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Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Barkley feels for NFL replacement officials

By Pedro Moura

LOS ANGELES -- USC quarterback Matt Barkley watched the ending of the Green Bay Packers-Seattle Seahawks game on Monday Night Football.

He said he thought it was "bananas." He also felt some sympathy for the replacement referees forced to make a decision on the game-deciding play in the end zone involving Seahawks receiver Golden Tate.

Tate appeared to shove a defender and commit offesnive pass interference before wrestling the football away from Green Bay defender M.D. Jennings. One referee thought it was a touchdown and one didn't, but it was ruled a catch. The call was reviewed but stood because of inconclusive evidence.

"It was crazy," Barkley said Tuesday. "I've never seen something like it. It seems like these refs are getting the worst calls possible to try to officiate.

"It's like, now, out of all times, the hardest calls fall on their shoulders."

Outrage over the replacement referees -- the NFL's regular refs are on strike -- has erupted all across the sports world since Monday night. Barkley declined to get into the controversy of the call itself.

"I won't comment on whether it was an interception or not," Barkley said. "It's about time the real refs were back in the game."

Of course, Barkley's former coach at USC, Pete Carroll, now heads the Seahawks, and Carroll was elated about Monday's outcome.