Former Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has never been shy when it comes to speaking his mind and per usual, he’s been in the headlines plenty of times in 2023 despite only playing four snaps this season.
Pack fans became accustomed to his displeasure with the front office and seemingly constant drama over a variety of situations to close out his last few years in Green Bay.
He’s taken a bold stance against backlash for choosing not to take the vaccine and recently accused reporters of singling him out and attacking him solely for political reasons linked to that controversial choice.
To be fair, Aaron Rodgers takes a lot of heat, but it’s refreshing to hear a quarterback of his status take hard stances on sensitive topics and never waver, even when there’s outrage from media, fans and or Howe talking heads.
Just last week, the Ringer wrote a scathing piece about Rodgers, blaming him for craving attention since his Achilles injury in Week 1 and claimed he was responsible for the New York Jets failing this season.
As usual, Rodgers fired back and stood his ground.
But on Tuesday, the Jets signal caller was asked about one of the more controversial calls of the season that happened at the end of the Cowboys and Lions game on Saturday.
Former Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers Brings Up Painful Memory For Pack Fans, Calls For Accountability For Refs
On Tuesday, Rodgers made his weekly appearance on the Pat McAfee show and was asked his thoughts on the controversial ending — which many believes the referees botched — and costed the the Detroit Lions a win vs. the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
Co-host Darius Butler asked Rodgers if he’s ever been part of a similar controversial play and then was curious to see where the Jets QB believed the blame lied.
“Is it on the ref, is it on Detroit because they were trying to get a little too cute with it, what do you think about it?” Butler asked.
Aaron Rodgers immediately brought up one of the worst memories of Green Bay Packers fans.
“I was part of the Fail, Mary, DB,” Rodgers responded.
“When the NFL go to cheap to pay their referees what they’re due and hired a bunch of people that didn’t belong on a high school field, they couldn’t even ref my JC games. Respect To North Cal Junior College, because that’s a high level of football, we wouldn’t want those referees reffing our games.”
As any longtime Pack fan understands, Rodgers is referring to the 2012 Monday Night Football matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, where Seattle won on the final play of the game in a controversial call the NFL later admitted was wrong.
On the final play of the tightly contested game, Seattle QB Russell Wilson threw a Hail Mary pass into the end zone intended for wide receiver Golden Tate. Both Tate and Packers defender M. D. Jennings got their hands on the ball while both players were still in the air and attempting to gain possession. The two officials near the play initially gave separate signals of touchdown and touchback, before ruling the players had simultaneous possession, resulting in a Seahawks game-winning touchdown.
Prior to the catch, Tate shoved Packers cornerback Sam Shields with both hands, which the NFL later acknowledged should have drawn an offensive pass interference penalty that would have negated the touchdown and resulted in a Green Bay Packers victory. The lack of a pass interference penalty and the ruling of a touchdown via simultaneous catch were widely questioned in the aftermath of the game, drawing comments from the game’s announcers, NFL players, and the media. The NFL subsequently released a statement defending the touchdown ruling, while admitting that offensive pass interference did occur, which would have resulted in a Packers win.
The former Packers star then gave his opinion on the controversy behind the Lions and Cowboys involving the referees on Saturday.
“Listen, there’s been a lot of talk about the play and I think everybody wants a little accountability for sure. Now, I don’t get why three guys went to the referee. I saw Sewell went, Decker went and 70 went, right?”
He then insinuates head referee Brad Allen was the one at fault.
“I don’t know what Brad was thinking here, it seems like he just left before what could be said.”
In the second half of the video below posted by NFL Insider Ian Rapoport on X, he explains why the NFL sided with the officials and provided clips of the controversial moment.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 3, 2024
After the Lions scored a touchdown to bring the game within a point, coach Dan Campbell chose to be aggressive by going for two and the win. For the attempt, Campbell sent out multiple linemen with only one reporting as eligible to try and confuse the Cowboys.
Unfortunately for them, it also confused Allen and the rest of his officiating crew, so while quarterback Jared Goff found offensive lineman Taylor Decker to seemingly take the lead on the conversion, an illegal touching penalty wiped the play away. Detroit would then fail the attempt that actually counted as Dallas held on for a massive 20-19 win.
While the Lions made an unconventional decision, they technically didn’t commit a penalty in that situation, although the NFL disagrees, according to Raporport:
He said in a recent league memo, the league showed an example of a player properly reporting to the officials when entering the game — and while it absolutely looked like all three players checked in with referee Brad Allen against the Cowboys — the NFL essentially blamed Detroit.
As Rodgers noted, the video appears as if Allen walks away before the new players even had a chance to report.
And that wasn’t the only major mishap by the referees that hurt the chances for the Lions to pick up a major win in a game that was ultimately decided by one point.
That wasn’t the only controversial call Allen’s crew made on Saturday, as they also called a tripping penalty on the Cowboys when it should have been on the Lions.
Here is video of that initial first-down play, reviewed by ESPN, showing that Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson — not Cowboys TE Hendershot — should have been the one flagged for attempting to trip Tony Pollard. Instead, Dallas penalized. pic.twitter.com/fkCuF3ChW6
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2023
It’s clear Aaron Rodgers feels like there was an injustice against his longtime division rival from his time with the Packers.