By Rob Dore
If you’re an NFL fan you’ll be fully aware of the shocking refereeing decision in the Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks NFL game on Monday night football. So bad was this call, which came in the very last seconds and handed the Seahawks a match-winning touchdown, that we couldn’t let our Paddypower.com customers suffer. As is our style we decided to refund losing single handicap and match bets on this game in one of our famed Justice Payouts.
Paddy Power spoke to American sports site DonBest.com about the reasons behind the decision.
Sometimes in sport you’re so unlucky that it’s just not fair. In those cases we try and do the right thing and give the money back. I couldn’t sleep at night taking people’s money after that call.
The problem was ultimately caused by the NFL referees going on strike over a pay dispute. This league were forced to call in back-up officials for the first three weeks of the season. These guys have been doing their best but it has been painfully clear many of them are out of their depth.
Many poor calls have been made but this is the worst one so far. With seconds to go, Seattle were in possession but needed to cover a lot of ground in a very short time. Quarter-back Russell Wilson launched a Hail Mary pass in to the end zone and several players went for the catch. Green Bay’s MD Jennings came down in possession of the ball but Seattle’s Golden Tate was also clinging on to it for dear life. One referee gave a touchdown; the other didn’t. So we went to a replay.
Not only does the replay show Jennings got full control of the ball first, which would have resulted in a turn-over and won the game for the Packers, it also shows Tate clearly shoving Green Bay’s Sam Shields in the back before making his jump. To us, it was a clear offensive foul and again should have been enough to nullify the touchdown and hand Green Bay the win. Despite going to the replay, the touchdown was somehow allowed to stand.
Refunding our customers’ bets was an even easier call to make. It’s not the first time Paddy Power has made a Justice Payout of course. This call, after Manny Pacquiao lost his WBO welterweight belt to Timothy Bradley, was one of our biggest recent examples. And we do love our US sports.