relief.
Here’s the full video of the final play of the game:
3. Malcolm Smith Interception Return for Touchdown vs St. Louis
As the Seahawks entered Week 17, they were coming off a rare home loss to the Cardinals. This caused the team to need a win vs the Rams to ensure they clinched the #1 seed and the NFC West Title. A strong showing would be needed to make sure it didn’t come down to the last play, as happened the last time in St. Louis. There was also anxiety due to the recent home loss (their 2nd overall loss in 3 games) making the team seem far less unbeatable. Fortunately for Seattle, any nervousness was quelled in the 1st quarter, when Malcolm Smith snagged this missed catch and rumbled all the way for a touchdown. The Seahawks never looked back, winning 27-9 and locking up the division championship.
Here’s the full play:
2. Record Breaking Sack + Fumble Return For Touchdown vs New Orleans
The showdown between the Saints and Seahawks on Monday Night Football was clearly the game of the year up until that point. The winner would likely have the fast track to the #1 seed, and with it home-field advantage in the playoffs. The Seahawks and their fans needed to come out strong, as they attempted to intimidate the Saints and once again reclaim their World Record for “loudest crowd roar” which had been taken by Kansas City. After an early field goal put Seattle up 3-0, Bruce Irvin got to Drew Brees for a sack. The resulting fumble tipped right to Michael Bennett, who took it to the house and even showed off some crowd-pleasing dance moves. The roof was blown off CenturyLink Field, as the crowd regained the record and the Seahawks never looked back. Their 34-7 victory was the season’s signature win on the national stage and put Seattle as the clear favorites in the NFC.
Here’s the full clip of the play:
1. Richard Sherman’s Clutch Pick 6 at Houston
For me, nothing beats this moment from the 2013 season. The 3-0 Seahawks came into Houston flying high to take on the 2-1 Texans, but played their worst 1st half since the playoffs against Atlanta the year before. After falling behind 20-3 at Halftime, they only managed a field goal in the 3rd quarter and began the 4th down 20-6. Russell Wilson led the team on a touchdown drive to get within 7, and the defense needed a stop as the final minutes closed in. They not only got the stop, but Richard Sherman saved the game by stepping in front of a Matt Shaub pass, lost his shoe, and still ran it back for the game-tying score. The Seahawks prevailed in overtime, showing the mettle they’d use to win numerous close games as the season wore on. The 4-0 start gave Seattle enough room to stay in 1st place the entire year. Meanwhile, this game sent the Texans into a tailspin, losing every single game the rest of the year and finishing 2-14. Ouch.
Here’s the play:
Honorable Mention: Ricardo Lockette’s Brutally Awesome Hit On This Punt Return:
As we covered in Part One, Golden Tate of the Seattle Seahawks has a knack for making entertaining and impressive plays with a whole lot of showmanship (and maybe a bit too much trash talk).
The next game of the 2012 season was at Miami, and Tate made one of the season’s most amazing catches:
He followed it up with this clutch last-second go ahead TD at Chicago!
By the time Seattle hosted the Rams to end the season, Tate was making it look easy:
In the playoffs, Seattle had a huge deficit to overcome. Tate to the rescue. Take a stroll, young man:
Tate is up to his old tricks in 2013. He’s as fast and elusive as ever:
But he still has time for some over-the-top showboating. First against the Cardinals:
And his most recent headline, the 30-yards-of-trash-talk game winning touchdown against the Rams:
Tate is still young and brash, often letting his emotions get to him in ways that risk drawing the wrong kind of attention from officials. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. That never-back-down, cocky, confident approach has made Tate one of the most hated players in the league, but it’s also partially because he wins.
So in conclusion, don’t hate Golden Tate!
If there’s one thing Seattle Seahawks Wide Receiver Golden Tate knows, it’s how command attention. That, and make amazing football plays that are best suited to GIF format for our enjoyment. From his time back at Notre Dame to his current tour of “make everyone in America hate you that isn’t a Seahawks fan,” it seems time to make a post dedicated to the best of “Tate-ing.”
Let’s start back in his Notre Dame days, for this is when it all began. Oh, a band is in the way? No problem:
P.S. If you never saw Tate in college, here’s a sample:
Once the Seahawks nabbed him, it didn’t take him long to keep things fresh in our old blue-on-blue:
But it was when Tate got more playing time in 2012 that his personality started to shine through. The Seahawks debuted their new duds in the home opener against Dallas, and Tate wanted to start out with a bang:
Know. My. Name.
If Tate hadn’t already earned a negative rep from the rest of the league for that hit, the magic continued the next week against the Packers.
First was this all-too-easy long bomb TD:
And then this little game-winning play you might have heard about:
A win is a win is a win, right Tate? I’m sure people will forget about that play any day now.
A 2-game home stand against Minnesota and the New York Jets provided some typical Tate highlights:
Flying High, indeed.
What did Tate do against the Jets? Oh, let’s see. First we had this impressive TD complete with a shuffle INTO a superman pose.
Then Golden decided to show off his left-handed QB skills:
When Tate got done showing off more of his trucking talents:
We got to feast our eyes on the “Goldilocks Giggle” after this hurdle move:
Let’s see that one more time:
That Jets game was something, but we were only halfway through the season!
As we continue into 2012 and then this season, Tate has shown he has plenty more clutch plays and controversy left in him.
Continued in Part 2.
As many of you may know, I did tech support in the mobile phone industry for several years. This is a collection of quotes and stories from that time. Enjoy, because I sure didn’t at the time.
From a co-worker: “If this job has taught me one thing, its that no one else knows what a quotation mark is. Or a colon for that matter. Or a start menu.”
This customer wondered if I could help them with their iPhone: “Is there anything you can do to get me better reception? I’m usually only getting 3 or 4 bars.”
Customer: “I can’t make any calls on my phone!!!”
*I reset her on our network and ask if she can now try a call*
Customer: “Thanks, it works again. Can you transfer me back now? I’d like to cancel my account.”
One customer had me spend 10 minutes figuring out why his iPhone didn’t have service. Eventually I found out he had taken the sim card out and put it in a different phone. I wonder why it wasn’t working.
This one happened a thousand times:
Customer: “No, I’m not talking on the phone.”
Me: “Great! Let me reset the phone on our network!”
(Hint, don’t lie to the tech support guy about being on the phone when he’s about to reboot your phone’s signal, you’ll get disconnected)
I once had a customer comment to me that I “sounded skinny.”
One of my favorite customers began our call with an admission that “I didn’t read the contract before I agreed to it”.
He apparently signed up for something he didn’t want, and continued his rant:
“It’s bad enough Google knows where I am, what I do, and control everything everywhere, but now you are crippling me financially and ruining my life with this bait and switch fraud! I’ll have to pay $1600 to get out then buy an iPhone and go to AT&T.”
Customer: “Have you ever heard of a company called ebay?”
(No sir, I have been living under a rock for more than a decade)
But one of my all-time favorite customer quotes would have to be when I asked someone to take the battery out of their phone to reboot it:
“I don’t think my wife would like it very much if she knew I had been taking the battery out of her phone.”
Why the Seahawks-Packers finish was not an interception, and why it would have been called the same by any referee crew.
You probably have seen the play numerous times by now. Monday Night Football. Seattle Seahawks vs Green Bay Packers. After a game full of dubious calls by the much-maligned replacement officials, fans of both teams are heated at perceived injustices. With the score 12-7 and needing a touchdown to win, the Seahawks face a 4th down, do or die play from the 24 yard line:
The game ends with Seattle winning 14-12. The announcers, initially stunned at the play, decide upon replay that the touchdown call is incorrect. With each passing viewing of it in slow motion, they declare it a “tragedy” and spend the rest of the broadcast bemoaning the “jobbing” Green Bay has been handed. Controversy erupts across the nation at the Touchdown call that brings an epic end to the game. But instead of Golden Tate and Russell Wilson being praised for their unlikely last-second epic win, the Seahawks are branded as “cheaters”. The internet explodes as 70,000+ voicemails are left for the league complaining about what many dub “the worst call in NFL history”. The verdict is clear to most: Green Bay was robbed and Seattle didn’t deserve to win. The two complaints are that offensive pass interference should have been called on Golden Tate for pushing a Green Bay DB out of the way, and that Jennings should have been awarded an interception on the actual catch.
Before we dive too much more into the controversy on this, I will cover one thing. Golden Tate definitely, definitively pushed off and committed what should have been offensive Pass Interference. The NFL agreed after the fact that it should have been called. The only problem is, this was on a hail mary pass where you would be hard pressed to find even one example of that being called in a past NFL game, even though pushing off routinely happens. Much like in NBA games where officials basically never call a foul with under 5 seconds left, NFL referees are not going to call a subjective penalty on the last play of the game if they can help it. So while Offensive PI would be the correct call, according to the rules it is unreviewable by instant replay, and once it was missed it is out of the conversation. You would be unlikely to convince this NFL fan that any other referee crew would have flagged Tate for the push, either. There’s plenty of evidence going around to show just how rare a Pass Interference call on the defense OR the offense is in these situations.
For the purposes of this article we are going to focus on the claim that it should have been called an interception. Let’s read over and keep in mind the exact NFL rule for this situation:
“Item 5: Simultaneous Catch. If a pass is caught simultaneously by two eligible opponents, and both players retain it, the ball belongs to the passers. It is not a simultaneous catch if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control. If the ball is muffed after simultaneous touching by two such players, all the players of the passing team become eligible to catch the loose ball.”
In real-time, it looks like it this rule would apply. Both players jump into the air, come down with the ball and wrestle with it on the ground before the official makes the touchdown signal. The national announcer even says “Tate..with Jennings…simultaneous…who’s got it?!” when it happens live, implying it is not clear at all who has caught the ball. Did anyone who watched the game live feel differently? If I’m that ref, I know what I saw: A bunch of players jump into the air, the ball comes down and then Tate and Jennings are wrestling over it. The ref sees they both have a hold of it and clearly decides “simultaneous possession goes to the offense. Touchdown.”
The point of contention for most people is that when the replays came up, Jennings of the Packers seems to grab control of the ball first, pull it in and maintain control the entire time, whereas Tate seems to not have nearly as much control of the ball, only trying desperately to get some of it. To the vast majority of fans, Jennings should be credited with an interception, because they don’t feel Tate had mutual possession of the ball. Some people are saying that Tate has “fingers” or “an arm” on the ball, but conclude that he doesn’t have enough of it to warrant getting credit for the catch.
Here’s where the rule and careful analysis comes into play.
It becomes clear from the above angle that Tate actually gets his left hand on the ball first, right before Jennings grabs it. A lot of people will then point out that Tate removes his right hand briefly to get a better grip, and thus supposedly Jennings keeps possession and Tate loses it. One important thing to note is that Tate’s left hand never releases the ball, so saying he loses all control at the point he readjusts his right hand is very dubious. There’s no evidence Tate has lost control with the left hand when this happens. The other important part is that when Tate’s right hand readjusts, he does so before Jennings feet touch the ground. By NFL rules Jennings has not established possession yet as both feet are still in the air, so not interception has taken place anyway. When they both hit the ground and both have two hands on it, they both are awarded possession, which would go to the offensive player. Tate’s left hand has partial control over the ball at all times, and Tate also gets a nice grip on it with the right hand before Jennings touches down. Either way, Tate has some of the ball the entire time, lands and completes the requirements for a catch.
In fact, Tate actually touches ground first:
According to the rules, this is why the call was correct. 2 Feet down, mutual possession of the ball, while Jennings is still in the air which by rule means he can’t have possession yet. Touchdown.
People have been posting a picture a lot that shows them on the ground 5 seconds later, after the players roll over and BOTH officials are on the field. At this point Jennings has way more of the ball due to torquing his body and Tate is holding on for dear life. That has nothing to do with the actual catch, just shows how Jennings had better positioning. There is no questioning Jennings had more control of the ball and better positioning, but the play was over when both hit the ground. If this was a game of flyer’s up, where both players are equal, Jennings gets credit for the catch. In this case, though, all the offensive player needs is share some of the possession as well, which Tate did. Once Tate has possession in the end zone, it’s a touchdown and the play is over even if the defender had managed to wrestle it away after they roll over.
Still not convinced? More evidence can be found in this video. The video is zoomed in on Tate’s left hand, where it becomes clear he immediately has a grip on the ball and maintains it throughout the entire catch. Keep an eye on the left hand!
A back angle also shows how Tate has his hands on the ball at the same time as Jennings, right at the beginning of the catch! It just isn’t as clear on other replays due to their positioning.
Possession for Jennings would begin as soon as he touches the ground, which begins here in the play:
You can see that by that time, Tate has both hands on the ball. Jennings still has better positioning, of course, but as we’ve covered that doesn’t matter. And interception could not have occured until this moment, and Tate has had partial control the entire time. As long as Tate doesn’t lose the ball upon completing the catch, it stays a touchdown.
Moving on, Tate hits the ground on his butt:
The play is officially dead when both men are on the ground, which again looks like both still have a handle on the ball:
At this point we can safely say that Tate had one firm hand on the ball throughout the play, and two hands gripping the ball from before the point where he OR Jennings hit the ground, starting actual possession.
When both players hit the ground, it sure looks like equal possession of the ball, so how can anyone say Tate only gets “a finger” on it, like has been repeated?
Here we can see a clear view of the ball, and Tate obviously has a claim to it:
(Thanks to Mike Sando for providing this image in his MNF Last Play album)
A back angle (and longer take) of the video provided by Q13 Seattle is helpful to pose this question: If Jennings has sole control, and Tate doesn’t, why can’t Jennings get the ball away from Tate at all? Throughout the catch Jennings never pulls the ball away from Tate. Even after they land and Jennings has rolled over, using all his strength to try to pull the ball away, he can’t, because Tate’s left hand is around the ball tight the entire time. Again, Tate does move his right arm during the catch, but this happens before he or Jennings touches the ground anyway, and more importantly he never loses that other hand on the ball. If Tate does not have possession or control over the ball, the way Jennings reacts and struggles makes no sense. He should be able to rip it away easily. Check out the video in the link below:
(This means you, skeptics that think Tate has no control over the ball)
Analyst Steve Gallo provides us this great image taken from the video, clearly marking out Golden Tate’s left hand securely around the ball, stopping Jennings from pulling it into his chest. You can check out the original image along with his informative take on the play over at Full Impact Football:
The back angle video and image shows clearly that while Jennings initially appears to be holding the ball to his chest, he’s actually holding it against Tate’s left hand. Tate has his left hand firmly around the ball from the top of the jump all the way to the ground. Coupled with the fact that he got his right hand on it before Jennings was out of the air, it’s clear that Tate had at least partial control of the ball from the beginning of the catch until he landed. That’s all he needs. It doesn’t matter if Jennings has most of the control. It’s still a touchdown.
So to recap, we’ve established:
-Tate touched the ball first, and had it with his left hand all the way from the beginning of the play until the end.
-Tate adjusting his right hand had no effect on his left hand/arm being around the ball at all times.
-Jennings could not pull the ball away from Tate at any point during the play, implying Tate has some control over the ball as well.
-Tate completes the requirements of a completed catch before Jennings has even touched down, and therefore before an interception could ever take place.
To me, this is more than enough to call this play a touchdown, and at the very least enough to get rid of this opinion of an “obvious interception” or “terrible call”.
Finally, to hammer home the point. Here’s an example of the SAME THING happening with no controversy in an NFL game. Two players go up, the defender appears to have the interception but the offensive player grabs on too. Touchdown. Notice the similarities, and how the result is the same. Touchdown:
In my opinion, the ESPN and the national media coverage of this game has been atrocious. In addition to not covering the actual specific rule properly when judging the play, they also have not bothered to be reasonable considering what the play looked like in real-time to the officials and judge them fairly. In my opinion, this is such a big deal nationally for three reasons:
1.. A less popular team from the northwest won in controversial fashion over a very popular team from the east. Does anyone doubt this would not be as big of a controversy had it been reversed, with the Seahawks losing?
2. To create controversy and draw ratings. The Sportscenter following MNF was the highest rated since 1995.
and most importantly,
3. To finish the storyline of the replacement referees ruining the game. People want the real refs back and this pushes the argument over the edge by running with the storyling that the replacements cost a team a game unfairly.
No one is arguing that the replacement refs have done a good job. This game alone was filled with at least 8 dubious calls going against both teams. That is not the argument though. People seem to be letting their perception of the ineffective referees decide that the play must have been ruled incorrectly without considering the details.
I believe that you are not being reasonable if you can’t admit, at the very least, that it was a close play. I don’t expect to change everyone’s mind. But even if you think it was an interception, calling this the “worst call ever”, as many videos of the play have been named, is ridiculous.
Is this call worse than the infamous Vinny Testeverde touchdown against the Seahawks that led to instant replay being implemented to begin with? (On the play in question, the ball never came close to the endzone, but officials mistook Vinny’s helmet for the football, which barely crossed the goal. They awarded him a touchdown).
After all, if you saw this in real time:
Would you be 100% sure you could make the correct call, all while interpreting the rules to the letter? Not even a regular official would have called it differently. Watching it live like the officials did, it’s completely understandable why they called it a touchdown for the Seahawks. Admit that it could have gone either way, and you will have my respect. And consider that maybe, just maybe, they got it right (at least, as right as the NFL ever gets it). Thank you.
EDIT: Please make sure to check out this other excellent article on the play, which uses many of the same points I did, and also does a great job referencing other plays to form precedent: