(Thats extra small for all you XL fans.)
Mike Holmgren and Paul Allen must be pretty upset this morning. As the sun rises on the Pacific Northwest, so does the first day of healing from that super loss begin. I am sure that Mike, Paul, and most of the Seattle team will be watching film on one of the worst Super Bowls in the history of the NFL. This game as much as any in the history of the game could be fuel for the conspiracy theory nuts. Never have I seen a game that looked more fixed than this one. Blown calls, bad penalty flags, and non calls were glaringly obvious throughout the entire game. It seemed like the NFL and the refs wanted to give the game to the Steelers.
I am neither a Seattle fan nor a Pittsburgh fan. I am, unfortunately this season, a Philadelphia fan. So understand that the outcome of the game meant little to me. I am a fan of football and all I wanted was a good game to watch. Here is my take on the game.
If anyone thinks that Darrell Jackson pass interfered on that first Seahawks touchdown you are nuts. He had already turned his body. Yes he did touch the guy. But he had put his hand out and there was no push off or momentum changing contact. There was way more contact all day long. That penalty led to a Seattle field goal instead of a touchdown.
You can debate about the first Steelers touchdown when Big Ben took it in himself. It was so close you have to go with what the guy saw on the field. I think it if was called the other way it would have been just as scrutinized as giving him the touchdown was.
Joey Porter definitely got into the head of Jerramy Stevens. He called you soft, Jerramy. And you went out and proved him right with that multi-drop game. You even dropped a sure touchdown that would have put your team up. At that point you’ve got to pull the guy. I mean, his head just wasn’t in the game. You could have had the league MVP in the game instead of on the sideline when you’re down in the Super Bowl. Not that Joey had much of a game either, I think I really only saw him in on one good play.
A bad flag that helped set up the Steelers with good field position was the low block called on Matt Hasselbeck after he threw an interception. He tackled the guy that intercepted him. That’s not a block — that’s a tackle. Did he go through another Steeler to make the tackle? I think it’s a nonsense call no matter how you look at it. If I was a coach and my QB came and made a tackle on the guy who intercepted him I would slap him on the ass and tell him good hustle. In 100 other games the same play would not be called that way.
The next Darrell Jackson touchdown could also be argued. He was in bounds at the 1 foot line, the ball crosses over the pylon and then his other foot knocks down the pylon on his way to being out of bounds in the end zone. Now the play should have been reviewed but it was under 2 minutes in the 1st half. I thought if the ball crosses or touches or whatever the pylon then it’s a touchdown. Again it could have gone either way but it ended up in the Steelers favor.
What was the biggest penalty in the NFL this season? Illegal block in the back on kick returns. How many called yesterday and on whom? How could you forget about your favorite call all season refs? Instead we get a phantom holding call on the Seahawks right after Jerramy Stevens gets them back in the game with a great reception to the one yard line. Outcome: Missed Seattle field goal.
Did the NFL get all caught up in Jerome Bettis’s homecoming? Even the half time show, a weak concert by the Rolling Stones, and bland commercials made this show boring. The NFL is so concerned with making the game an event that they forget about the game. It’s almost like the NFL has lost sight of its audience. You get a little boob flashed during the half time show one year and it’s watered down for the rest of eternity. ABC (AKA Ed Sullivan) even put the Stones set on a delay. For who? for what? (Thank you Ricky Waters) Are the Stones (who don’t really know anything about American football) going to offend someone with their racy lyrics? I think more people were offended about the lack of connection with the Detroit music heritage. Hey NFL, it’s called Motown. Put that in your Rooney Rule and smoke it.
I don’t know if any of the plays here could have changed the game or if the outcome would have been different. I’m not saying the Steelers didn’t make good plays. That fake reverse with Antwaan Randle El was awesome. Even Big Ben’s staying behind the line of scrimmage while scrambling and then finding MVP Hines Ward for a long completion was amazing. At the end of the game did you know who the MVP might have been? Hines is the clear choice but it’s almost by default. Who else stepped up for them during the whole game? Hines made a good amount of great catches (5 actually) and it made sense to give him the award… and his new 2007 Escalade. I think it makes great sense to give a millionaire a car that the majority of the people watching the game can’t afford. The rich get richer… and Hines has another car to add to his arsenal.
This game will be a distant memory soon enough I’m sure. Free agency and the draft are coming soon, and for now that’s all us Eagles fans have to look forward to. This games mediocre content and horrible officiating brought this years winner a place in the history books. I personally hope that this makes the NFL look at its part time officiating crews and helps them to understand how detrimental to the game it is when you have hacks out there calling the biggest game in sports. But let me give credit where credit is due, so congratulations Pittsburgh, you (and the refs) brought it home for Jerome.