Updated: Bill Simmons says the 90-minute SportsCenter that followed Monday Night Football last night “cracked a 5 rating,” which makes it the highest rated SportsCenter in 17 years. “Those are crisis ratings!” he tweeted. Theory: a fair number of fans, who abandoned the game before the ending, saw the tweet-storm and turned back to ESPN to watch the ensuing drama.
By the way, Twitter says it counted more than one million tweets sparked by the controversial ending of last night’s game.
Earlier: First things first, I’m a Seahawks fan. But when the final play of Monday Night Football — a Seahawks Hail Mary with seconds left — landed in the hands of a Packers defender, you’d think Green Bay would walk away with the win. But two replacement officials called it opposite ways, and they subsequently confirmed the Seahawks TD via the replay. Social media exploded like few football games I’ve witnessed before.
Moments after the catch, @NFL tweeted, “Touchdown or Interception? #GBvsSEA.” Then seconds later, the tweet disappeared. But it was too late, and the deleted tweet spread like wildfire. The NFL also deleted this Facebook post:
Because it used an entirely unrelated image — that’s not the touchdown catch, but an earlier catch in the game. That image then appeared on the home page of Seahawks.com.
Then tweets from Green Bay players appeared:
Got fucked by the refs.. Embarrassing. Thanks nfl
— TJ Lang (@TJLang70) September 25, 2012
Which was retweeted thousands of times moments later. Then there was this:
Aaron Rodgers on controversial call: “It’s awful.Just look at the replay…It’s awful, that’s all I’m going to say about it.”
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 25, 2012
It didn’t take long for the jokes to begin:
We have reviewed the call again and made the correct call, which is… twitter.com/NFLRefProblems…
— Replacement Refs (@NFLRefProblems) September 25, 2012
“The final decision is only going to fuel debate about the replacement officials coming off a weekend filled with disputed calls,” explains ESPN.com. To put it another way, the controversial end of Monday Night Football will inevitably bring an end to the NFL’s standoff with its officials.