Steelers Would Like to Thank the NFL Referees

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers for being Super Bowl XL champions! Big Ben is going to be drinking more than he ever has before. The Bus can retire in a storybook ending. Bill Cowher finally gave owner Dan Rooney a championship for sticking with him for all these years.

Now that I got that out of the way I want to talk about the fother mucking referees.

Anyone who watched tonight’s game had to have seen all the calls against the Seahawks tonight. They were worse than some of those commercials. Some people would call it poor officiating. Others would say the game was fixed. Either way, tonight’s game was a sad show by the zebras. Try to convince me the officials weren't shaded towards Pittsburgh. You may not have remembered many of the Pittsburgh penalties because they only had three the whole game. No holding penalties at all. Laugh at that stat.

I didn’t have a preference either way in this game. I do know a lot of people who cashed in with Pittsburgh feel like it is dirty money. All they’re talking about the horrible officiating. Before Joey Porter said publicly he felt the NFL wanted the Colts to win. Tonight it seemed the referees or someone in the big office wanted to see the Steelers win. Some would argue too many Steeler story lines (Dan Rooney, Bill Cowher, and the Bus) make the Steelers a more appealing champion. I'm not calling it fixed. Some are screaming it. Again, I’m not crying or whining about a loss because I took no sides. But I will say the officiating was disgusting from a fan's perspective.

Here is a long list of the questionable calls.

bad call
Bad Call.

- Darrell Jackson was called for offensive pass interference for pushing off Chris Hope on what would have been a 16-yard touchdown from Matt Hasselbeck. The push was weak. Could have gone either way. What got me was the ref was watching Jackson, presumably to make sure he had the catch. Then he looked over at the defensive back who was calling for pass interference. Only then did the referee pull the flag out. He should have called it before the catch when the presumable interference took place.

- The next very questionable call was the good return by Peter Warrick which would have set them up in scoring range, but no, the refs called holding. On replay, no clear sign of holding though there was no argument by the Seattle player called for the hold.

Ben Rothlisberger's touchdown
Ben Rothlisberger's touchdown

- Ben Roethlisberger's touchdown he may have gotten in. As you see in the photo it doesn't look like he crossed the white line. If we're sitting at home and can't tell on the super slow motion replay whether the ball crossed the line, then I don’t know how the referee could see it in full speed. The side judge seemed to have his arm up in the air to call it 4th down after the dive but then he sees Ben lying in the end zone with the ball. So he calls it a touchdown. (Update: Rothlisberger said on "The Late Show" that he didn't think he scored. He even shared his doubt with Bill Cowher on the sideline)

Seattle's Bad Holding Call
Seattle's Bad Holding Call.

- A phantom holding call which would have given them the ball at the 1 yard line for the go-ahead score early in the 4th quarter. Madden felt clearly he saw no holding. Heard on the radio that all the ESPN analysts watching the game together felt like no hold there also. Next play, Pitt is clearly offsides with no call but a sack instead. Hasselbeck throws an INT on the same drive.

Hasselbeck's tackle
Hasselbeck's Tackle.

- The tackle by Hasselbeck on the interception should have never been made. Ridiculous. They called him for a tackle below the knees. If he were hitting the lead blocker below the knees would that have been a penalty. But he was making a tackle so he can go low. How did they miss that? Gave the Steelers an extra 15 yards. Steelers score on the Randel El touchdown pass on that drive.

- What seemed like a pretty clear horse collar tackle by Joey Porter on Shaun Alexander. If a horse collar tackle is bringing down a player by the collar of their jersey/shoulder pads from behind then that was as clear as I could see. Why create that penalty if you’re not going to call it?

- Finally, on 3rd down time clock shows 00, Ben looks to the ref says he called time, ref agrees, no penalty. Even on replay you see the clock hit zero first. Now it’s still 3rd and 6 instead of 3rd and 11. The next play Pittsburgh gets a 1st down. Runs more time off the clock in the waning minutes.

- Finally the Steelers had three penalties for the whole game. Two false starts and something else in the 1st half. ZERO penalties in the 2nd half and ZERO holding penalties called against them. When have you ever seen zero holding calls against a team for a full game?? Not even on a kicker return. Nothing.

It seemed like every time Seattle made a big play, out came another flag. No team can overcome that many penalties on huge plays. They did add to their misery however. Missed field goals. Dropped passes. Horrible clock management. Hasselbeck’s INT. Couldn’t stop the Steelers on 3rd and 28. Falling for the trick play. Willie Parker's 75 yard TD. I could go on about their missed opportunities. So it wasn't all the officiating. The Seahawks so far have pointed the finger only at themselves for this loss.

The officiating has been bad this postseason as we known. Hey it started in the World Series. It didn’t get any better in the Super Bowl. The officials are part of the game and they unfortunately made the biggest mark on the game. The NFL needs to institute some sort of change. Maybe make the referees full time. Forget being a school principal as your second job. If not, the officiating is just going to be worse. It was worse than throwing up a little bit in your mouth and swallowing it. The NFL said they want to pick up the paper on Monday mornings and read about the game, not the officiating. Hope this issue doesn't get swept under the rug. It was pathetic and everyone saw it.

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I am sick of the Seahawks fans excuses Not rated yet
2008/07/04 at 2:24 pm I am sick of the Seahawks fans excuses, and I am willing to bet the writer of this hack piece is a bitter Seahawk fan. Funny thing …

The Steelers played better Not rated yet
2007/12/21 at 10:01 am The Steelers played better, executed better, and made the big plays. Seattle did not make big plays and, instead, chose to challenge …

Some would argue that Seattle choked. Not rated yet
2007/01/05 at 6:26 pm I am a huge Seahawk fan. I have been a fan for over 30 years. What happened to the the Swahawks was a complete miscarriage of justice. …

Play calling is horrible. Not rated yet
2006/10/30 at 12:52 am ... Does Bill Cowher have the cojones/stones/guts to pull Ben Roethlisberger in favor of Charlie Batch? Big Ben has been …

LESS biased Not rated yet
2006/10/17 at 1:47 am LESS biased they are. They make more money and have to be neutral. Plus there’s a governing body to dish out disciplinary action …

I wanted to win, but not this way. Not rated yet
2006/02/13 at 5:08 pm I have been a big football fan for a long time. Also a steeler fan. I wanted to win, but not this way. This game was clearly fixed. …

Terrible game Not rated yet
2006/02/11 at 2:09 pm You all make assumptions that, had some calls gone Seattle’s way, Pittsburgh would have reacted by laying down and dying. Pretty …

Seahawks lose Not rated yet
2006/02/09 at 11:21 pm After many days after the SB, I’m not saying the officials made the Seahawks lose. Amazingly enough with all the penalties again …

I don’t get in pissing matches. Not rated yet
2006/02/09 at 4:24 pm I don’t get in pissing matches. It just runs down my leg. That’s why I’m not calling you…anything. Although I could ;) I did …

SB officiating sucked. Not rated yet
2006/02/09 at 2:55 pm SB officiating sucked. I don’t think you can argue that. If you’re saying they missed calls more calls against Seattle then they …

The game was called horribly Not rated yet
2006/02/09 at 11:09 am I think people should really try to be more honest about the SB referees, not just jump on the excuse bandwagon. Had Seattle …

I know Seattle shot themselves Not rated yet
2006/02/08 at 3:55 pm It’s sad the officials had such an intergral part of the game. I know Seattle shot themselves in the foot with all their missed …

I am a HUGE football fan Not rated yet
2006/02/08 at 2:14 pm …great post… I am a HUGE football fan, and didnt have a stake nor a favorite for either team. It was obvious to EVERYONE in my group …

I wrote a long post about this on my blog Not rated yet
2006/02/06 at 9:30 pm I wrote a long post about this on my blog, but I don’t think the refs made too many blatantly bad calls. The Hasselbeck penalty …

To answer your dumb questions. Not rated yet
006/02/06 at 7:33 pm Great post, thanks for the still photos. To the Big Picture – shouldn’t you be out celebrating rather than arguing at Football …

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