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Monday, February 06, 2006

On winning the worst-officiated Super Bowl in NFL history. Enjoy your tainted championship.

Image hosting by TinyPic “Cowher gave you 6 grand? I only got 3 dammit!”

Sorry, I know it can be a bit ugly to sound like a sore loser, to cry sour grounds, but if this is a penalty...

Image hosting by TinyPic

... then Matt Hasselbeck has a full head of hair, Jerome Bettis isn't overweight and Joey Porter isn't a toothless loudmouth. (hey Joey, did you even play last night?)

And that is but one of several obvious fu*k-ups from the officials that turned this game in Pittsburgh's favor.

Image hosting by TinyPic Not a touchdown.

Image hosting by TinyPic Not a holding penalty.

Image hosting by TinyPic Not an illegal block.

Yes, the Seahawks didn't play a mistake-free football game, far from it, but the Stealers didn't exactly emulate perfection out there either. The difference? They had 17 men on the field, 11 in white jerseys and six in striped ones. Seattle only had 11. Hell, the Seahawks didn’t even have their 12th man with them as Ford Field was about 95% full of Stealers fans. This was essentially a home game for Pittsburgh, and yet they still needed help from the zebras to win their ‘one for the thumb’. Hey Pittsburghers, I got somewhere you can stick that thumb of yours: How about up lead official Bill Leavy’s ass?

I know I probably sound like a big ‘ol cry baby, but dammit, this was just wrong. Yesterday, I thought maybe we Seattlites were just too invested in the game and our bias was showing. Heck, I wasn’t even going to bother with this post until I realized that seemingly every football fan outside of Pittsburgh was crying foul on the officiating. And so, for the most part, are the experts. Unbiased polls are pointing toward bad officiating as the chief reason Seattle lost. Even Mike Holmgren, who took the high road immediately after the game, couldn't keep his mouth shut any longer. And good for him. We're angry dammit, and for good reason.

Image hosting by TinyPic 'What, my money's no good here?!'

And don't tell me Stealers fans wouldn't complain if the situation were reversed. This is the fan base that fired rocks through a referee's window after a bad call in the divisional playoff game against the Colts, a game in which they won. No, if that many calls had gone against Pittsburgh on Sunday, and resulted in a Stealers loss, 65,000 yellow-and-black clad fans would've descended from the rafters, surrounded the officiating crew and hung them by their necks from the roof of Ford Field with their Terrible Towels.

Unfortunately, at this point, it really doesn’t matter. They’re not going to re-play the game or take the trophy from the Stealers. What’s done is done. But I hope history will show that the Seahawks didn’t so much as lose this game as had it taken away from them.

Congratulations again to the Seahawks on a fantastic season, despite the bitter ending. Oh, and to the Schille boys? Never, ever, ever, open a bottle of champagne in the third quarter. Ever. If it weren’t for the officials, this entire post would’ve been about you.

Ok, I’m going back to political blogging now. It’s much less frustrating.

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NFL League Office: 212-450-2000. Reach out and touch someone, won't ya?

NFL Is Fixed
ESPN: Hawks got robbed
Wilbon: Nothing to sing about
F'ballOutsiders: Audibles at the Line
George: Give the MVP to the officials
Deadspin: After further review, some folks are pissed.
Slate: How the refs handed Pittsburgh the Super Bowl.
Sports Pulse: The Steelers would like to thank the refs.

UPDATE: Even Ben admits he didn't get in, not even by the hair of his beardy beard beard.

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