Give it up Seachickens, you lost the Superbowl fair and square
There’s a difference between the words ‘sad’ and ‘upset’ and they are often used together. There is also a difference between the words whiney, and babies, and they, too, are often used together. And in this particular situation, all four words may be used together in this perfectly grammatically correct, ingenious sentence: The fans of the Seattle Seahawks are a bunch of sad and upset whiney babies.
I don’t discredit their loyalty to their team; I do believe that you should stand by your team. However, the people of the Pacific Northwest need to wake up and smell the fresh French roast of downtown Seattle and realize that nearly three-and-a-half football seasons ago, their team just wasn’t good enough.
Nearly every day, when someone notices that I am loyal to the black and gold, they spit out the words, "paid officials." This is a term that is no longer a form of speech, but a reflux of air that reiterates painful memories. It is also a term that refers to the way that fans of the Seattle Seahawks feel about their loss in the 2005 Superbowl.
Here’s where I come in. The officials were in no way paid off, and in no way ignorant for the calls that were made during that game. Below, if you Seachickens haven’t completely flipped out yet, is a detailed description on why the Steelers beat the Seahawks, so read up.
Controversial call numero uno. The Roethlisberger touchdown run. Did the ball break the plane of the end zone? If you watch closely on the replay, you can see the front tip of the ball cross over the goal line before Roethlisberger is pushed backwards. Most people quickly offer their opinions, saying that he didn’t get in the end zone. They do this because he actually lands on the one yard line and then crawls into the end zone. What you don’t notice however, is just as Seattle linebacker D.D. Lewis makes contact with Roethlisberger, Ben’s arm slightly jolts forward and the front tip of the ball does touch the plane of the end zone. Now, being a ref, watching that play in live time you might rule it a touchdown or you might not, but in this case it was.
So now Mike Holmgren decides to challenge the play. Here is the rule about challenges. In order to overturn a call on the field, the referee has to find something in the replay that shows that the play was indisputably—keyword indisputably’—NOT a touchdown. Because the ball was so close to the end zone, there was no video evidence that the play wasn’t a touchdown. Therefore, the ref can’t overturn the call on the field, resulting in a Steeler touchdown. Realizing that this play was in fact a Steeler touchdown is just as easy as realizing that Sarah Palin is more than far from qualified to be the vice president of the United States. Oh wait, if you’re voting for McCain and Palin then you probably voted for Bush. So yeah, how would you know if someone is qualified or not?
Controversial call number two. Offensive pass interference against Seattle WR Darrell Jackson. This one is simple. He pushed off. There you have it. Whether it be a little or a lot, he pushed off. The wide receivers in the league are very, very talented athletes and in order for them to have a better chance at catching a pass they only need that little bit. They only need the amount of space you need in a toaster to fit a slice of bread, or something as big as the hole in your toothbrush holder. But sometimes, somehow, they end up with enough space for a car to park in. Sometimes they use their talent to do so. Sometimes they don’t. So for all of you out there who think this is a poorly-called play, let me explain to you a little something in the NFL called pass interference.
Offensive pass interference means that a player can NOT push or interfere with the defensive player while trying to catch the ball. When you watch the replay in slow motion, you see Jackson put his hand on Steelers safety Chris Hope’s chest. So what, right? Wrong. When you watch the play at regular speed, you can clearly see that Hope loses forward momentum. Which is exactly the toaster slot that Jackson needed to become wide open in the end zone. Just that little bit. He gave himself an unfair advantage in order to catch the ball.
Now some of you might say, "Dude, he barely touched him at all! That shouldn’t be interference, that’s ticky tack." Okay. First off, let me say that if in the final round of American Idol, if the singer slightly mispronounces a word in the song, she stands a good chance at losing. That’s because it’s the final round, the best of the best. Even the slightest thing can keep you from winning. So why not at the Superbowl? After all, it is, in fact, the largest sporting event in the world, the biggest entertainment stage in the world and is also viewed by the most people in the world. The Superbowl is the best of the best. So the refs should be the best, too. The play happened right in front of the back official. Had he let it go and just looked the other way, he would have been put into the same boat of ill-advised scrutiny as the other officials. He made a very difficult call which, according to the rule book, was the right one. If you boys and girls of Starbuck-land don’t follow the rule book, then yeah, Seattle should have won. NEXT.
Controversial call number three. Holding against Sean Locklear of Seattle. Offensive holding in the ‘04-’05 season was almost non-existent. Throughout the season referees constantly let little holding plays go. So I will admit that the Seahawks were victims here. Not victims of a bad call, but victims of inconsistent policy. Had the call not been made, which it probably wouldn’t have been had it been week seven of the season, Seattle would have had first and goal on the one yard line, which would have most likely turned into a Seattle touchdown. However, like I said before, it is the SUPERBOWL. Not only is it the biggest game of the year, but the refs are under a microscope. They can’t let that holding call go, just like how they can’t let Jackson push off even a little bit. Once again, the officials made a call because it gave an unfair advantage to a player. It just so happens that it was against the Seahawks. So stop cryin’ about it.
Controversial call number four. Matt Hasselbeck "low-block" call. Okay. The officials actually messed up here. I’ll admit it. However, it really made no impact on the game. Pittsburgh intercepted the pass and they started their drive 15 yards ahead of where they should have. Now here is where the Seahawks start to give up. They ‘think’ that calls aren’t going their way so they quit giving it their all. Does that make them worthy of being called a champion? No. Because champions don’t give up. Just like it was in the AFC divisional playoff game between the Steelers and the Colts. Troy Polamalu intercepted Peyton Manning and that would have most likely sealed the game for Pittsburgh. However, they ruled it an incomplete pass because Polamalu fumbled the ball after he got up. A bad call in my opinion, but did Pittsburgh give up? No, they fought back and won it in the end. Then, a week later, Hines Ward was penalized and a touchdown was erased for Pittsburgh. However, on the very next play they scored a touchdown from a longer distance. Those are examples of Champions. They never give up, and they fight until the end. The call against Hasselbeck was unfair. It was a horrible call, but not game changing; the preceding interception, however, that was game changing. The bad call was more like the boot to the stomach while you’re already cuddled up in a fetal position next to the curb.
A lot has been said about that Superbowl and a lot is still being said to me in particular, which is why I decided to write this piece. The ‘errors’ of this game are extremely miscued. The public needs to know that Pittsburgh simply made the plays they needed to win the game. If you really think the Seahawks had what it took to become the champions, then why did Jeramy Stevens drop so many balls? Why did pro-bowl QB Matt Hasselbeck forget what clock management was at the end of both halfs? How many field goals were missed by Josh Brown? How come their defense didn’t stay at home against the Randle El touchdown pass? How did Hines Ward have a beat on his man when it was third and a mile? How do you let Willie Parker get a 75 yard touchdown run up the right side untouched? The Seahawks were simply the lesser team and didn’t deserve to hold the Lombardi Trophy. I’m sick and tired of seeing officials with Steelers’ hats and black and gold stripes. Quit crying and just stick to your wireless Internet and cappuccino because they help you more than your football team does.
My name is Dustin Gannon, and I am part of Steeler Nation. GET SOME!!!