Testaverde knows about phantom TDs

September, 25, 2012
9/25/12
10:43
PM ET
Vinny Testaverde knows all about bad calls in games involving the Seahawks, and he believes the Monday night debacle was worse than the blunder he benefitted from in 1998.

"A lot of people think the play back in '98 was responsible for bringing in instant replay," the former Jets QB told ESPNNewYork.com Tuesday night. "Well, even with instant replay, these guys got it wrong (Monday night). It's pretty bad when you can't get it right with instant replay."

Testaverde scored on what is remembered as The Phantom Touchdown, a 5-yard sneak in the final minute that lifted the Jets to a 32-31 win over the Seahawks. The ball never crossed the goal line. The officials blew it, thinking Testaverde's helmet was the football. If there had been instant replay, he would've been ruled down at the 1.

It was costly for the Seahawks, who finished 8-8, barely missed the playoffs and fired coach Dennis Erickson.

Testaverde said he bumped into Erickson recently at the Hall of Fame ceremony in Canton. Testaverde, who was there to support former teammate Curtis Martin, said the infamous play came up in conversation.

"He's still bitter about it, to say the least," Testaverde said. "He laughed about it a little, but not as hard as I was laughing."

Testaverde said "the players who lost Monday night" -- the Packers -- "aren't laughing at all. This is their livelihood. Careers are at stake and guys get fired. That's the shame of it." He agreed with the rest of America, claiming the officials blew it. He blamed the league and the owners.

"The NFL should be at their best at all times and, clearly, these aren't the best (officials)," he said. "I don't blame the replacements, I blame the league for putting them out there. Roger Goodell is taking his orders from the owners, so I blame them, too. We need people to step up and get on the owners. The only way to get their attention is to not go to the games. That'll get them to listen -- empty seats."

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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