RENTON, Wash. — As if the Seattle Seahawks‘ 27-24 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night wasn’t wild enough — with four-plus quarters of back-and-forth football, a combined seven turnovers and two defensive scores — the overtime coin toss has produced the NFL’s version of the great Laurel versus Yanny debate.
Geno Smith did, in fact, call heads to give the Seahawks possession when referee Alex Kemp’s silver dollar landed that way. The television copy above leaves little doubt. But his call is entirely ambiguous on other videos, including this one.
Smith had some fun with it Tuesday on Twitter:
— Geno (@GenoSmith3) November 13, 2019
Pete Carroll was amused by the controversy, but he didn’t have any question about what Smith called. He said he heard heads on the TV copy and also made the point that Richard Sherman — who was on the field with Smith for the coin toss — would have raised a stink had Kemp misheard the call.
“Both the official and Richard, they didn’t have anything (to say),” Carroll said. “Richard would’ve griped, I would think — yeah, he would have for sure if he heard something different than what happened. I’m going with that more than anything.”
Carroll has had his backup quarterback handle the overtime coin toss for as long as he can remember. The idea is to free the starter of that duty so he can remain on the sideline and prepare for the next series.
The Seahawks won the coin toss in overtime of their win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week at CenturyLink Field. Smith didn’t actually make that call — the visitors get to pick heads or tails — but he was at midfield for the coin toss, meaning he’s 2-0 at that job in as many weeks.
“I don’t know if you guys noticed, but they were chanting for Geno when he was walking out there,” Carroll said. “It was great. It was great. He pulled it off again. I don’t know how he did it. A little magic of Geno.”