East Texas Replacement Ref talks about time in NFL
ATHENS, TEXAS (KLTV) - Mike Peek has been officiating for 42 years.
He knows the pressure that comes with the job.
"When you sign the line and say, 'yes I'm going to be an NFL official,' you know that you are subjecting yourself to scrutiny beyond belief," said Peek.
It was one week ago, the economics professor at Trinity Valley, found out just how bad it could be.
Peek was one of the officials, during the Monday Night Football game between the Packers and Seahawks.
He was on the field for it's controversial finish, in which the Seahawks were awarded a touchdown on a Hail Mary on the last play.
The play has been subject to non-stop scrutiny since, with the common plea being the Packers actually intercepted the ball and that the touchdown call cost them the game.
"I told someone it made me want to go cry and that is exactly how I felt," said Peek from his office in Athens. "When you are concentrating and trying to do your very best and then to see your efforts just go away at the end, it was just a colossal disappointment."
And after the game there was no escaping it.
"When I was leaving the airport, there was a cluster of people around a television screen, and I leaned over to see what they were looking at, and yep, there it was."
"Got to Dallas about 6:00 a.m and was stepping off the plane and low and behold there was a cluster of people around the TV again. I looked to see what they were looking at, and it was not the weather channel."
Peek wouldn't say if he thought the call was right or wrong, rather, that in the three weeks of replacement refs, they did the job, they were asked to do.
"You feel bad that the game ended up with such a bad taste in everyone's mouth, especially the officials," said Peek. "You hate that, but you know you can walk away with pride knowing you can officiate at that level."