Immediately after one of the greatest postseason plays in history, referee Clete Blakeman gave fans one of the most embarrassing officiating screw-ups.
Aaron Rodgers lofted a hail mary that somehow found the arms of Jeff Janis with no time left in regulation to, with the extra point, tie Saturday night’s game at 20. Blakeman’s toss proved less successful.
At the overtime midfield coin toss, Aaron Rodgers called tails. Blakeman forgot to flip the coin. He threw it in the air, but as the Packers quarterback noted, and instant replay confirmed, the coin never flipped—not as jaw-dropping as Hector Poole tossing a coin on its side in The Twilight Zone‘s “A Penny for Your Thoughts” but Blakeman nonetheless also immediately knew the thoughts on everyone’s mind after his he tossed his change.
Rodgers protested. The referee gave the Packers a second chance just as the Cardinals already had.
Aaron Rodgers throws 50 yard bomb to tie it with no time left. Ref can’t make the coin flip even 1 time
— Anthony Halloran (@ahalloran15) January 17, 2016
Rogers can pinpoint a 50 yd hail Mary in triple coverage, while falling backwards, but ref messes up the coin flip? Lol! #GBvsAZ
— Michael Djajich (@mdjajich) January 17, 2016
That was the same ref from the patriots coin flip debacle
— Bronson Grubbs (@B_grubbin) January 17, 2016
Blakeman flipped it again and it again came up heads. What are the odds (50/50)?
“It didn’t flip,” Rodgers said after the game, adding: “We obviously thought that was not right.” A dejected Rodgers lodged a second complaint against Blakeman: “He flipped it without giving me a chance to make a recall.”
The Cardinals quickly capitalized with a 75-yard pass to Larry Fitzgerald followed by a shovel-pass touchdown to put an exclamation point on a 12-catch, 176-yard night.