Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Victor Cruz: I would not take credit for Golden Tate's controversial catch

You can't look anywhere today without seeing replays of Monday Night Football's controversial touchdown call — or non-call, if you prefer — that gave the Seattle Seahawks a last second victory over the Green Bay Packers.

Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson's Hail Mary pass as time expired was credited as a touchdown to his receiver Golden Tate — even after Packers cornerback M.D. Jennings came up with the ball.  In the mad scramble for the ball on the play,  one replacement referee signaled "touchback" and another raised his arms showing "touchdown."  After a review, the TD call stood.

While Tate told SiriusXM NFL Radio he had no problem saying he deserved credit for the touchdown catch.  "I know I had the ball," he said in the  postgame interview.  Jennings said if Tate was asked to take a lie detector test, he would fail.

On ESPN's Mike & Mike Morning Show Tuesday, New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz told his hosts that he doesn't think he would have taken credit for the touchdown catch like Tate did.

"Probably not.  I would have been honest," said Cruz.  "Obviously, the film shows, the video shows that I obviously didn't catch the football.  I wouldn't have owned up to catching it, if I didn't catch it."

The salsa-dancing Cruz thought the replacement referees made the wrong call.

"I thought it was a tough play," said Cruz.  "Obviously the refs at least have to agree on the call at the very end.  But obviously I felt like it was the wrong call.  We hated it, we wished it wouldn't come down to something like this with the replacement refs, but unfortunately it has.  And it cost Green Bay the game."

Cruz went on to confess that players are getting more physical and getting away with more infractions because of the replacements.

"I feel like the defenders — and I would do the same thing, if they're seeing that some of the refs aren't calling some of these downfield holding calls or pass interference or whatever the case may be.  I would start using that to my advantage, start holding a little bit and stuff like that."

And the frustration goes beyond the New York Giants' players.

The blown call even has New Jersey politicians calling for the rent-a-refs' heads.  Just hours after the Packers were victims of the inept referee crew,  a State Senator wants to block replacement referees from working pro football games in New Jersey.

They take their football seriously — and honestly — in the Garden State.

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