Stealing every headline in the sports world this morning was a controversial touchdown call made by the pro football replacement officials that gave the Seattle Seahawks a 14-12 victory over the 3-point-favorite Green Bay Packers to cap off a wild Week 3.
The decision also had a major say in this week’s outcome in the William Hill $500,000 Pro Pick ’em contest.
Each week, players pick the winners – no point spreads involved – of the Sunday and Monday pro football contests, plus one designated over/under. The entries with the most winners picked each week claim their share of a $15,000 first place prize. In Week 3, only one of more than 10,000 entries had the top score of 14-2. That entry, submitted at Bonanza Inn and Casino in Fallon, was capped off with a Seattle selection in the Monday night contest.
Second prize each week is $5,000, which was divided by 11 contestants who each went 13-3.
The game was decided on a last-second hail mary play, in which Seattle rookie quarterback Russell Wilson threw a bomb into the back-left corner of the end zone into a crowd of players. First possession of the ball was claimed by Packers safety M.D. Jennings, but as he fell to the ground, Seahawks receiver Golden Tate got at least one arm around the ball. One of the much-maligned referees at the spot of the play ruled it a touchdown, while the other signaled for a touchback, meaning the ball was intercepted. The officials took it to replay, where the controversial touchdown verdict was reached, ruling that dual possession was had once the play went to the ground, which, by rule, grants the completion to the offense. Whether dual possession was actually the case is Tuesday morning’s major point of contention.
The play left many – including players, coaches, NFL executives, fans and media – clamoring more than ever before for the league to get its labor dispute with its officials sorted out to potentially stop the madness. In Nevada, the call meant a swing worth millions of dollars for sports books throughout the state.
And for one fan, the call meant the payday of a lifetime.
If you’re in Nevada, you can still sign up for the $500,000 Pro Pick ’em and be eligible for $21,000 in weekly prizes. The entry fee to be eligible for the final 14 weeks of season prizes is now $20 (originally $25). You can sign up at any full service William Hill Race & Sports Book location around the state, and picks can be submitted each week at any William Hill location, including kiosks.