Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012 | 2:23 p.m.
Map of Rum Runner Tropicana
1801 E. Tropicana Avenue, Suite 5, Las Vegas
Green Bay fans watching Monday Night Football at a Las Vegas watering hole known for catering to a cheesehead clientele booed and yelled their disapproval at the now-infamous call that handed the Seattle Seahawks a 14-12 victory over the Packers.
“It was a pretty upset crowd,” said Teré Hill, 56, who owns the Rum Runner Lounge and Badger Café with her husband, Geno. “It was pretty hostile in here.”
The NFL’s decision to lock out its referees in a labor dispute has attracted anger from players, fans and football analysts. The league has been using replacements gathered from lower-division college football conferences and high schools to officiate NFL games this season.
Hill said the bar, at 1801 E. Tropicana Ave., wasn’t filled to capacity Monday night – as it usually is for Packers games on Sundays – because many people work, but the patrons let their anguish be heard.
“It was a pretty unfair call,” she said. “The nicest word in here was ‘mother.’”
The quality of the officiating has also caused havoc in Nevada sports books. One area bookmaker estimated there was a $15 million dollar swing in payoffs with the last-second Seattle victory.
Seahawks fan Jeff Ludvic, 48, was inside the Badger Café during Tuesday’s lunch hour, waiting for his barbecue wings.
“It just doesn’t make me want to bet on (the games),” the Las Vegas resident said.
Though the outrage over officiating has been well reported, Ludvic said locked-out referees make many mistakes, as well.
“They’re going to blow calls whether they’re replacement refs or regular refs,” Ludvic said as he took a bite of a chicken wing. “I’m partial to Seattle, but I think Green Bay got screwed and should have won the game.”
Others were less kind.
“It was a bad call, and for the NFL to say it wasn’t is atrocious,” said 50-year-old Las Vegas resident Cliff James. “They should reverse the call.”
Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, who grew up in Wisconsin, voiced his displeasure with the call this morning from his office.
“I’m so disgusted. If this is how games are going to go – they just stole that one from the Packers,” Sisolak said.