Monday, February 06, 2006

The Game Was Fixed!

Some more outrage in the mainstream media.


In case the football fans of the Pacific Northwest aren't sick enough in the aftermath of the big game, they may want to know that no Super Bowl loser has ever dominated a title game like the Seahawks did on Sunday.

I was so sure that Seattle's edge in total yards, time of possession and takeaways in a losing effort was unprecedented that I scoured all 39 previous Super Bowl box scores to prove it. Yep, just as I suspected, no losing team had ever matched the Seahawks' trifecta. Quite a few teams had won the time of possession battle and lost. A handful had put up more total yards and lost. And a couple had even won the turnover battle and lost. But no team had ever done all three and come away with an L.

Not until Sunday. Not until the Seahawks outplayed the Steelers on the vast majority of plays and still lost, thanks largely to two dubious penalty calls that cost Seattle a TD and a first-and-goal at the 1.

This was a historic, first-of-its-kind Super Bowl loss. I don't want to take anything away from the Steelers, except, of course, the Lombardi Trophy.


Four critical calls stood out. A rinky-dink offensive pass interference flag wiped out an early touchdown pass from Matt Hasselbeck to Darrell Jackson, forcing Seattle to settle for three instead of seven. When Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger lunged for the goal line near the end of the first half, replays indicated a close play but a clear stop by the Seahawks. Nope—touchdown, Steelers. Then came the pivotal double shot that ended all hope for Seattle. With the Seahawks trailing 14-10, a phantom holding call negated a completion that would have given Seattle first and goal at the one yard line. Three plays later, Hasselbeck was picked off by Ike Taylor, a mistake he partially made up for by tackling the Steelers CB. Sadly for Seattle, tackling now brings a 15-yard penalty—the zebras somehow called Hasselbeck for a "block below the waist." The last call set up Pittsburgh for the clinching score.