Wesley Tate stands behind older brother in wake of controversial NFL finish

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 10:07pm

Vanderbilt running back Wesley Tate took the high road and decided not to send a text message to quarterback Jordan Rodgers late Monday night.

Probably a good call. After all, they share a backfield together so it was wise not to rub salt into the wound of a controversial ending to the Green Bay Packers-Seattle Seahawks Monday Night Football game that had their older brothers on opposite sides. 

On Tuesday, though, the two joked about the finish.

Tate’s brother, Seahawks receiver Golden Tate, a former Pope John Paul II standout, was ruled to have possession of a last-second Hail Mary that propelled the Seahawks to a 14-12 win. Replays showed that Packers safety M.D. Jennings intercepted the ball with Tate getting one hand in. Afterwards, Rodgers’ older brother, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, called the ruling “awful.”

“We had fun with it,” the younger Tate said after practice Wednesday. “Nothing too serious. If the Seahawks did lose it wouldn’t be the end of the world for me. The same for him.”

Tate said that later on Monday night he did talk to Golden and “laughed it up.” A certain non-pass interference call, however, somehow was left out of the conversation for the brothers from Hendersonville.

Golden could be seen pushing cornerback Sam Shields to the ground before he leapt and made what the NFL’s replacement referees ruled a simultaneous catch. Golden denied the push afterwards and a couple days later his younger brother was sticking to the family company line.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Tate said smiling. “I’ll leave all that stuff to the referees. It wasn’t called so I guess not.”

Of course, some of his teammates called foul — as did the NFL, which said a day later that a penalty should have been called.

“[Wesley] Tate knew it was a pass interference. He pushed a man to the ground,” cornerback Trey Wilson said with a grin. “Of course, he is not going to claim it. That’s his brother but we all saw it.”

And was it a touchdown?

“Definitely an interception,” Wilson said. “Jennings definitely caught the ball first and secured it to this chest. Golden Tate just stuck his arms in there. I’m a DB though so I’m biased.”

As for Yolanda Tate, she was overwhelmed with joy. Her eldest child was the man of the honor and caught two touchdowns — on her birthday.

“She was excited he made the play and that it went Seattle’s way,” Tate said. “My brother had a pretty good game so she was just excited about the team’s win.”