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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    I know who the Seahawks should blame for the officiating...

    No, it wasn't a conspiracy to give Jerome Bettis a grand sendoff.

    The true blameworthy party for the officiating in the Super Bowl is...

    The New England Patriots

    Now, true to my word in another thread, I'm not going to discuss SB36. Rather, I'll fast forward to the Patriots/Colts playoff game in 2003. As some of you may recall, the Patriots got away with shameless mugging of Colts receivers, effectively shutting down the Colts offense.

    The replays showed such blatant uncalled hits that the league finally took official action, announcing that it would require greater attention to and more vigilant enforcement of rules relating to hitting receivers while they run their routes.

    In other words, the NFL finally sent the message that "let them play" would no longer be the norm in playoff football.

    What we saw on Sunday arguably is an example of the pendulum swinging a bit too far in the other direction. Allow me to illustrate:

    1. The Offensive Interference Call: That call was clearly "by the book" in that the receiver did push off and create space. That said, it was the kind of play that - at least before the Patriots' abuses prompted more stringent enforcement - was often not called due to the somewhat minor nature of the infraction (you can make a credible arguement that the receiver had position with or without the push).

    2. The Holding Call: It is often said that holding could be called on "every play." Perhaps the call against Locklear was an example of the backlash of past "let them play" attitudes.

    3. The Hasselbeck Block: This was the most questionable call of the three. The only explanation is that the refs - once again, due to past Patriot abuses - were overdoing the "call it by the book" notion (its not even clear that Hasselbeck actually hit a non-ball carrier below the waist, and he certainly was not trying to "block").

    In my business, there an old saying that "bad facts make bad law."

    Perhaps, along these lines, the Patriots, by pushing the rules and shamelessly taking advantage of enforcement loopholes, have caused a backlash of hyper-sensitivity that, unfortunately for the Hawks, culminated on Super Bowl Sunday.

    So, Hawk fans - if you want someone to blame, blame the Patriots!


  2. #2
    bigredman's Avatar
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    Re: I know who the Seahawks should blame for the officiating...

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam
    1. The Offensive Interference Call: That call was clearly "by the book" in that the receiver did push off and create space. That said, it was the kind of play that - at least before the Patriots' abuses prompted more stringent enforcement - was often not called due to the somewhat minor nature of the infraction (you can make a credible arguement that the receiver had position with or without the push).

    2. The Holding Call: It is often said that holding could be called on "every play." Perhaps the call against Locklear was an example of the backlash of past "let them play" attitudes.

    3. The Hasselbeck Block: This was the most questionable call of the three. The only explanation is that the refs - once again, due to past Patriot abuses - were overdoing the "call it by the book" notion (its not even clear that Hasselbeck actually hit a non-ball carrier below the waist, and he certainly was not trying to "block").
    I agree. Regarding example #1: Anytime a receiver places a hand on a defender and then extends his arm to create space, that has been pretty much consistantly called this year. Example #2: The OL engaged the defender who beat him on the outside shoulder and OL's arm was still hooked inside the chest of the defender. While you can argue that the act did not cause the defender to slow down or change his path, it still fits well within the rules. Example #3 That was a totally blown call. The ref obviously got confused at what he was seeing. There were three steelers coming toward Hasslebeck, two potential blockers and the ball carrier. Hasslebeck dove in front of one of the potential blockers and the ball carrier. The potential blocker held up and went over Hasslebeck's legs, and the ball carrier was tackled. The ref must have confused the two steeler players. BAD CALL.

    Regarding the TD by big Ben, I can see where the nose of the football could have crossed the very front part of the goal line while Ben was still in the air, then he was pushed back as he went down and landed. Not enough video evidence to overturn the call on the field. Also I think it was Randle-EL who was absolutely mugged while attempting to catch a pass, and no flag.

    But, that's the way it goes. As a coach, I can tell you its tough to catch things at live speed sometimes. You think you see something, but later while reviewing game tape, it ends up not being what you assumed.
    Last edited by bigredman; -02-08-2006 at 06:03 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Re: I know who the Seahawks should blame for the officiating...

    A great post, as it points out these 'fashions' that spring up in the NFL (and in soccer, cricket and rugby) regarding interpretations of the rule book.

    I sometimes think that in pointing out the strict letter of the law with these things that we miss the point. It's a bit like saying that the US supreme court can't interpret the archaic tenets of the US constitution to come up with a ruling that is more sympathetic to context.

    Officiating, is as intuitive as any other occupation involving people and there are occasions when the inflexible written word is subject to interpretation.

    The point to me is not that the officiating in this game was according to the letter of the law, it's that it's not largely consistent with the other games that we've seen throughout the regular season and beyond.

    All I think you can ask for is consistency from any official in any sport and when you don't get it that's when you have these kinds of discussions.

    In my opinion,especially in soccer and Rugby, it's when governing bodies of sports start to interfere with officiating, when they tell officials the kind of things they want to see cracked down on that the trouble starts.

    It happens more often in showpiece games than any other because of the pressure to present a spectacle for the TV boys, and it has the opposite effect. Referees forget the way they've refereed games all year and everyone notices.

    The NFL needs to look at why these games and the officials who run them become the target of outlandish conspiracy theories.

  4. #4
    CanadianRam!'s Avatar
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    Re: I know who the Seahawks should blame for the officiating...

    the seahawks will probably blame the rams somehow lol

  5. #5
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: I know who the Seahawks should blame for the officiating...

    How about the two or three illegal receivers down field on the long pass by Big Stiff Ben in the first half? I dont see any question on that replay that the linemen were well downfield when the ball was thrown.

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  6. #6
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: I know who the Seahawks should blame for the officiating...

    I'm not sure about that one. I can't seem to find an official NFL rulebook on line. It may be that the rule does not apply where the QB breaks the pocket, or perhaps they just missed that one.

  7. #7
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    Re: I know who the Seahawks should blame for the officiating...

    The DE was offsides in the Locklear holding play...how do you explain that missed call. Or the fact that the Steelers took a time out after the play clock had been on :00 for two seconds and didn't get called for delay of game. Or the fact that every major call went against the Seahawks (who were one of the least penalized teams in the regular season). Can you tell, I am still upset about this?

    To be fair, not all evil robots are killers.

  8. #8
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    Re: I know who the Seahawks should blame for the officiating...

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel
    How about the two or three illegal receivers down field on the long pass by Big Stiff Ben in the first half? I dont see any question on that replay that the linemen were well downfield when the ball was thrown.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel
    Yeah a couple lineman were slightly past the line of scrimage. One lineman slowly walks back when he sees that big ben is not going to run. To me, it doesn't matter, it is not like it affected the play in any way for either side. It is not even close to the intentional grounding that Brady got away with in SB36.




  9. #9
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    Re: I know who the Seahawks should blame for the officiating...

    Quote Originally Posted by rawkhrdr
    Or the fact that every major call went against the Seahawks (who were one of the least penalized teams in the regular season). Can you tell, I am still upset about this?
    How about when Stevens clearly fumbled, but it was called incomplete? As much as Hawks fans want to blame the refs, they should also blame the dropped passes, the poor clock management, the missed FGs, and the big INT by Hasselbeck.
    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam
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  10. #10
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: I know who the Seahawks should blame for the officiating...

    Or the fact that the Steelers took a time out after the play clock had been on :00 for two seconds and didn't get called for delay of game.
    Around here we call that the Tom Brady advantage.

  11. #11
    rawkhrdr's Avatar
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    Re: I know who the Seahawks should blame for the officiating...

    Quote Originally Posted by ramsbruce
    How about when Stevens clearly fumbled, but it was called incomplete? As much as Hawks fans want to blame the refs, they should also blame the dropped passes, the poor clock management, the missed FGs, and the big INT by Hasselbeck.
    I would have preferred that they had called it a fumble...that would have givent he Steelers better field goal position. Instead of at the 20 they would have had it at the spot of the ball, likely inside the 10. So even when the refs were calling in favor of the Hawks (once) it actually helped the Steelers out.
    I explained the rest in another post...it was a long post...

    To be fair, not all evil robots are killers.

  12. #12
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    Re: I know who the Seahawks should blame for the officiating...

    I think it is pretty fair to say that the New England Patriots have ruined the NFL forever!:down:

  13. #13
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: I know who the Seahawks should blame for the officiating...

    I know that SB 36 is a sore spot for us. If any of you get a chance to read the book Patriot Reign, I highly recommend it. A local sports writer for the Boston Globe, Michael Holley resigned from the newspaper to write this book with a ton of insight on the Patriots and coach BB. Marshall Faulk was BB's focus for sure at whatever cost.


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