On his weekly radio spot today for ESPN Milwaukee, “The Aaron Rodgers Show,” Aaron Rodgers let the NFL have it. Fed up with replacement refs, especially in light of last night’s non-simulataneous catch/missed pass interference call, Rodgers lit into the NFL and the NFL’s statement concerning last night. There was no begrudging indifference, nothing. Just unadulterated honesty.
Here are some of the more interesting things he had to say, via ESPN NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert.
“I gotta do something that the NFL’s not gonna do – and I have to apologize to the fans. Our sport, the multi-billion dollar machine, is generated by people who pay good money to come watch us play, and the product that’s on the field is not being complimented by an appropriate set of officials. The games are getting out of control, and, like I said in the first week, I said this: I’m okay with replacement refs as long as they don’t have a direct impact on the game. […} The game is being tarnished by an NFL who obviously cares more about saving some money than having the integrity of the game diminished a little bit.
Let’s remember who we’re dealing with. We’re dealing with an NFL who locked out the players, and said, ‘we’re gonna stand firm in our position.’ […] This is an NFL who gambled on some low level referees, including the guy who makes the most important call last night, whose never had any professional experience. These aren’t SEC refs, who’ve been around NFL guys, multiple NFL guys on every team and the speed of the game.”
Rodgers then goes on to read the NFL’s statement from earlier today concerning the incident, but interrupts his own reading with some rather harsh words:
“‘When the players hit the ground in the end zone, the officials determined that both Tate and Jennings had possession of the ball.’ I call bull on that. Because they say ‘officials.’ No. There was zero communication between ’em. There was zero communication between the guy who was responsible for the 1st and 25 phantom pass interference call on Sam Shields and the other referee who was responsible for calling a offsetting personal foul against Greg Jennings for one-hand pushing Brandon Browner who had just punched him and thrown him to the ground. So those two guys have zero communication, zero eye contact. One of them is signaling over his head, meaning clock stopped, game’s over, I’m about to signal touchback. And the other, from who knows what angle as he’s looking at M.D. [Jennings] on top of Golden Tate, and he’s gonna say that that’s a catch by the receiver, while M.D. has the ball to his chest, which is also usually the association with the simultaneous possession rule, which is who has the ball on their chest first? And as the rule reads, which we’ve all probably read it at some point in the last 24 hours, simultaneous possession does not exist when one person has the ball first, and the other player tries to put his hands on top of the ball, which is obviously what happened in that situation. Everybody saw it, you saw the replay.
Rodgers continues his rant for a while, including statements such as “that’s garbage” and “they’re still covering their butts here,” and “that’s embarrassing.” It’s quite the compelling listen, if you’ve got seven minutes to spare.
For the podcast of his entire show, click here.
Photo via Getty