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Author Topic: Something has got to be done about the integrity of the officials
RickyB
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I'm not talking necessaruly about their "real" integrity as much as their perceived integrity. I know most people came away from the Indy-Pitts game feeling the zebras were doing everything they possibly could to help the Colts. I think many, all though not AS many, will feel that this time the refs were for Pittsburgh. I'm not saying the Seahawks deserved to win or anything, they lost on their own shortcomings, but they wuz robbed at least once when it mattered, and it took an unignorable replay to prevent another robbery.

This feeling, that officials are trying to produce more marketable matchups, results and storylines, threatens the NFL with the stench of the inane buffoonery known as "pro-wrestling".

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Everard
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I agree, Ricky. My dad does too. He has muttered on and off for years about the NFL being rigged. Anyone remember the aftermath of 9/11... and who won the superbowl? And some of the bizarre calls?

And there were calls this year, in the patriots denver game, that definetely looked like the zebras were trying to knock of the pats.

The only way to fix the perceived integrity on the part of the NFL is to institute review of penalties.

The other way to fix the perceived integrity is for the media outlets, newspapers and commentators, to start harping on the bad calls and pointing out how they effect the results.

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RickyB
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I've heard the mutterings for years, and till this year have felt it was just fans being paranoid as fans are wont to do. But this yar it was kinda glaring. Anyone notice how the Pittsburgh stars were hyped in the various commercials way, way, way more than the Seattle guys?

I agree. I write about football here in Hebrew, which has zero impact, but if i were a football writer in America I'd make it a crusade to pound on fishy calls in big plays.

Now, the nullified Seattle TD was a good call - Darrel Jackson pushed off. But the holding call that brought back Jerramy Stevens' catch at the Pitts. 1 yard line, with the score 14-10 Steelers - that was a bigger load of crap than either the Tuck Rule call in the snow in 2001 OR the non-INT call against Polamalu against Indy this year. Flat out nonsense, and a huge setback. (1st and 20 from the 29, rather than 1st and goal from the 1. 3 plays later came the INT that ended Seattle's comeback bid).

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yknti
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While I thought that holding call was ticky tack, the lineman did have his arms away from his body and around the chest of the end which is by all definitions a hold or a tackle. While it was not the most heinous holding I have ever seen, Jeremy Stevens could have caught maybe a few other dropped passes and won the game nonetheless.
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The Drake
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Ever since there have been officials, there has been complaining. I didn't see any bias - or even luck - that materially affected the game.

Yeah, a couple of calls were marginal. But on the whole, the game was managed smoothly by the officials.

The best way to not get called for a hold? Block your man.

The offensive passing interference was a bit much, but I can see why it happened. The defender was flat-footed, 9 times out of 10 the little push causes a little gap. This time, because the defender seemed to give up on the play, it looked like a shove creating a big gap.

Statistically, one team is always going to come down with a harder day. The speed of the game doesn't really allow flawless calls, unlike baseball where they have plenty of time, few responsibilities, and still blow it half the time.

Entertaining game, though.

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Redskullvw
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Drake

What game were you watching?

What ammounted to three scoring drives by Seattle being reversed by official calls? A Steeler touchdown vs 4th and inches? I mean even Madden was questioning the calls and hes got to be one of the most appologetic supporters and defenders of the zebras since he became an announcer instead of a coach. The fact is Seattle dominated the game in almost every stat. Of course their effective penalty stat and the final score went in favor of the steelers.

When such is the case only two causes are plausible, the other team was extremely lucky inspite of its terrible performance, or they had a bit of help from the zebras to win.

The Steelers are still only a four time champion team as far As I am concerned. Seattle was simply robbed.

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potemkyn
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Red,

Wah wah wah, GO STEELERS!! WOOOOO!!!!

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The Drake
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The Steeler touchdown was a touchdown, as was shown by the freeze frame. The ball was directly at the line, and not far enough back to be clear. Moot point anyway, since the Steeler line is quite capable of gaining a millimeter on 4th.

I've already talked about the endzone pushoff. Regrettable, but hardly a gross error by the officials.

The Locklear hold was responsible for taking back one 18 yard completion, and I can see how that one was called as well. If Locklear had executed good blocking, it wouldn't have happened. He was beat badly, and the pass rusher fell down as he was passing him with Locklear's hand still on him.

The only real rip-off was the Hasselbeck call, and he was only trying to make a tackle because he turned the ball over in the first place.

Contrast to the several dropped passes, poor clock management, missed field goals, burns on two long-gainers that the refs had absolutely nothing to do with...

Seattle earned this defeat. They don't put yards gained up on that big scoreboard.


Mike Smith of ESPN agrees with you though. [Smile]

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RickyB
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Drake, come on. You simply cannot justify the Locklear call, then look at the non-call on the Shaun Alexander horse collar, and still say the reffing wasn't one-sided.
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aupton15
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It was one-sided for sure, but that doesn't mean it was cheating. It's not like the Seahawks played a great game, and then the refs stole it from them. If Pittsburgh didn't look so mediocre at times we wouldn't even be having this discussion. The Locklear call was technically correct, the pass interference call was technically correct. The Big Ben goal line run was too close to call, and the Hasselbeck fumble was correctly reversed. I wish they had more consistently let the guys play, but I think the reaction has been a little much. It's a nice way to make the Super Bowl last a few extra days I guess.
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witless chum
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Saw this in a King Kaufman column at Salon. Simplify the rules, you'll get better officiating.

Personally, I'd say let a lot more bumping go one by DBs on recievers and let the offensive linemen hold more.

And outlaw domes, artificial turfs and Joe Buck.

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RickyB
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Saw that column. I agree. Simmons said pretty much the same thing. Also, be a good idea to both make penalties revewable AND let the booth decide what gets reviews (maybe except for the 4th quarter).

aupton - it's a nice way to forget the fact that it was a crummy superbowl....

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The Drake
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I think the best quote I ever got on the subject of holding calls in particular, is that a ref could call holding on every play according to the rules.

Sometimes guys get a reputation, and they get called more than most. Probably more true about passing interference.

Which is another rule that can be called all the time. But never is called against a linebacker covering a tight end, or at least hardly ever. Run a CB side by side with a big name receiver, who falls down, and he's going to get called even if his hands are in his pockets.

The problem is that there's no hard and fast rules for either of these. There are all kinds of subjective judgements that enter into the discussion - which is why it can't be reviewable. The refs on the field use the calls to control the game - at least in theory.

Contrast to basketball. Offense gets called for charging if the defender is set. Otherwise, its a blocking foul. There's still some subjectivity (was it bad enough to call), but at least there's a better rule than offensive/defensive pass interference.

Contrast to baseball. Very simple rules, but they can't even keep a strike zone consistent. The catchers fool them all the time.

I just don't think there's really any way to change the rules of football to correct for the fact that the refs only call 17-18 hours of football every year. If you had 1/100 of your workday to improve yourself, how good would you be? Then add the speed of the game into the equation, and the need to dodge flying bodies.

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Redskullvw
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I love how the Steeler's QB admited on Letterman that he hadn't gotten the touchdown.
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The Drake
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What would he know, he was upside down [Big Grin]
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The Drake
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I think the real answer is to ban instant replays and recordings.
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RickyB
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That's not an answer, that's just a way to ignore the problem.
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Matthew Compton
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Since they called holding on Locklear they should have also thrown a flag everytime the Pittsburgh Defense lined up off sides. But that wasn't going to happen since the Steelers really did have a home field advantage. Jackson using his arm to distance himself from the defender isn't the same as pushing.

As for it being a guarantee that Pittsburgh would have gotten the ball into the end zone on 4th & inches, well, the Hawks defense was doing pretty good at keeping them at bay most of the game.

Seattle lost to the black & white, not the black & gold. In the interest of full disclosure, I live in Seattle so I'm very, very biased. :-)

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RickyB
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seattle lost to itself. They dropped a ton of balls and didn't convert well on 3rd down. However, as I've made clear, the zebras did rob them. Still, this sentence:

"Jackson using his arm to distance himself from the defender isn't the same as pushing".

Is just wrong. It was a two hand shove.

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TCB
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Here's a link to a quicktime movie of the play in which Locklear was called for holding. It looks to me that Haggans had Locklear beat, and was slowed down from behind. Given the subjectivity of holding calls, it could have gone either way. It certainly wasn't an egregiously bad call.

Jackson's push-off was weak, but he did it right in front of an official. Ticky-tack or not, it was technically pass interference, and how can the official not call it when it's right in front of him?

They clearly blew the Hasselbeck tackle after the turnover, though.

Holmgren's lucky people decided to blame the loss on officiating instead of his awful game management.

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RickyB
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His game mamgement WAS awful. Unfortunately, I don't have quicktime.
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Matthew Compton
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We'll just have to disagree on the Jackson pass interference call. :-) I don't see a penalty there, but I am still blinded by affiliation two weeks after the event.
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The Drake
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Don't worry, Matt. Once the hawks win a championship, you'll forget all about it.

I hardly ever complain about Chuck Knoblauch's Phantom Tag anymore, now that the Red Sox won a world series.

There are other famous bad calls in the link as well, for the sports history minded.

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