Superbowl 40th question

Perhaps not a ‘Great Debate’ here. But…did anyone else think that the calls in the game were a bit, er, one sided? Or at least that the calls basically changed the outcome of the game?

Now, believe it or not I have no stake in this. I used to be a 49ers fan when I watched football at all (which was when big Joe was quarterback). I don’t know either team and really didn’t care one way or the other. But it seemed to me that the calls in this game were exceptionally controversally…to the point that it completely changed the outcome of the game.

Thoughts? If its not a ‘Great Debate’, mods feel free to put it somewhere else. I’m just curious if any of the 'Dopers who follow football would give their thoughts.


Considering that the refs effectively took two touchdowns away from Seattle with very questionable calls, I’d say there were some issues. Mind you, Seattle did enough to lose the game on their own, quite frankly.

We could start a debate about whether sports threads belong in CS or IMHO. Nobody knows. As I think this is going to result in nothing but opinion, I’ll move it along to my forum.

Moved from GD to IMHO.

Well, since we are now in IMHO…IMHO there were at least 4 calls that changed the course of the game. This isn’t even counting the touchdown that was a toss up whether or not the quarterback crossed the line (looked to me as if he didn’t, but I conceed that it could have gone either way).

Even a die hard Pittsburgh over to watch the game conceeded that the game was tainted by the calles.

Anyone else have any thoughts?


All Seattle fans here, so we’re biased. I was hoping someone would start a thread, so I could see if it was just us thinking the refs blew some calls. Looks like it wasn’t.

I’m sure we’ve seen touchdowns (or at least a reception) where one foot hits the cone (Seahawks) and it was okay, and no touchdown when the ball didn’t break the plane (Steelers).

I prefer watching games when I don’t care who wins. :slight_smile:

I have no dog inthe fight, but yes, the calls all went against Seattle, and some were highly questionable.

Having said that, as has been pointed out, Seattle deserved to lose. Their clock management towards the end of the first half was simply inexcusable; high school coaches can do better than that. It cost them a shot at a touchdown, or an easier field goal, and may well have itself changed the course of the game.

I think the Steelers would have won a fair game, but if the same questionable calls had gone the Steelers, then Seattle might have squeaked a win out and Detroit would be in flames.

Not sure I agree 100% with your police work, Lou.

My impressions of the plays you’re referring to were:

When the Seahawk’s foot hit the cone, his other foot was clearly on the ground out-of-bounds BEFORE the foot-cone contact. Thus the play was over before any alleged TD might have happened.

And on the breaking-the-plane controversy (I assume you mean Roethlisberger’s TD): After a zillion replays, I’m pretty sure the ball DID break the plane before he hit the ground. It looked to me like there were about three or four frames when part of the ball was above part of the white line: Bam, TD.

(As for my allegiances: I’m a Falcons fan. I was kinda-sorta hoping the Steelers would win, but not in a strong enough way to make me want to call plays erroneously for them.)

What jackelope said about the Roethlisberger TD. I don’t think there’s any way you can call Jackson’s catch a score - he got one foot in bounds and then stepped out. I don’t think his other foot hit the pylon until he was clearly out of bounds.

That was one of the few calls that was good.

There were some that were questionable, but I’m not sure any of the significant ones were dead wrong.

I agree that the referring was poor in the SB, and I didn’t care who won either, I am an Eagles fan.

The offensive pass interference call in the 1st Q? OMG, that was a garbage call. The ref looked like he wasn’t even going to call it until the DB complained (my guess is thats when he realized which team caught the ball).

The Rothlesiberger TD? My complaint isn’t with the call, per se. Its the way the call was made. The ref came running out, hand up, looking like he was signalling 4th down, then when he got closer all of a sudden it was a TD? I couldn’t tell either way on the replay whether he crossed the line, the replay call was correct as it was called a TD on the field.

The Darrell Jackson catch near the end zone? Nope, you have to get 2 feet in bounds, he wasn’t even close. The goalline only extends on plays where the ball is already in play, not in that situation.

The holding call that took back Jerramy Stevens catch that took the ball to the 1, before Hassellbeck threw the INT? I call BS again. The hold wasn’t obviuos, and even Al freaking Michaels and goddamn Madden thought it was a bad call.

I also think on the designed run by Rothlesberger on the 3rd and 2, the PITT Centre held a SEA linesman which allowed Big Ben to get the yards.

The referring was terrible. If these are the best the NFL has to offer, then the league is in trouble.

Possibly, but the Steelers playing from behind are a very different team than the Steelers playing while ahead.

Let me just state for the record that the Steelers also got away with an obvious facemask in the third quarter that went uncalled.

Niner fan here, I agree really crappy job by the referees. The only good call I recall is the non-call from the 1st quarter. That said Seattle gave Pittsburg the game. Off the top of my head:

Shitty punting the whole game. Each punt you’d have thought the punter was about to get plastered, the way he rushed his kicks. Repeatedly allowing Pittsburg to start form the 20.

Crappy clock management 1st and 4th quarter.

Dropped passes by Seattle receivers. That bears repeating; DROPPED PASSES BY SEATTLE RECEIVERS.

OK, The Seahawks played crappy, but does that mean they deserved to lose? They played much better than the Steelers for most of the game, so why don’t they deserve to lose? The answer that both teams made a lot of mistakes, but the Seahawk mistakes do not excuse the referees from the bad calls they made repeatedly against one team. It’s interesting how the referees missed that both the defender and receiver intiated contact in the endzone on the first touchdown or that the ball “magically” crossed the goalline after Roethlisberger was down. If it was mere incompetence, why were there no bad calls against the Steelers?

Seahawks fan.

Officiating was worst I have ever seen in pro-football (college has had some pretty bad ones). Never seen it so one sided and just plain bad at the same time. I don’t like to play the game of predicting who would win if the game was called otherwise, so I won’t. And I agree, we managed the clock poorly twice (run up the middle as time is running down??, no time out, etc. etc.), and dropped passes. However, the game was absolutely changed by the poor officiating.

Here is my take:
PI in the endzone - very very weak
BR touchdown - could go either way, no complaints
One foot out on reception - this call was accurate
Holding on return - not a good call
Holding on pass play - absolutely horrible
Matt called for tackling the ball carrier - This is football, right??? Are you serious???

Many many holding’s called against Seattle but others are not called against Pitt - weird

Dallas fan here who was more impressed with Pitt but was rooting for Seattle.

Yes, it did seem one sided and yes again, it probably cost them. But, they had plenty of chances and all the skill needed to win despite that but they just didn’t execute.

I really had high hopes for a better game but this one was all in all quite forgettable.