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Clint M

Super Bowl XL

Who Will Win Super Bowl XL?  

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Well, yes and no. In the most recent realignment, the Seahawks got moved to NFC. But that's ok because the Steelers were and NFL team pre-merger, so they should be seen as legacy NFC.

There aren't many of us here who remember the old NFL-AFL days. My mom was asking me this morning how long its been since I climbed up on the roof to put up a homemade antenna to watch the super bowl (actually it was the NFL-AFL Championship Game - not called super bowl back then) I told her 39 years since that's how I had to watch SB I. Blacked out in LA, had to get San Diego station to watch. Local radio station sent out instruction on making your own antenna and where to point it. Worked like a charm.

Edited by Darrel Manson

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I think the Steelers will win, but I'm rooting for the Seahawks. Hopefully we'll get another 1998 Denver Broncos vs. Green Bay-esque Super Bowl.

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The Seahawks should have won.

Of course, the Stealers* fielded a better team... 11 players and 7 members of the officiating team. ::thumbsdown::

I've rarely seen such poor officiating. <_< I suspect the officials made a bit of money off the game.

*spelling intended

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only bad call I saw was the block below the waist. the first Pitt TD was debatable, but the guy with the best look made the call -- and his look was better than cameras.

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That offensive pass interference in the first quarter was a bad call. Didn't they also throw a flag for flase start on Alexander, the half back? Though the officials were flag happy, I place a considerable amount of blame on Holmgren's poor clock management.

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Yes. That was a surprise. Holmgren is one of those anal retentive over prepared guys with an answer for everything.. At the end of the first half, he seemed distracted by a call from way back, rather than using what time he had to get back in the game.

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Of course, the Stealers* fielded a better team

Wrong city. The Stealers are the NFL franchise in Baltimore.

I did think there were some questionable officiating calls, but I didn't think they affected the outcome of the game. Except for the big plays, the Seahawks outplayed the Steelers. But, as is often the case, the big plays won the game.

My condolences to all Seahawks fans. It was amazing to see all the Steeler gear as I drove around Columbus, Ohio this weekend. You'd think we were a suburb of Pittsburgh instead of right smack in the middle of two of the Steelers' biggest rivals. There were apostates everywhere you looked.

Edited by Andy Whitman

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That offensive pass interference in the first quarter was a bad call.

he pushed off, pretty much text book example of pass interference.

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That offensive pass interference in the first quarter was a bad call.

he pushed off, pretty much text book example of pass interference.

Yes, with his fingertips

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The defender was moving with the receiver, then he was pushed and was knocked off balance, which creative the separation that the receiver needed to make the catch. Without the contact, the defender would have had a chance to make a play on the ball - he probably would not have been close enough to have broken the pass up, but the push kept him from having that chance.

Off balance? Pshaw. The ref didn't even notice it until the defender turned and made the gesture for PI. But hey--contact is contact, and that was proven with Hasselbeck's self-imposed down later on in the game. Rules are rules.

The one that really got me was the 'debatable TD.' That ball didn't cross the plane, it simply did not make it. Using the QB's armband as a measure of where the ball was tucked, the bright white armband didn't even cross the goal line--and if it didn't, how could the ball possibly have done so? (The one dragged from beneath and behind after the down.)

Ah, well. Every Super Bowl has its controversy. My only real complaint was the dearth of good commercials. I liked 4 of them, I think.

Edited by Jason Bortz

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The ball doesn't have to cross the plane, merely touch it. The cameras are never as good as the eyes of the HL or LJ if they are using good mechanics. For a camera not to have an angle to distort it would mean that the LJ or HL would be standing in the way. So anything close, the cameras are useless. Since the call on the field was TD, there certainly wasn't sufficent evidence from the one camera that anything close to a good look (and that certainly wasn't a clear picture) to overrule. If the call had been that it was short, there wouldn't have been enough evidence to overrule.

Edited by Darrel Manson

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Guys, stop it. Some of you are starting to sound like The Babe when her team was ROBBED! This talk of bad calls this long after the fact is pointless. As I always say when Michigan comes up short and, say, Spartie (Michigan State mascot) seems to be manning the clock, we (in this case, Seattle) shouldn't have had to need those calls. Like I said above, clock mgt at the end of both halves was horrible on Holmgren's part and the refs had nothing to do with that.

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If it were just Seattlites complaining, that would be one thing. But I read protests on ESPN and elsewhere today from writers who spent the whole season saying the Seahawks were overrated, and who still say that they didn't deserve to be in the Super Bowl. Even they say that this game was decided by the refs... one of them even went so far as to say "frauds." I've talked to family and friends around the country today, folks who aren't Seattle fans, who said, even before I could voice my gripes, that they sat down to watch a football game and they were robbed because even in the first quarter, it seemed the deck was stacked.

I'm not upset anymore. In fact, now I'm just laughing and shaking my head, reminding myself why I quit paying attention to pro sports years ago, and wondering why I let myself get duped into believing I might see an honest game on Sunday.

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Guys, stop it. Some of you are starting to sound like The Babe when her team was ROBBED!

No, YOU stop it. YOU STOP IT!!!

AAAAAAAAAAA!!!

Actually, being that I really don't care for either team, it doesn't matter much to me. Darrell's comments are somewhat valid--somewhat--and that's sports for ya. That's the beauty of this country. That's the American Dream. That's why the Gipper was so important. That's freedom, man, and I'll count myself lucky to stand among the naysayers, the dissenters, the finger-pointers when a bad call, when MANY bad calls are made in favor of one team, and I'll come out on the other side, battered, bruised, and beaten down--but by no means out. I am a sports fan, an armchair quarterback, a bastion of machismo, and by golly, I WILL FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT!!!

...

Oh, you have to pretend Leslie Neilsen is doing the voiceover.

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With God as my witness, I will never go hungry a-gain!

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If it were just Seattlites complaining, that would be one thing. But I read protests on ESPN and elsewhere today from writers who spent the whole season saying the Seahawks were overrated, and who still say that they didn't deserve to be in the Super Bowl. Even they say that this game was decided by the refs... one of them even went so far as to say "frauds." I've talked to family and friends around the country today, folks who aren't Seattle fans, who said, even before I could voice my gripes, that they sat down to watch a football game and they were robbed because even in the first quarter, it seemed the deck was stacked.

From vast experience in this regard (the Michigan State campus is famous for partisan clock management in these parts, as well as big games with questionable calls in big situations), very few games have a large number of questionable, let alone bad calls. And this is largely due to instant replay now where there can be almost solid evidence of getting it wrong. Almost. This is an issue where hyperbole reigns, particularly after the fact. Truth is, the Seahawks had plenty of opportunities and missed them. The Steelers never really put the game away 'til the last few minutes either. If this is your argument for bad officiating, you guys live a charmed, though wet life up and out there. We along the I-75 corridor talk about single questionable calls for years, decades. It is part of Big 10 lore. Still, that doesn't mean that they are intentional.

I'm not upset anymore. In fact, now I'm just laughing and shaking my head, reminding myself why I quit paying attention to pro sports years ago, and wondering why I let myself get duped into believing I might see an honest game on Sunday.

You're kidding right? Fixed games is the biggest urban legend of all. Trust me, I was a Bulls hater during the Reign of Micheal Jordan and a Bad Boys fan to boot. I've heard all of the excuses and theories. Besides, the time to "fix" a Super Bowl is BEFORE you get a Seattle/Pittsburgh final, not after.

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Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback agrees with Seahawk fans. That wasn't a touchdown.

Okay, do you think HE was close enough to HIMSELF to make the call? Or did the refs have a better angle?

Actually, I don't think he was in a good position to make that kind of call. The ref did have a better angle to determine if the ball touched the plane of the goal line or if the ball was a fraction of an inch away from touching it. The only way to tell that is to be looking right down that plane, and Ben's eye was not right on the plane.

The disapointing part of the game to me was that neither Seattle nor Pittsburgh played as well in the Super Bowl as they had earlier in the year. It might have been Seattle's worst game of the year. Did they have any punts that weren't touchbacks? Rouen had been great all year at pinning the opposition deep in their own end, but in the Super Bowl he didn't have single one inside the 20. Hasselbeck/Holmgren's clock management problems that have already been mentioned had not happened eariler this season. All those dropped passes looked like the 2004 Seahawks, not the 2005 team. Why did Alexander make the jump from being a pretty good back to the 2005 league MVP? He stopped cutting every run to the outside, but on Sunday he reverted back to his old ways (and he had a pretty good game - but not what you would expect from the MVP in the Super Bowl)

The injuries also played a big part in the game. When Manuel went out in the first quarter, Pittsburgh's offense finally woke up. It's tough to have a 3rd stringer come in for your safety who makes a lot of the calls organizing your defense. It shows how good Seattle is to be so far off their A-game and to have kept the game close the whole way.

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It's annoying that Jeffrey is posting about this separately, in a topic that is "locked," which links to his blog posts -- which allow no comments! That's Seattle bravery for ya, I guess.

The intensity over the officiating surprises me, but in retrospect, I guess it's a legitamate argument. However, I'd be more sympathetic to the Seattle fans if:

1) I thought they were a better team than Pittsburgh (they aren't)

2) They hadn't proven themselves susceptible to colossal blunders in terms of time management

3) I hadn't watched the incompetence of my own favorite team (the Redskins) for years now, and, despite several bad calls that went against them during the "down years," seen that reverse course this year, when the Redskins caught a few breaks toward the end of the year (nevermind that Tampa Bay beat us earlier in the year, on a "break the plane" call on a 2-point coversion during which the ball pretty clearly never broke the plane).

No, none of that excuses bad officiating in the Super Bowl. I've been enjoying goosing my friends who are Steelers fans, saying that the game is the biggest sports scandal since the "Black Sox." But Seattle proved, in many ways, that it was the inferior team on Sunday. Stop blaming the refs. Pittsburgh deserved to win.

Edited by Christian

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Reaction to officiating (from Wikipedia)

The officiating in the game was met with criticism from both fans and the media. Critics of head official Bill Leavy and his crew charged that the officials had been biased, wrongly nullifying several key plays made by the Seattle Seahawks' offense, and going out of their way to penalize Seattle but not Pittsburgh. Jason Whitlock from the Kansas City Star wrote: "Bill Leavy and his crew ruined Super Bowl XL. Am I the only one who would like to hear them defend their incompetence?" ESPN columnist Michael Smith summarized his view of the impact of the officiating on the outcome of the game: "Here's what referee Bill Leavy's crew did, point blank: It robbed Seattle."

Seattle Coach Mike Holmgren took a shot at the officials himself while thanking fans at Qwest Field two days after the game: "We knew it was going to be tough going up against the Pittsburgh Steelers. I didn

Edited by TexasWill

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Actually, I don't think he was in a good position to make that kind of call. The ref did have a better angle to determine if the ball touched the plane of the goal line or if the ball was a fraction of an inch away from touching it. The only way to tell that is to be looking right down that plane, and Ben's eye was not right on the plane.

Not that I'm a Seattle fan, but I do like to see a fair game (even if one team's bad clock management, etc. contributed highly to their own defeat). In that spirit I disagree with the statement above.

The Steelers quarterback, with his eyes just above the football in his hand, and perpendicular to the plane of the goal line had an excellent angle to determine 1) where the football was, 2) where the white plane of the goal line was, and 3) the distance between the two.

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It's annoying that Jeffrey is posting about this separately, in a topic that is "locked," which links to his blog posts -- which allow no comments! That's Seattle bravery for ya, I guess.

Oh yeah, you know me... always afraid of provoking conversation about anything I care about.

No, I just closed the comments so that the comments wouldn't turn into yet another yelling match on the subject. I'm getting plenty of email for posting anything on the subject as it is.

And the quality of sports-related comments on the Web tend to be of a very different color than comments related to film criticism.* I didn't want to leave the door open for that.

So, if you want to write that off as "Seattle bravery," are you volunteering yourself as a fine example of "Fairfax discernment"? ::box2::

Last night, the local news encouraged fans to contribute to a fund to pay any fines that the NFL slaps on Holmgren for criticizing the refs. We're willing to back him up on those responses all the way.

*(Although I have been receiving obscene hate mail from homosexuals who think that my Brokeback Mountain review is an expression of hate and bigotry.)

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

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And the quality of sports-related comments on the Web tend to be of a very different color than comments related to film criticism.* I didn't want to leave the door open for that.

I totally agree with this, and personally see nothing wrong with avoiding the sports talk smackdown form of rhetoric (which is a plague to humanity whether in its internet form or its talk radio/TV form). It's the Mos Eisley cantina of discourse, and that's why it hurts so much to type the following.

Last night, the local news encouraged fans to contribute to a fund to pay any fines that the NFL slaps on Holmgren for criticizing the refs. We're willing to back him up on those responses all the way.

Gosh, I think that money would be better spent (1) getting a tight end who doesn't drop so many passes, (2) obtaining safeties who don't bite on play fakery and abandon their run support duties and (3) sending more than 5000-7500 fans to the Super Bowl so that your team doesn't feel like they're playing in Pittsburgh. But that's just me.

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