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Seahawks Truthers Continue To Insist Golden Tate Caught That Touchdown

Everyone still refers to Seattle's game-winning touchdown as "controversial," but that's a misnomer. It's actually one of the least controversial plays out there, one that everyone from sports writers to casual fans agree should have been an interception. This is only a slight simplification, but the call on the field was so egregiously wrong that it singlehandedly forced the league to accede to most of the NFLRA's demands.

The debate in the last few days has rightly focused on the larger picture: the inexperience of the replacements, the insanely profitable league locking out the only qualified officiants for the sake of a few million dollars, the reactions of players and gamblers to an NFL no longer objectively decided. To the nation's credit, nobody appeared to even want to argue the call that the entire mess was predicated on.


Spoke too soon. A small but vocal group of fans, mostly in Washington and aided by social media, is insistent that not only was there no indisputable evidence to overturn the call via replay, but that it was the right call in the first place—that Golden Tate cleanly and securely caught that football, and M.D. Jennings ripped it away from him.

Exhibit A in the Seahawks Truther movement: the photo seen here. Currently popping up all over Facebook, it's inspired interpretations like "Looks like possession with both feet down while Jennings only has one, Touchdown" and "by rule this is not even a simultaneous catch, this is TD TATE his feet are inbounds first!"

Exhibit B: An "exclusive angle" of the play, from KCPQ-TV in Seattle. It's filmed from nearly the same spot as the photo, and supposedly shows the same thing—Tate with the ball, two feet down, touchdown. The footage has been championed by those like Pete Prisco, who has somehow never wavered from his stance over the past month that the replacement refs are no worse than the regulars. (Prisco responded to the suggestion that the footage still shows an interception with "You didn't watch the video.")


What don't either of these angles show, taken as they were from behind the end zone? The ball. A screengrab of nearly the exact moment captured in the photo shows Jennings, though his feet aren't on the ground, with both hands on the ball, squeezing it to his chest. Tate has both feet down, yes—but he has one hand tangled up with Jennings's arms, his other hand flailing in the air. In other words, the screengrab shows you exactly what's been replayed on TV 10,000 times, and led everyone to comfortably state the refs blew the call.


It's pointless to argue, of course. That's how truthers work. Their "evidence" is only intriguing if you ignore all the other evidence to the contrary. So instead of the "what" of the argument, I'm stuck wondering about the "why."

Why bother? To whom are they attempting to prove something? There's literally no point in trying to convince someone that Tate caught that ball, because for all intents and purposes, he did. The officials said so. The replay crew said so. The league said so. The box score and the standings say so. You won. There is nothing at stake here. This is not about who really brought down Tower 7 or where the president was born or anything that might contain a hidden objective truth. This is a thing that happened on TV, and everyone saw it, and there's nothing to be gained by claiming that the Seahawks win was somehow "just" except perhaps pissing off the rest of the league that would like to see you take your fluke win with something resembling class.

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