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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

September 25, 2012 at 10:34 AM

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On the air: Pete Carroll on 710 ESPN Seattle: 'The league backed it up, game over and we win'

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Sorry may be a word plenty of people have used to characterize the officiating on the last play of Monday's game, but that's not a word Pete Carroll used discussing the victory during his weekly radio show on 710 ESPN Seattle on Tuesday morning. He was asked about the characterization of his team's victory that was stripped across the front page of The Seattle Times on Tuesday: Hawks steal one.

"I don't care," Carroll said on the air. "I could care less about all that stuff. The game's played, they called it. We played with the officials they sent out there, we played with the team time that they put out there, and at the end of it, we throw the ball up and Golden (Tate) makes an extraordinary effort. It's a great protection, it's a great throw, it's a great attempt at the ball and he wins the battle.

"They were right on the point, looking right at it, standing right over the thing, and they reviewed it. Whether they missed the push or not, obviously they missed the push in the battle for the ball, but that stuff goes on all the team. They see it, they don't see it, that happens with the official officials so the result is that they called it, and the league backed it up, game over and we win."

Carroll is right, the league did make a statement regarding the way that final play was officiated. And while the league said that Tate should have been penalized for offensive pass interference, it did not declare the play should have been reversed upon a replay review. The league also did not state that the call was correct, which is an important difference.

Carroll was asked if he thought the players had simultaneous possession as the officials ruled.

"It was simultaneous when they got to the ground," Carroll said. "There was a little bit of an edge for the (defensive back) up in the air, but it's not over there. You've got to get to the ground and finish the catch, and when we finished the catch, we had the ball and they had the ball, too. So it's simultaneous."

Carroll is right about that. The league's statement included the applicable rules that were applied, and two of those rules applied specifically to when it is determined a player has possession. Specifically: Possession does not translate strictly to the first player to grab hold of the ball with two hands:

"A forward pass is complete (by the offense) or intercepted (by the defense) if a player, who is inbounds:
   (a) secures control of the ball in his hands or arms prior to the ball touching the ground; and
   (b) touches the ground inbounds with both feet or with any part of his body other than his hands; and
   (c) maintains control of the ball long enough, after (a) and (b) have been fulfilled, to enable him to perform any act common to the game (i.e., maintaining control long enough to pitch it, pass it, advance with it, or avoid or ward off an opponent, etc.).

               --RULE 8, SECTION 1, ARTICLE 3

Player Going to the Ground: If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.
               -- RULE 8, SECTION 1, ARTICLE 3

Carroll was asked by host Brock Huard to respond to the characterization that the call was tragic in that Green Bay's defender was clearly up in the air with the ball in his hands while Tate may have his left hand in.

"You have to complete the catch on the ground," Carroll said. "It's not over yet. This stuff happens, and by the time they got to the ground, the ball right in Golden's chest, he's got both arms on the football and that guy is laying on top of him, too. So that's why they said, simultaneous. Now, people don't want to hear that, but that's what happened."


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