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World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers

Steeler's HelmetAs a lifelong Steelers fan, it's odd how incredibly disappointed I feel after a Super Bowl victory. Neither team brought their A game. Heck, I'd be hard pressed to give Seattle even a B, and Pittsburgh played at least one grade level below them. C+ and C- games, perhaps?

To those who want to blame the zebras, I have a few things to say. First, a push-off is a push-off. Second, you have to make a legal catch before something can be considered a touch-down, and hitting the pylon in the air doesn't count as your "second foot down in-bounds." He was out of bounds. Third, when you have one arm around the front of a player and one around the back, that's holding. Fourth, Ben's TD looked like he barely crossed the front of the goal line to me; the refs agreed, even after review. After the Indy game this year, nobody has a legitimate gripe about the umpiring in the game. Oh wait, there was one horrible call: I don't think you can get flagged for illegal blocking when you're making a tackle.

More in the full entry…

I admit to saying this:

If the Steelers ever win a Super Bowl, it will be in spite of Bill Cowher.

Guess what? They won in spite of Bill Cowher. The real Bill Cowher returned this game. The gadget play worked, but the rest of the anemic playcalling was typical Cowher. Several times in the red zone the Steelers went to Jerome Bettis in what amounted to feeble attempts to get him a TD in his coronation. Several times they failed while a quick slant or a play-action pass would have resulted in an easy six points. The Steelers, despite playing against a highly ranked rush defense and a weak secondary, started the game primarily trying to rush the ball. The result? Three three-and-outs. The Steelers, despite an overwhelming matchup with Heath Miller, kept him in to block and threw but one pass his way. Typical Bill Cowher.

Ben Roethlisberger had a horrible game, but he's now 27-4 as a starter. That's a 0.871 win percentage and if Ben were a baseball team, he'd win 141 games per year and lose only 21. Despite being 9 for 21 (three or four of those passes should have been caught) with two INTs (a massively underthrown ball on a receiver that was wide open and a horrible throw to the flat when a lob would have netted six), Roethlisberger never lost his cool and made a few key, clutch plays. That said, his QB rating was 22.6 - can it get worse?

I give credit to both offensive lines, though Seattle won that battle. The Steelers, actually, lost in the offensive and special teams phases of the game. The one in which they won? Defense. And defense wins championships.

I'm sure I'll have more thoughts, more to say, etc. as time goes on, and I'll probably do that in the comments. But for now, and forever, the Steelers are Super Bowl XL Champions.

16 Responses to "World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers"

  1. BTW, first post. 🙂

    BTW #2, I'm stunned at how many people think that the Immaculate Reception led to the first Steelers Super Bowl victory. Let's get things straight: the IR was in 1972. The Steelers didn't win their first Super Bowl until 1974 (then '75, '78, '79).

  2. You're right -- neither team brought their A game. However, to discount the refs is a little wrong too.

    First, I think that the pylon *is* part of the playing field.

    Second, that push-off was a ticky tac call. There is no getting around it. Both players were being handsy. That's the definition of a no-call play.

    Yes, I'm sure that the Steelers had exactly ZERO holds during the entire game... Oh wait -- in football a hold happens on nearly EVERY play. It's when you call the hold that's important.

    I hope that Porter now understands the ridiculous nature of his previous conspiracy comments. Either that or he should publicly thank the refs this time. After all, if you're going to blast the refs for taking the game away from you, you should at least heap praise on them when they try to give it to you.

  3. First, I think that the pylon *is* part of the playing field.

    But it's not part of the GROUND, and you have to have two feet IN BOUNDS. Contacting the pylon in the air doesn't mean anything.

    Second, that push-off was a ticky tac call. There is no getting around it. Both players were being handsy. That's the definition of a no-call play.

    Uhhh, no. Plain as day. You can be handsy so long as you don't push off - Jackson pushed off.

    Yes, I'm sure that the Steelers had exactly ZERO holds during the entire game... Oh wait -- in football a hold happens on nearly EVERY play. It's when you call the hold that's important.

    The Seahawks held on every play too. The only holds called were the obvious ones in space, away from the scrum at the LOS.

    I hope that Porter now understands the ridiculous nature of his previous conspiracy comments. Either that or he should publicly thank the refs this time. After all, if you're going to blast the refs for taking the game away from you, you should at least heap praise on them when they try to give it to you.

    The only call that went for the Steelers that shouldn't have was the low "block/tackle." Get over it. The NFL won't be issuing another apology to the Seahawks like they have to the Steelers a record number of times. They called a proper game.

  4. For the record, I live in New England and am a Patriots fan, although I loved the Steelers as a kid and have a good friend from Sharon, PA who lives and breathes black and gold.

    I have to say, I am surprised at all of the stuff (on ESPN.com etc.) I am reading about the officiating. Maybe more disappointed than surprised.

    1. I bet that pass interference call is called 9 out of 10 times in the regular season. It happened right in front of the official, with the arm fully extended, and at full speed it bring the defender to a near stop.

    1a. I have not seen anyone question the out of bounds calls. I do not think those were even close. He was obviously not in bounds.

    2. The replay showed that the Roethlisberger TD was too close to call, it could not have been overturned. I am disappointed that the official appeared to change his mind on the call based on where he saw the ball when he ran up. Other than that, it was not a terrible call. I cannot believe how many people want to state definitively that the ball did not cross the line.

    3. I must have been zoning on the holding, because it did not stand out to me as controversial, but I see that one everywhere. I will agree with the comments here that often holds are called based on more how the players are alligned. If this play happened in an isolated area with clear visibility that might be why it was called.

    4. The illegal block call is indefensible. It was also quite significant as the Steelers would have had to gain those 15 yards in order to be able to run that gadget play.

    Finally, there were calls that went against the Steelers too. What about the spot on the broken play Roethlisberger run at the end? He got the first down by an inch but the spot took away 2-3 yards from the play. Even the other two officials near the play looked confused by the spot.

    Neither team play great. I think the difference is that Seattle often looked good before shooting themselves in the foot. The Steelers tended to either just suck (go 3 and out) or deliver and score some points. In other words, they made the most of their chances.

    Congratulations to Steelers fans. It is hard to believe it has been 26 years (a few weeks before USA vs. USSR at Lake Placid). I was only 11 at the time, where does the time go?

  5. I'll agree with most of what you've said except #4: the Steelers were called on that same kind of play two weeks in a row this season (in their two losses to IND and CIN). The officials properly enforced the rule as it's worded, just as they did twice against PIT earlier this year.

    Whether or not it's a rule that needs to be changed (I think it does) is another discussion entirely.

    In addition to the bad spot, there were a few other calls against the Steelers, like:Ben blocked in the back on the INT return.Ward hit out of bounds no less helmet-to-helmet.Stevens catches the ball, takes 3-4 steps, is hit, FUMBLEs, ruled incomplete?Several times, Hasselbeck threw the ball away while standing in the pocket to avoid the sack. No calls?The list could go on for a bit, but I think the officiating, though I wouldn't call it stellar, evened itself out. It wasn't good officiating, but it didn't bias itself one way or the other.

    When you think about the big plays in this game, the Steelers had three of them. That there weren't many more than three big plays is the reason the Steelers won, despite having a 22.6 QB rating, a negative turnover differential, etc.

    Everyone talks about all the opportunities the Seahawks gave up (the two missed FGs, the penalties, the drops), but it's not like the Steelers had their A game either. They left just as many - if not more - opportunities on the field.

  6. The Steelers were twice this year called for an Illegal Blocking penalty on a play where the person the penalty was called against was tackling the person? How could that be possible?

    Aside from it being somewhat hard to believe the scenario has happened that often, I thought the announcers said if you were tackling the ball carrier, you could hit them low?

    Were you thinking I was talking about a different play? Because I thought your original post said the same thing I did.

  7. Yes, they were called twice for the same play. The announces said that, yes, but they also said a bunch of other stupid things during the telecast. The way the rule is written, that play is illegal. That's why it was called on the Steelers twice and on the Seahawks once. It's a bad rule, but as written, that's the rule.

  8. Here's some more stupidity:

    Sunday's Super Bowl XL, pitting the Seahawks against the victorious Pittsburgh Steelers and featuring a muted halftime performance by the Stones, averaged an estimated 90.7 million viewers, ABC said Monday. That's up about 5 percent last year's big game, which typically is never quite as big as when the Dallas Cowboys are playing, which they weren't.Per Nielsen Media Research, Super Bowl XL's performance is the best since 1996 when, as is the rule, the Cowoys played.

    Thanks, HW, for pointing out that both of the most watched Super Bowls in the past 11 years featured the Steelers.

    Fuck the Cowboys. They've never been "America's Team." It's a Steeler Nation, baby!

  9. Not that it matters at this point, but Ben Roethlisberger himself said, on Letterman last night, that he didn't get the ball over the plane of the goal line.

    It looked to me like you could easily tell that in the replay, but then I'm a Seahawks fan (I'm actually also a Steelers fan, but I'm from Seattle so...)

  10. Be real: that's not what he said. He said when he hit the ground he wasn't over the line. And he wasn't. But that's after the fact.

    Also, the NFL stood by their referees and said that none of the calls being "debated" were called incorrectly. Perhaps people should be down on the Seahawks for trying to cheat so darn much? 😛

  11. Well for what it's worth -- you seem to be at odds with John Clayton who said:

    "A player will be ruled in bounds if he touches the pylon at the goal line before going out of bounds. For example, a pass would be considered complete if one foot touches the pylon and the other foot is in bounds."

    When reporting about the rule changes in 2002.

  12. Clayton is unequivocally wrong. He doesn't even understand the rule. A player is considered to have entered the end zone if he touches any side of the pylon, but a player has to establish possession in bounds first. Jackson had not yet established possession in bounds. He was out of bounds. The pylon is not part of the ground, and to be "in bounds" you have to have two feet down in the field of play.

    Think about this: if a player leaps into the air, both feet kick the pylon in the air, and the player lands two feet out of bounds, did he make a catch? No. They didn't even review the play in the booth because it was so obvious he was a foot or two out of bounds with his right foot.

  13. Perhaps you'd like the NFL:

    "A player no longer can be ruled out of bounds when he touches a pylon unless he already touched the boundary line."

  14. Stephen, it wasn't the pylon that made him out of bounds. It was the fact that his second foot came down A FOOT OR TWO out of bounds.

    It's a very simple concept. You must establish possession (i.e. no juggling the ball), establish that you're in-bounds (two feet, one knee, etc.), and THEN you can hit the pylon, cross the plane of the end zone, etc. He failed to establish that he was in bounds prior to "being in the end zone." He never "caught" the ball - he was out of bounds.

    You're wrong, and your dogged persistence here is really making you look bad. The game, sorry to tell you, was properly called and by the rules.

    The Steelers are the World Champions!

  15. World champions?

    Champions of the entire world of 34 teams in the US.

    Stick with Super Bowl champs.

  16. Uh, G, if the major league baseball team that wins the World Series is the world champion, despite probably not being better than some teams that single countries (Cuba, the Dominican Republic, etc.) could gather, then the only teams playing football can call themselves world champions. Derrr.


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