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  1. #1
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    Patriots Continue To Benefit From Bad Officiating

    Clock error added 52 seconds to Steelers-Pats game

    ESPN.com news services




    Tom Brady, among the league's best in late-game drives, led the Patriots down field for the winning score against the Steelers in 1:21 on Sunday.
    But could he have done it in 29 seconds?
    The NFL confirmed Monday that the game clock was improperly set early in the fourth quarter, adding 52 seconds to the game.
    The error occurred at the beginning of the fourth quarter. With 14:51 remaining, Steelers receiver Cedric Wilson ran a reverse and was held to no gain; the play ran the clock down to 13:59.
    A false start was called on Steelers guard Kendall Simmons on the next play, but instead of resetting the clock to 13:59, the clock operator set it back to 14:51 -- the time before Wilson's running play began. No one noticed the error, including the officiating crew.
    Mike Pereira, the NFL's senior director of officiating, spoke to coaches Bill Cowher and Bill Belichick about the error on Monday and addressed it in a prepared statement.
    "The on-field officiating crew, which oversees the official game clock operated in the press box, failed to recognize that the clock was improperly reset," he said.
    According to former NFL official Chuck Heberling, who observes the officials in a league-appointed capacity, an NFL employee in New York spotted the error and immediately called officials supervisor Johnny Grier. Grier was sitting with Heberling in the press box.
    "We checked it out with the statisticians and, according to his records, everything seemed to be all right," Heberling said. As a result, no move was made to try to correct the error.
    The mistake showed up when the officiating crew, headed by referee Bill Carollo, reviewed the CBS game tape with Grier and Heberling during their usual post-game meeting in a Pittsburgh hotel.
    "When we ran the tape, it was obvious it [the clock] was jumping," Heberling said.
    The clock operators -- there are two, one for the game clock and the other for the play clock -- are locally-based but hired by the league. The Steelers did not identify them, and they are not listed with the other officials on the league's statistical report.

    "It's a very unusual thing," Heberling said.
    With those extra 52 seconds in place, the Steelers rallied to tie the game 20-20 on Ben Roethlisberger's 4-yard TD pass to Hines Ward with 1:21 remaining.
    But that was enough time for Brady to lead the Patriots into position for Adam Vinatieri, the league's best clutch kicker, to make a 43-yard field goal with one second remaining to beat the Steelers 23-20 at Heinz Field.
    Steelers president Dan Rooney was unaware of the mistake until being alerted Monday by reporters.
    "There's nothing to say. The game's over," Rooney said. "It's not going to change the score."


    Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.


  2. #2
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    Re: Patriots Continue To Benefit From Bad Officiating

    I could understand these sorts of mistakes happening in a high school game, but this is the NFL. The amount of money invested in these games is enormous. You would think they could get it right.

    The only good thing that I get out of this is that there is a review of the games by the officials and that bad calls or other errors will be identified.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Patriots Continue To Benefit From Bad Officiating

    Has any team in the history of the NFL benefited so much from questionable officiating as the New England Patriots have in the last four years? I'm only 22, so I'm no NFL historian. But come on - the tuck rule, illegal contact and other blatant no-calls in SB 36, the 2-3 second run off of time at the end of that SB, and now nearly a minute of "extra" time in a difficult road game that followed a loss to Carolina.

    Don't get me wrong. I believe the New England Patriots are a talented football team. But there have to be some referees out there that deserve a Super Bowl ring for the inadvertant role they played in their success.
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    Re: Patriots Continue To Benefit From Bad Officiating

    Satan: "Hey, Tom. How's it going?"

    Brady: "Um... fine.... what's up?"

    Satan: "Oh, nothing... just wanted to see if you were enjoying your success."

    Brady: "Well, yeah. Of course. But its not..."

    Satan: "Oh, no... its not your time yet. But I'll be waiting. A deal's a deal."

  5. #5
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    Re: Patriots Continue To Benefit From Bad Officiating

    Did you misspell Santa again Av?


  6. #6
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    Re: Patriots Continue To Benefit From Bad Officiating

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan
    Did you misspell Santa again Av?

    No, if were Santa, anyone playing for Belichick would get a big 'ol lump of coal!

  7. #7
    XxXdragonXxX's Avatar
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    Re: Patriots Continue To Benefit From Bad Officiating

    I don't think the Patriots benefited from 52 seconds being added tot eh BEGGINING of the 4th quarter. If it hadn't been added, both teams would have managed the clock differently and the outcome would have been the exact same.

  8. #8
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    Re: Patriots Continue To Benefit From Bad Officiating

    Quote Originally Posted by XxXdragonXxX
    I don't think the Patriots benefited from 52 seconds being added tot eh BEGGINING of the 4th quarter. If it hadn't been added, both teams would have managed the clock differently and the outcome would have been the exact same.
    Perhaps. But, given that the Patriots won the game on a last second field goal, you have to wonder... why do these bonehead calls seem to occur in Patriot wins.

    I, for one, like the Brady sold his soul to the Devil theory.

  9. #9
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    Re: Patriots Continue To Benefit From Bad Officiating

    Your theory is more believable than the conspiracy theory, atleast this time around. I really don't think the extra time made any difference, the game still would have been tied with about a minute to go and the Patriots would have the ball.

    Really though, theres absolutely no way the refs could have known who would benefit from the extra time on the clock at that point in the game. This is nothing like the time the Ravens got an extra timeout in the last minute aginst the Seahawks, giving them 44 seconds to drive down and kick a field goal, instead of under 10 seconds.

  10. #10
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    Re: Patriots Continue To Benefit From Bad Officiating

    Quote Originally Posted by XxXdragonXxX
    Really though, theres absolutely no way the refs could have known who would benefit from the extra time on the clock at that point in the game.
    Definitely not. I just find it interesting how we're supposed to believe this Pats team is a dynasty and some marvel of the modern football world when it appears that a lot of their important games have had glaring officiating questions/mistakes surrounding them.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Patriots Continue To Benefit From Bad Officiating

    Pretty much every football game ever played has glaring officiating mistakes, everyone just thinks it only happens to their own team and everyone who plays the Patriots.

  12. #12
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    Re: Patriots Continue To Benefit From Bad Officiating

    Perhaps, but I doubt you could find a team that has benefitted as much from these kind of mistakes in big games as the Pats have.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Patriots Continue To Benefit From Bad Officiating

    You're right, I couldn't, because the Patriots get the most attention, because they've won 3 Superbowls in 4 years.

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