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Steelers Won Super Bowl XL Fair And Square

DETROIT - FEBRUARY 05: Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck #8 of the Seattle Seahawks argues a call with referee Bill Leavy after throwing a pass out of bounds to receiver Darrell Jackson #82 in the second quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XL at Ford Field on February 5, 2006 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Little known fact:  NFL referees have training camp, too.  Often you’ll see different crews officiating scrimmages to get back into the swing of things.  One thing every team receives is a presentation by a crew chief where he explains to the players what refs are looking for when it comes to holding or interference and also any new rules which were put into place over the off-season.

Bill Leavy recently gave this talk to the Seattle Seahawks.   While there, Leavy took the opportunity to unburden his soul concerning his officiating in Super Bowl XL.   Quoth the zebra:

It was a tough thing for me. I kicked two calls in the fourth quarter and I impacted the game, and as an official you never want to do that,” said the veteran of 15 NFL seasons and two Super Bowls.

Of course, this statement has reignited another bout of insipid crying from the five Seahawks fans still paying attention to that rag tag bunch of losers.   Steeler Nation has had to listen to the whining emanating from Seahawk Township for four years now.  Since their team has fallen into disgrace, I had hoped those latte sipping emo bastards would eventually shut up, get over it, and move on to more interesting pursuits such as cutting themselves while listening to Sonic Youth.

But noooooo….    Bill Leavy is tortured.  He “punted” two calls in the Super Bowl!   He’ll never be able to live with himself if he doesn’t confess his sins to a bunch of players who weren’t even on that team.  I get that Seattle hasn’t had anything remotely interesting going on since Nirvana hit it big in 1992.   And I completely understand the Seahawks franchise has to dwell on their one moment in the sun because they’ve been utterly forgettable the other 34 years of their existence.

But enough is enough.

Even Mike Pereira, the NFL’s former Head of Officiating and Leavy’s boss in 2006, has also had enough.  He penned a column for Fox Sports where he wrote, “Did Leavy’s calls determine the winner of Super Bowl XL?  Absolutely not!  In truth, there were missed calls that went against both teams.”

Well said, Mr. Pereira.  Honestly, I didn’t think this needed stated because I thought anybody with a brain in their head already knew the Steelers won Super Bowl XL fair and square.   The “two calls” Leavy claims to have punted were a holding penalty on Seattle which wiped out a play that put them at the Steelers 1 and a personal foul penalty on Matt Hasslebeck after Ike Taylor picked him off at the Steelers 5.

Yes, the holding penalty was ticky-tacky.   NEWSFLASH:  Most holding penalties are ticky-tacky.  The holding call on Justin Hartwig in Super Bowl XLIII that not only cost the Steelers a first down but resulted in a safety was ticky-tacky.   And for the record, Clark Haggans WAS being held.  Perhaps if Seattle’s line wasn’t so badly overmatched that they had to resort to cheating, the ref wouldn’t have had to penalize them.

The Hasselbeck personal foul occurred AFTER he threw an absolutely horrendous INT.  Sure it kept the Steelers from being backed up in their own end but we all know they would’ve marched down the field anyway.  Besides, worrying about the personal foul is like being mad about a cold when you have the Bubonic Plague.  Instead of crying about the 15 yards tacked on after the play, Seahawk Township should direct their ire at the Neil O’Donnell-esque pick their inept QB threw moments earlier.

Every game has some good calls and some bad calls.  Champions find a way to overcome adversity.   Against Indy earlier in the ’05 playoffs, the Steelers were robbed of a clear Troy Polamalu INT that almost cost them a victory.   They overcame the injustice to win.   In Super Bowl XLIII, no less than three ridiculous calls went against them, yet they still pulled it out.  To the credit of Arizona fans, at least they had the class and dignity to admit we were the better team and not carry on like five year old children who just lost at Hungry Hungry Hippos.

Seattle has nobody but themselves to blame for getting demolished in Super Bowl XL.  Ben Roethlisberger was utterly useless, finishing with a QB rating lower than his age.   The defense seemed nervous and tentative in the first half.  Seahawks kicker Josh Brown missed two easy field goals.   Jerramy Stevens played like he dipped his hands in butter before the game.   And Mike Holmgren‘s inept coaching led to some of the poorest clock management this side of Norv Turner.

The bottom line is this:  the refs didn’t allow Willie Parker to blast off a 75 yard touchdown run.   The refs didn’t force Hasselbeck into misfiring on one out of every two passes he attempted.  And the refs didn’t force the Seahawks to stand around like neon green traffic cones while the Steelers pulled the brilliant razzle dazzle of Antwaan Randle-El firing to a wide open Hines Ward for the back-breaking score.

If an NFL player or coach gets screwed by a bad call, the league fines them heavily if they so much as hint that the referee messed up (even if he obviously did).   Yet now we have a ref kissing a bunch of patchouli-smelling ass by stirring up a bunch of stuff with no basis in reality.   Do something useful for a change, Goodell.   Instead of suspending innocent quarterbacks who did nothing except have a little bit of fun with a ho in a bathroom, how about shutting this imbecile up?

Nobody wants to hear it anymore.

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