Sunday, February 1, 2009

I hate the Steelers and the referee-pals they rode in on

The Steelers win the Super Bowl, 27-23, with their usual assist from the officials. Ben Roethlisberger hagiographers Al Michaels and John Madden failed to notice this. But as a lifelong Cowboys fan who also liked the Seahawks, I know this is not limited to this game.

Now that the Steelers have as many Super Bowl championships as many of their fans have teeth, let's take a look back at the crap calls and mental astericks of their reign.

It starts in 1979 in Super Bowl XIII, when Terry Bradshaw throws a wounded duck seven yards short into the general direction of Lynn Swann, who cuts back and bumps the Cowboys cornerback and falls to the ground. They throw the flag. First down. A few plays later, the referee shields the two Cowboys safety from making a tackle on Franco Harris. Harris goes into the end zone. 28-17. Cowboys never catch up.

The hatchet job on the Seahawks three years ago is notorious enough to have a Wiki page dedicated to it.

Every close call in this game was ruled in favor of the Steelers, until proven otherwise. The final fumble was a bullshit call. Warner's arm was clearly going forward. And they tried to make the same call earlier in the game.

Three questionable personal fouls on one drive led to a field goal, which eventually means the Cardinals need a touchdown at the end of the game rather than a field goal. The first one was a facemask that should have offset or been ignored, as both players grabbed the other facemask. The second one was a close call on a late hit that looked good. The third was that weird running into the holder play. It looked like Wilson had his shirt tugged by the player that threw him off balance.

The Steelers star defensive end - who somehow has gone from being cut by multiple teams to being able to nearly run down Larry Fitzgerald from behind .... far be it from me to say he sticks a needle up his ass or anything - should have been ejected for punching a player.

I don't know about the touchdown at the end of the half. But had he been ruled down, I doubt there would have been enough evidence to overrule it. But of course the onfield call went for the Steelers.

Not to mention the safety on the running play. Or the attempt in the first quarter to gift Roethlisberger a touchdown.


Daniel Getahun said...

Pretty much ruined my week before it even started. Uggh...what a disastrous finish.

Joel E said...'ve out-hated even me.

K. Bowen said...

I think I have an idea for the fumble-versus-incompletion rule. I think the rule should be that whenever there is a question of whether or not the quarterback's arm is moving forward, the ball should always be awarded to the Steelers. Oh wait. I think that is the rule now.

Alexander said...

Slicing piece, KB. I completely agree. I am an Oakland Raiders fan, so you can imagine how little love I have for the Steelers and their referee collaborationists. They seem to be the eternally blessed team, from dumb luck to referee meddling and everything else. Not to mention that they are a repulsively dirty team, and repeatedly deserved harsh penalties thrown in their direction that were, naturally, not. (And this I surmised from viewing only 1/8th of the game.)

Sam Juliano said...

This is a great piece and one that I completely agree with. After achieving nirvana with that late Cardinal TD that sliced the Steeler defense up the middle, all goes for naught after the tw-minute warning. Looks likes movies are hardly your only area of expertise! Great work here.

I am a Jets fan by the way. I know, I know.....