February 07, 2006

Super Bowl Madness

Last night I had a few friends over to watch the Super Bowl. I'm a big NFL fan and I love watching football. I predicted Pittsburgh to win, I thought they were a better team and also from their history they deserved it. But nothing could have prepared me for what actually transpired. It was sheer madness.

Pittsburgh indeed won the game, but I couldn't be more wrong about which team was better. Seattle was hands down the better team, and if despite lots of errors they made, they would have won the game if not for some really bad calls made by the officials. Don't get me wrong, Seattle made some big mistakes. They missed two field goals, threw a very bad interception late in the game, and their receivers dropped way too many passes. But that's not really what decided the game. Those mistakes prevent the game from being a blowout -- I truly believe this game was called wrong, as if they had been bribed and the game was rigged.

The first obviously rigged call was Ben Roethlisberger's rushing touchdown that never happened. Ben called his own number and rushed towards the goalline. The ref called it a touchdown just as he got stopped prior to crossing the line. How can you call a touchdown if the ball doesn't pass the line? You simply cannot. This is a very important NFL rule, if you don't uphold one of the cardinal rules of the game, how can you even continue playing? Is it right to re-define a touchdown during the Super Bowl? I mean I can understand if the teams meet in the offseason and decide to CHANGE THE RULES OF THE GAME, but doing it in a crucial moment where the Lombardi trophy is on the line. That's sheer madness.

"Touchdown: When any part of the ball, legally in possession of a player inbounds, breaks the plane of the opponent’s goal line, provided it is not a touchback."

Even in the replays, you watch, and CANNOT SEE THE BALL CROSS THE LINE. Perhaps the official guessed that it crossed the line, but to say that you actually saw it -- you would have to have x-ray vision, to be able to see THROUGH Roethlisberger's arm. Madness.

The second rigged call was a non-existent pass interference call against the receiving team (Seattle). Darrell Jackson caught a touchdown pass and he was called for pass interference. Again, the refs decided to change the rules of the game.

"Actions that do not constitute pass interference include but are not limited to:

(a) Incidental contact by a defender’s hands, arms, or body when both players are competing for the ball, or neither player is looking for the ball. If there is any question whether contact is incidental, the ruling shall be no interference."

Darrell Jackson made incidental contact with the defender while they were both competing for the ball. This a NO INTERFERENCE call, not an offense pass interference. The refs called back the touchdown and instead of 7 points, Seattle ended up with 3.

One call, which we all noticed, was an offside that turned into a holding call, again against the Seahawks. Pittsburgh was clearly offside, but the refs let the play continue and then added insult to injury by calling a penalty against Seattle. That stalled another potential touchdown drive.

The first 2 bad calls would have given Seattle +14 points. The offside one could have given them another 7. The final score was 21-10, when it really should have been 31-14.

Now if you want to add the mistakes Seattle made, a bad run by Darrell Jackson by not watching his feet while crossing into the endzone (stepped out of bounds), two missed field goals - that's an additional 13 points. Let's just forget about all of Jeremey Stevens' dropped passes. As I said, if not for the bribed officials AND Seattle mistakes, it would have been a blowout. Seattle would have won handily, 44-14.

Hopefully next year they stick to the actual rules.

Madness. Sheer madness.

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