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Old 02-06-2006, 03:42 PM   #100
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1- I agree. It was a chinsy call. But, he still made contact, he still pushed off. Unfortunate to call it in that spot, but it didn't cost the Seahawks the game, as whiny studio personalities and writers (one of whom I deeply respect) would have you believe. Plenty of opportunity to come back from that.

2- Semantics. Play stands. No evidence for overturning. Doesn't matter how he says it, unless he opts to explain why the play was a touchdown. We don't know precisely the ruling on the field (why the line judge called it a TD), so we don't know precisely what Leavy was looking for evidence to overturn. As I noted earlier, the ruling by the line judge could have been fumble, recovered in the end zone. I don't think the replay bears out that ruling, but it coulda been, and I don't think there's evidence to overrule that, either.

But, again. Life goes on. Sort of. Holmgren and the 'Hawks got so overwrought by the play that they completely s*** the bed in the final 1:49. Some of the worst clock management I've ever seen. And Mike Martz wasn't even involved. If anything, that stretch, combined with the first thirty-five seconds of the second half, killed the Seahawks chances.

And yet, life goes on. They can overcome. Down four. Moving the ball. Simply needing to finish a drive.

3- I don't know what you and Al Michaels were looking at on this play. Really. Watch the replay. Here's the sequence:
Ball in hands.
Left foot down in play.
Right foot down OUT OF BOUNDS.
Left foot steps over the pylon.

END OF STORY. It wasn't even close. Maybe the first time I ever heard Madden correct Michaels in a voice that resembled disbelieving admonishment. Michaels is supposed to be better than that, but he was clearly too drunk to see clearly at this point.
This is the National Football League. That second foot is what separates Saturdays from Sundays.

4- Agreed. You can quiz my wife. I shook my head and said, "That should have been a penalty. Except no one knows the exact situation in which to call a horse collar. No one. Not the players. Not the refs. Not me." The horse collar rule needs to be reviewed and probably eliminated. It doesn't get called correctly. Ever. That's what happens when you introduce a rule based on a single play (Roy Williams tackle of TO late last season).

5- Come on. Holding, blocks in the back, etc. These get called all the time. The Steelers would have gotten such a call, too, had Rouen ever given them a ball to return. But, instead, he was pounding it into the end zone.

6- That was also a bizarre call that on third viewing, I realized shouldn't have been called. On the first glance, I didn't really notice it. Second shot, I thought I saw him miss the ball carrier and hit the trailing blocker below the knees, which is illegal. Just ask Tom Brady. (I think he was called for this offense twice this year.) Final viewing, he actually connects with the ball carrier, which is legal, and misses the trailing tackler. Bad call. An error. Didn't really change the game that wildly, imo.

Let's get back to brass tacks, though, shall we? The Steelers had completely taken the momentum of the game with Willie Parker's run to daylight. The 'Hawks punted, gave the Steelers decent field position, and then proceeded to march in beautiful Steelers fashion down the field. A little overcoaching, a bad, bad, BAD throw by Roethlisberger, and the 'Hawks are still alive. Roethlisbergers lifts that ball "over," like he said his brain wanted (but his arm disobeyed), and you've got yourself a 21-3 game with eight minutes to go in the 3rd.

I might have exaggerated with the 41-3 projection, but I'm sure the meaning is clear.

Let me also make this clear, in case it got missed earlier in the thread: I totally, completely, fully disrespected the Seahawks coming into this game. I didn't believe that there was anything that they could do in order to score points. Alexander got the quietest 95 yards in Super Bowl history. Stevens proved that while his body might be soft, his hands sure as hell ARE NOT. The only guy coming out of this game from the Pacific Northwest who showed me anything was Hasselbeck. And he still made that crucial mistake to which all Boston College QBs are prone to making at back-breaking times. (Yes, even the imitable über-hero Doug Flutie would have lost this game on that very throw, or one very much like it.) Proving to me that I still know a thing or two about which QBs on which to count when the eggs are about to hatch, and which ones are going to get excited and sit on them too hard too soon.

Roethlisberger had a bad game. But, when the clock came to crunch time, he was mistake-free. (You'll say they took the ball out of his hands, but I seem to recall a bootleg--Madden called it a broken play, but it was a bootleg, I believe, on which he gained what was essentially the game-icing first down. Doug Flutie fumbles that ball. Hasselbeck tried to fumble the game away earlier. It's all about stones. Ben's got 'em, in spades. Matthew... has more than I thought, but about as much as any BC QB would.)
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