Let's be clear: We're past the preseason now. These games really matter, and the Packers just lost one that counts for real, one that by all rights they should have won. As a divisional rival, it pains me to say this, but the Packers got royally horsebuggered on that last play, and this could have serious implications down the road when it comes to playoff seeds and homefield advantage.
One of the main points Commissioner Goodell has always harped on is protecting the shield: not letting anything tarnish the brand of the NFL. Commissioner, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but right now the shield is tarnishing faster than a sailor's virtue in a two-dollar whorehouse. Players see it; coaches see it; fans see it. These refs are not fit to stand in for the men you've locked out for what is increasingly looking like nothing more than simple greed—attempting to squeeze blood from a stone simply because you can. The NFL is America's No. 1 sport in part because everyone watching it knows that the players determine the outcome of a game, not the refs. As of right now, you're hurting business by putting a product out on the field that challenges that belief.
We all know that the regular refs sometimes get calls wrong, but never this egregiously, never this overtly. Sure, they may miss a pass interference or a holding call, but they always mark off the right yardage, and there's a trust that they'll get the vast majority of the calls right. Right now, there's no trust for the replacement refs. We've seen them make mistake after mistake, and it'll only get worse as players and coaches continue to push the envelope to see what they can get away with (extra timeouts are pretty awesome, not gonna lie).
Kluwe is 100% correct -- as much as I hate yesterday's result as a Packers fan, the larger question is the overall credibility of the league. The Vikings were screwed on Sunday when the replacement officials essentially gave Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers the equivalent of two extra timeouts and a replay challenge they were not entitled to by rule. As it happened, the outcome of the game did not change. This time, it did. And if you think that Golden Tate of the Seattle Seahawks caught the touchdown pass at the end of the game, you need to see this still image:
One last thing -- the Packers were favored by 3.5 and were leading by 5 when this play happened. Millions of dollars changed hands as a result of what happened last night and I'd wager (ahem) that Roger Goodell and the league will be hearing about that part of it, too.