Oklahoman Derrick Rhone-Dunn plays key role in Monday Night Football debacle

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL — Replacement official Derrick Rhone-Dunn, an Oklahoma City native, was the back judge that ruled the final play of the Monday Night Football game was an interception.
FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS Published: September 25, 2012

An Oklahoman played a key role in the Seattle-Green Bay game on Monday night.

Derrick Rhone-Dunn, the official with the best view of the final play, lives in Oklahoma City.

According to Deadspin and ESPN.com, Rhone-Dunn, the back judge Monday night, has experience calling football games at nearly every college level and most recently called arena games.

Rhone-Dunn is a former Big 12 official and worked the 2007 Sugar Bowl (LSU vs. Notre Dame).

On the final play of “Monday Night Football,” Seattle's Russell Wilson heaved a 24-yard pass into a scrum in the end zone with the Seahawks trailing 12-7. Tate shoved away a defender with both hands, and the NFL acknowledged Tuesday he should have been penalized, which would have clinched a Packers victory. But that cannot be reviewed by instant replay.

Tate and Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings then both got their hands on the ball, though the Packers insisted Jennings had clear possession for a game-ending interception.

“It was pinned to my chest the whole time,” Jennings said.

Rhone-Dunn initially called it an interception and a touchback, while the side judge, Lance Easley, ruled it a touchdown.

Eventually Rhone-Dunn and Easley ruled that the two had simultaneous possession, which counts as a reception. Once that happened, the NFL said, the referee was correct that no indisputable visual evidence existed on review to overturn the touchdown call.

“The NFL Officiating Department reviewed the video today and supports the decision not to overturn the on-field ruling following the instant replay review,” the league said in a statement.

Saying there was no indisputable evidence, though, is not the same as confirming the initial call was correct.

The NFL conceded Tuesday that it was a bad call.

As coaches, players and fans — and even athletes in other sports — ripped the use of replacement refs, the league met with its locked-out officials Tuesday in an attempt to resolve the impasse.

Two people with knowledge of the talks told The Associated Press that the sides were meeting Tuesday. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions were not made public.

The NFL said Seattle's last-second touchdown pass Monday should not have been overturned — but acknowledged Seahawks receiver Golden Tate should have been called for offensive pass interference before the catch for a 14-12 victory.

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