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Still More on SB officiating

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mikey, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. mikey

    mikey Rookie

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    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11242265/from/RS.1/

    Super Bowl XL was bad, and it's getting worse
    Steelers weren't good, Seahawks even more so — and the refs? Don't ask
    COMMENTARY

    By JT the Brick
    NBCSports.com contributor
    Updated: 11:16 p.m. ET Feb. 8, 2006

    I have not been able to catch my breath since returning from Detroit after Super Bowl XL. Fans from all the country are incensed by the overall play of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks, but are more disappointed by the pathetic efforts of the NFL referees that called the game.

    Super Bowl XL seems to get worse each day that passes as fans get a chance to replay the game in their minds or by watching the tape of the game. This issue is not going away any time soon and I think the NFL has a big problem on its hands.

    Discussions are more about the officials than the world champions. Seattle head coach Mike Holmgren took a shot at them during the Seahawks' "losers rally" by stating, "We knew it was going to be tough going against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but I didn't know that we were going to have to go up against the striped shirts also."

    We had two weeks to hype this game and it ended up being one of the top-five worst Super Bowls of all time. I am not going to bore you with the details of every blown call, but most knowledgeable fans know that the officials had a bad day. The fact instant replay didn't work on the Ben Roethlisberger touchdown run proves that even instant replay isn’t foolproof.

    After watching the game again, I am still confused about why an official would call a phantom holding call on a critical Matt Hasselbeck completion that would have set up first and goal and a potential touchdown for the Seahawks. It is clear to me that a few controversial calls could have changed the outcome of the game and that should concern every NFL fan.

    As a fan, I can live with bad calls. They happen all the time and will continue to happen in the future. The NFL has to find a way to get better officials and make them full-time employees. They need to institute a new plan that would bring together an all-star team of the highest-rated officials working towards the ultimate goal of working the playoffs and potentially the Super Bowl. The highest-rated officials would work with the highest-rated referees only because they earned their shot after evaluations throughout the entire season.

    The NFL has tremendous individuals working behind the scenes making sure the best potential officials get the most important games, but we continue to see mistakes when it matters most in the postseason. I would also like to see an effort by the NFL to get more players that are retired interested in becoming referees. Most retired players are not interested because they have plenty of money and other interests, but if the league made an effort to recruit a few former players who understand exactly what goes on in the trenches, the game would be better off.

    The NFL should spend more money on technology to make sure they have better camera equipment and visual clarity to help insure the correct calls. ABC television did not do a good enough job with their instant replay to let fans see different angles of the controversial calls.

    You have to feel for all the distraught Seattle fans who think they lost the game because of bad calls. Several callers to my radio show talked about one particular play that might have changed the momentum — let alone the outcome — of the game.

    With 12:35 remaining in the fourth quarter and Seattle trailing 14-10, the Seahawks had a first down on the Pittsburgh 19-yard line. Hasselbeck connected on an 18-yard pass to tight end Jerramy Stevens that would have given the Seahawks another first down on the Steelers' one-yard line. The play was called back because of holding on Sean Locklear and that is exactly when the wheels came off the NFC champions.

    It looked like Locklear was not holding on the play and the Seahawks probably would have scored on the next play by just handing the ball off to their MVP running back Shaun Alexander. That would have given Seattle a 17-10 lead with 12 minutes remaining and critical momentum heading into the most critical section of the game. We cannot go back in a time machine and erase that penalty but we can evaluate what happened after that play.

    Hasselbeck was sacked on the next play by Casey Hampton for a five-yard loss and then threw an interception to Ike Taylor two plays later. The Seahawks came away with no points instead of seven — or at least three.

    You see, Seattle could not bounce back all day from adversity. Great teams find a way to make plays even after being victimized by the officials or making mental and physical mistakes. Seattle could not kick or punt when it mattered and Stevens could not catch several passes that hit him right in the hands. This is why they lost and their head coach knows it. The fans and media might have issues with the bad calls, but the players understand that Pittsburgh was the better team and showed up on the highlight reel when it counted.

    The Steelers ended up winning the game because of three specific plays.

    No. 1: With 3:58 remaining until halftime Ben Roethlisberger faced a critical third-and-28 at the Seattle 40 yard line. The Steelers quarterback was having a horrible day and only had one passing yard at the end of the first quarter. Instead of panicking, Roethlisberger escaped the pressure of Seattle's pass rush, rolled to his left and, while throwing against his body, connected with Hines Ward on a 37-yard play. That broken play set up the first Steelers' touchdown of the game three plays later when Roethlisberger ran for a one-yard score.

    No. 2: On the second play from scrimmage in the third quarter, Steelers' running back Willie Parker scored on a 75-yard touchdown run that turned out to be the longest run in Super Bowl history. Seattle has no one to blame but themselves for letting Parker run through a gaping hole courtesy of his offensive line. That made the score 14-3 after the extra point.

    No. 3: With 9:04 remaining in the game at the Seattle 43-yard line, wide receiver and offensive weapon Antwaan Randle El took a reverse handoff from Parker and then connected on a 43-yard touchdown pass to Ward, which effectively ended any chance Seattle had at keeping the game close.

    These three plays ended up being the difference in the game for Pittsburgh. The Steelers did not play a great game, but made a few big plays when it mattered. The Seahawks had six more first downs (20-14) and more total yards (396 to 339) than the Steelers did. Seattle even won the time of possession battle by controlling the clock for more than 33 minutes. They also had one less turnover — one —than Pittsburgh.

    Fortunately, for every Seahawks fan, Super Bowl XL will soon be forgotten and no one will remember who lost this game five years from now. I am serious. This game was played so poorly that most fans will remember Pittsburgh won and forget Seattle was their opponent. No one remembers who won the silver medal at the Olympics years later and that will be the case when we look back at this game.

    © 2006 NBC Sports.com
  2. marty

    marty Rookie

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    No mention of the Steelers being clearly offsides on the Locklear play and the one before it either? That might have changed the momentum a bit I think!
  3. Bella*chick

    Bella*chick Addicted to the light

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    #12 Jersey

    Except for that guy's mistake in saying the score would have been 17-10 Seahwaks when it would have 17-14 Seahawks, I agree with this article.
  4. ilduce06410

    ilduce06410 Rookie

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    what about all the crazy spotting?

    PatsChick, someone has to create a situation where Taglia has to go back, HIMSELF, and look at every play
    Only way I know to get him to do that is to get Senators McCain and Stevens to Lean on Him.
    Tell Me if Ya Wanta do that.
  5. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    And while it's all well and good to conclude that in the end Seattle didn't make enough big plays when they needed to while Pittsburgh did. Except that Seattle had made plenty of big plays that if not mostly voided by the refs might have carried the day, and if the refs had decided to void one or two of Pittsburgh's big plays (whether on real or phantom calls) they'd have been toast. Oh well....
  6. ilduce06410

    ilduce06410 Rookie

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    The Refs Ruined the Game It Shouldnt Even Count

    There were so may bizarre actions by the refs-------the spotting of the ball after plays was outrageous. Pittsburgh was forced to play a play as 4th down when it should have been 1st down. Seattle Got Screwed, on spots that altered their choice of plays.
  7. flutie2phelan

    flutie2phelan Rookie

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    That is one sharp piece of insight!
  8. flutie2phelan

    flutie2phelan Rookie

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    Isn't that exactly how last Sunday's marvelous officials were selected?

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