Monday, February 06, 2006

BREAKDOWN OF THE OFFICALS MISCUES

The talk on this is out of control and 95% of what I said last night was not heard correctly so I thought I would write it all down.

Here is my take on the calls and the officiating which I said last night was awful, was an embarrassment to the league and definitely was influential in the game



D-Jack TD offensive pass interference
-- I can somewhat understand why the call was made since it was directly in front of the official and it had all the bearings of offensive pass interference. However, in reality it was a terrible call that cost the Hawks a touchdown.

Big Ben TD – The mechanics of the official were brutal, when he runs in from the side he has his hand up signaling 4th down and then on the second replay you can see when he raises his hand and it is when Michael Boulware walks in front of the officials vantage point the official then sees the ball in the end zone that he raises his arm for a TD. That makes the difference because the head official Leavy has the lowest % of overturned calls in the last 3 years so he was going to keep the call on the field no matter what the call was.

D-Jack TD on the bomb at the end of the 1st half – this is D-Jack fault. He has to get feet in. That is a lack of focus. But what infuriates me on this is that it was close, in fact I think it was a TD, his second foot knicks the pylon before his next foot knocks it over. What is overwhelming is that the Steelers call a TO and the guys upstairs never review the play. How can that be, How can they not review it or take another look at it when there is a timeout on the field.

Locklear Hold negating play to the 1 – Honestly I don’t know enough to understand what is and what isn’t holding. However, I will go with what Madden and others who I know said and they think it was an awful call. There has been a good deal of talk about whether or not the Steelers were offsides on this play and the next. I went frame by frame and didn’t think it was offsides, but it is obvious that they had figured out the snap count the Hawks were using or that Tobeck or Hasselbeck did something right before the snap, because they were moving unnaturally.


SUMMARY
There is no doubt in my mind that the Hawks were responsible for this loss with their own mistakes. The next question is if these calls were all made correctly or mechanically correctly would the Hawks have been able to overcome their own errors?
The officiating had a huge impact on the game, the flow, etc. That is undeniable.

At the same time, the Hawks inability to finish drives. The Hawks inability to make plays and moreover the Stevens and Engram drops were huge. The injury to Manuel put the onus back on Ken Hamlin for his poor decisions in Pioneer Square, the injury to Bernard took away a huge play maker. The Steelers took advantage of that.

The officials were an influence on the game, more so then the NFL should ever allow. Did they determine the outcome of the game, that is up for debate.
Was the officials inadequacies intentional and part of a fix or a conspiracy. No. Get real that is crazy talk.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great analysis of both the officials, its influence and the ridiculous arguments that the game was fixed. Debatable to horrible calls, but outweighed by horrible breakdowns by the Hawks. They did not rise to the occasion when they could have. Now can we end the comparing Hasselbeck to Montana columns?

Jack W said...

Locke, you're right in the sense that the Seahawks should hold themselves accountable for their mistakes. In addition, give credit to the plays the Steelers completed. But, it appeared nearly every time the Hawks made a big play it was called back. In addition, there were a few other calls that you didn't mention that killed momentum. Also we know how important momentum is, especially to the Hawks offense. It's one thing to recover from one bad call, but quite another to have to recover a bad call on every positive drive. What happened to letting players play the game?

Also, you said :

"Was the officials inadequacies intentional and part of a fix or a conspiracy. No. Get real that is crazy talk."

Seriously, why is that crazy talk? Is there corruption nearly everywhere, but the NFL? After looking at several calls and non-calls that those officials were influenced one way or another.

"You can observe a lot just by watching." -- Yogi Berra

Myk said...

I agree it is crazy talk, if the refs were seriously apart of the game fix it wouldn't really make any sense. The calls were just bad and as you said very poor in mechanics. The PI call was made only after the DB turned and looked at the offical and the TD by Big Ben was only called after he ran in 5 steps and saw where the ball was AFTER the play.

One call that you did not break down is Hasselbecks 15 yard "blocking" penalty. I think that call was the final nail in the coffin. If they do not give them the extra 15 yards and put the ball at the 50 I don't think that Pittsburgh goes for the trick play and being that their offense did nothing the whole game it is reasonable to think that the Seahawks could have still stopped them and only been down 14-10.

The one thing that is bothering me is hearing about how the Seahawks just didn't make enough plays. If all of the plays you outlined above were called correctly (or you can just say in the Seahawks favor since they were really bang bang judgment calls) we are talking about a Seahawk team that didn't just win the Super Bowl but actually DOMINATED the game. They would have gone into halftime up 14-3 (could be 17 if Brown makes his FGs) and based on Pittsburgh's poor performance there is no way an honest person could say they feel that Pittsburgh would have came back.

The Seahawks did drop some balls, but other than that they completely dominated the supposed superior team. Personally, if you could give me a list of the worst ways to win the Super Bowl this would have to be my number one pick. No other outcome could make me feel worse about how everything came about.

Myk said...

I will say the only thing that is helping me from going completely crazy is that most of the national media (and fans) agree that the officating cost us a chance at the game. If I had to wake up today and read an article by Skip Bayless (or some other jackass) about how Pittsburgh proved they were the dominant team I would have had to throw my computer out the window.

SeaWolv said...

David, I understand and agree that teams need to overcome adversity. However when does adversity become too much adversity? I understand that if it were 1 or 2 bad calls you need to suck it up but when it becomes 6 or more in a big game like this that's a bit too much to ask. The Hawks would have had to play a perfect game to overcome that much adversity. The officiating calls changed the tempo, the momentum and the confidence of the team. While I won't say that the officials are solely responsible for the Hawks loss I would say they are co-contributors.

Myk said...

I don't understand this talk of the Seahawks melt down. If the Seahawks melted down and they didn't show up what exactly did the Steelers do? They were outgained by Seattle, had the ball for less and clearly benefited from every judgment call by the offical. Regardless of whether you think the calls were right or wrong you have to admit that anytime the Ref had to make a judgment call it was in favor of the Steelers.

So to recap, the Steelers did nothing on Offense (except three plays) against a team with its third string Safety, and its best DL out and second best CB out. Was only able to stop the Seahawks by a dropped pass or a bad call by the ref and it was the Seahawks who didn't show up? If the Seahawks didn't show up then the Steelers must've been in Hawaii or something because they weren't even in the same state.

Anonymous said...

http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/sportsnation/polling?event_id=2011

Go to the link and do the poll. The nation is on our side. THE REFS MADE A JOKE OF THE BIGGEST GAME OF THE YEAR

Anonymous said...

The real question I have is with the NFL. Will they come out and admit their mistakes and make some necessary changes, or will they let this thing get out of control?

In my opinion, the call on Locklear was the killer. We would've had the ball on the 1 and without question, we'd score to make it 17-14. No way Steelers come back after that. How in the world can you call that holding and NOT call 1 holding penalty on the Steelers throughout the ENTIRE game. This officiating crew undoubtably hurt the integrity of the game (national polls agree). I don't believe the game was "fixed", but I truly believe there was a bias entering the game.

Anonymous said...

50/50 Situations. The pointspread seemed about right considering that it was essentially a home game for Pittsburgh. That means the game was pretty darn close to 50/50. What transpired in the game was enough to tilt things in Pittsburgh's favor. Was officiating part of that? Absolutley. So were big plays which Pittsburgh certainly had. What troubles me is that the officials should aim to be seen and not heard at the Super Bowl. They were noticeabley swayed twice by the body language of Pittsburgh players. They had all season to train for a game that would be exceptionally close. They needed to go with their instincts and not think as much. They needed to realize they would dramatically effect the outcome of the game with any call they made. Personal fouls or facemasking are easy. Make those. As for the others, play on!

Myk said...

I have more problems with the logic that the Seahawks didn't do the things they needed to win. To believe this point is to also state that you feel that the Seahawks should have played a perfect game yesterday.

The logic is: If there had not been any drops and/or mental mistakes the Seahawks still COULD have won...

To me the biggest flaw in that logic is that we are treating the bad calls and the mistakes as equal plays. I think it is safe to assume that each of the officiating mistakes led directly to some sort of score.

These three calls undeniably led to scores (or non scores)

DJax: PI call and non-TD at the end of the half

Big Ben: Questionable TD Run

It is safe to say these two calls led to scores as well

Locklear Hold: Past history would suggest Alexander would score from one yard out at least 95% of the time

Hasselbeck Block: I am going to assume that Pitt does not go for the trick play from their 30 (40?) yard line, so the extra 15 yards gives them the breathing room necessary.

Those are all huge plays, on the other hand the "mistakes" only cost the Seahawks a first down or extra field position, and if the other calls are called in the Seahawks favor we probably don't even think about them today. However, since we had so many drives stalled by the officals we can only focus on those plays that were mistakes and give them more weight because to overcome the bad calls ALL of those mistakes would have had to been overturnned.

The Seahawks got screwed and what I think is amazing is the whole world knows it. I have talked to many non-biased NFL fans and they agree AND the fact that Steeler fans really aren't saying anything right now shows they agree as well.

Anonymous said...

I completely disagree with Locke's statement, "the Hawks were responsible for this loss with their own mistakes". Seriously, has Locke ever played the game? Two penalties were indisputably criminal and changed the outcome of the game!!! Who cares if there were dropped passes?! When the system fails, there are no winners. History will remember this game as a "blue screen" crash.

--JohnN

Myk said...

I also want to make three comments regarding all the things I have heard about how there were so many more Steeler fans than Seahawk fans at the game (and in Detroit in general)...

1) That is reasonable to expect considering there are probably 5 million more Steeler fans in general than Seattle fans. There are people in little towns across America who got to "choose" their favorite team...many many many many more of them have chosen Pittsburgh than Seattle. I would bet 95% of the Seahawk fans are from the Pacific NW, wheras I bet about 65% of the Steeler fans are from Pennsylvania.

2) This is a much much bigger point. What do you think the crowd mix wouldve been if the Super Bowl was held in say Portland...no one seems to mention that Steeler fans could drive there in less than 4 hours. If the game had truly been in a neutral location (Los Angelas or San Diego for instance) I guarantee that the crowd would have been more evenly split.

3) From what I have heard the Seahawks fans at the game were just as loud as the Steeler fans so that would lead me to believe that many of those "terrible towels" we saw on the TV were being waived by rich corporate employees who were just jumping on a bandwagon,.

Anonymous said...

Last night, Tom Jackson, Michael Irvin, and Ron Jaworski Unanimously agreed that the officials changed the outcome of the game. Former players that get it.

--JohnN

Myk said...

Yes they did agree, but then they turned around and said that the best team won the Super Bowl. Personally, I lost a lot of respect for the NFL Network last night. Total Access was one of my favorite shows and instead of focusing on the top news story of the day (the officiating) they barely even mentioned it.

I have a feeling in the next couple days the NFL is going to want people focusing on the good instead of the bad so they are going to ensure we read a bunch of stories about how good Pittsburgh is and nothing about the officiating.

Finally, can you imagine how crappy the Super Bowl highlight show will be for Pittsburgh? Seriously there are only THREE plays from the ENTIRE game they could show as Pittsburgh highlights...how depressing would that be?

Anonymous said...

Yes, they did all turn around and say Pittsburgh deserved the win after unanimously agreeing that the officials changed the outcome of the game. That's known as the "intellectual" answer.

The Super Bowl highlights will be crappy, because of the officials. Imagine how great the game would have been if there was a change in the lead? It's in the NFL's best interest to improve and prevent this system failure from occurring again.

I'm a football fan first, and a Seahawk fan second.

--JohnN

Myk said...

What I don't understand is all this outcry to make the officals "FULL TIME"??

How on Earth would any of the calls have changed if these were full time refs? It is not like they misinterpreted the rules they just made a bad judgment.

Also, why in the last two minutes of a game do coaches have to rely on the booth to call for a replay? If anything Coaches should have unlimited challenges during that time to ensure that the play gets called right.

Locke said yesterday that our emotional state is going to go from: Mad, to Sad, to Acceptance and I just don't see it. If anything I was sad after the loss and now that I look back at the game objectively it makes me angrier and angrier because people are trying to soften their stance and say that Seattle didn't play a very good game. Well it is amazing how poorly your overall game looks when the refs take away two (maybe three) TDs and give the other team the opportunity to score two TDs..

Mike Barer said...

Really, I think they have an axe to grind with Coach Holmgren after he went public with an NFL meeting last fall.

Anonymous said...

i want to throw my two cents in for a "fix" of the game by the officials. first of all, think of who was betting on the superbowl. let's face it, the seahawks have not been a good bet for the last 25 years. i bet you even people from seattle did not put money on the hawks, even with the points. the current steeler team has shown the ability to blow it in the playoffs and superbowl which was proven on sunday they played horrible. therefore, i believe the betting in vegas and around the country was anemic. therefore, the guys running the show in vegas probably looked at how every expert in the country was picking pittsburgh and decided to make a wise investment, but they weren't going to leave anything in doubt.

Myk said...

Two problems with the "fix" element:

1) Don't fixes usually involve the underdog? Why would you go through the trouble of fixing the game and then not even maxamize your investment?

2) There was no way to tell that so many of these calls would have an impact on the game.

Seattle fans really need to refrain from the "fix" argument because it makes us look like whiners. We simply have to accept that the Officiating was incompetent and cost us the game. There was no intent the guys were really just that bad...

Anonymous said...

"A questionable pass interference call goes against Seattle? Someone might think it curious to discover the official who made the call is from Pittsburgh."
--By Tim Keown

If this is true, that's adding fuel to the fire!

My .02 is that many of the mistakes were due to the bad calls, lack of calls on the other end, killed momentum, frustrations with the officials, etc. It's easy for someone who hasn't played the game to say that the players need to be above it all.

After so much crap, it's time to cut corners and take heads off versus containment. This is exactly what happened on the reverse. Watch the films. At this point in the game, do I blame the Seahawks for their play? For not keeping their cool? For blowing their assignments? Hell no.

The officials changed the outcome of the game and influenced the mistakes (exception Stephens). This isn't tennis you know.

--JohnN

Myk said...

Yes the back judge was from Pittsburgh. Now while I don't think that really has anything to do with his call...I do agree with one person I talked to who said that they shouldn't even have a guy from the two team's city officiating the game because you cause the possibility of a bad perception, whether it is real or not.

Myk said...

Locke,
Decent article in this week's PI, but I think the article is proof that the "they could have played better" argument makes no sense. Even as you outline the PERFECT Super Bowl, with Jerramy Stevens making all the catches, DJack coming down with a TD etc. The Seahawks only win 34-17. Now if you take the calls the officals affected (DJack PI, Big Ben TD and Locklean Holding Call) we see the score: Pittsburgh 21 Seattle 20...

That either means Pittsburgh really dominated the game (and Seattle had no chance) or the officals did (would have) cost the Seahawks the game no matter how well they played.

Mike Barer said...

It's easy for us as fans to say "a good team overcomes bad calls" But if your on the field, playing a another champion caliber team, momentum is everything. That's not to say we would have won it if every call is perfect, but even if the Jackson call is correct, it's hard to take points off the board and for a team to keep it's momentum.

Jack W said...

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NFL/Super Bowl cartoon - funny stuff!

Sonic EJ said...

Cry babies!