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I am a Steeler fan. I am a Tony Dungy fan, because of his Stiller (How 'bout dem Stillers?) days and his great integrity of which I have personal knowledge. Had the Colts been undefeated, I probably would have pulled for the Colts. As such, I was pullin for the Black and Gold. This thread is about the officiating. I am not whining about a darn thing. I am happy to go on, however, I will opine about the poor offciating and the poor officiating rules and setups of the game. Simply because regardless of the outcome of the game I think there could be positive changes made. Not by some of the lunkhead comments or emotional comments, but out of looking at the game honestly and with a true intent of "how could the system be better?" 1) I was unsure if the non-saftey call was a safety. It was a judgement call made on the field and was so close that many people still can't decide, so if that's what they saw, that's what they saw. I have no problem with that, especially when the replays were so inconclusive. 2) The non-interference call. This is where I agree with some who have talked about another official not tied to red flags, but as an overseer, or head referee in a replay booth. This is what I have referred to in past years as the OBC official, or Obviously Blown Call official. They would be able to radio down and stop play to tell the officials they got it wrong, how they got it wrong, and what to adjust to make it right. In addition, I think that there should be no limit to the number of red flags. If the official is wrong and you want to challenge it, you should be allowed as long as you have timeouts left. As they are tied to timeouts, you better be right. 3) Interception overturn. I can "understand" what happened by reviewing the replay and trying to follow the train of thought of the official. Technically the ball "came loose" while the player was "down" (his knee was still down) on the ground where he fell when making the Int. All season (and I didn't like the ruling on any of those!) they have been calling that an incomplete pass. However, after both feet hit the ground, then his butt, then both feet and it was on the action of "getting up" and not "falling to the ground" that the ball came loose, you would think that the official (like 99% of the people watching the replay) would have not seen "irrefutable evidence" to the contrary. I hope this call leads to a catch needing only establishing posession with two feet in and not completely through an encounter with the ground. After all, the ground "can't" cause a fumble. (One of these two rules should be removed, and I don't think the ground should be able to cause a fumble, or an incomplete pass.) 4) Non-offsides/Illegal procedure call - Or as many have called it, the "do-over" play. Just as the colts had a slight movement earlier in the game for procedure, the Steelers should have been called for the lineman's ill-timed fart (which I'm sure that's what it was...). But the non-call infuriated us as Steeler fans watching the game, where we said, call it against one team or the other, but call something. At that point in the game, I am not sure how anything was NOT called. When the whistle blew there had to be: a) Delay of game (but that clock didn't run out) b) False Start - (This is probably the right answer, but it was not called.) c) Defensive Offsides. If False start was not called, this has to be the alternative. d) Inadvertant whistle. At an inadvertant whistle, play stops. Period. Just like in hockey or football, the play is over at that point. But where are we at that point if they claim it to be an inadvertant whistle? Defense was offsides when the whistle blew. Has to be called. Otherwise, and offical seeing a massive blitz coming could blow the whistle just before a snap and say OOPS. Do-over. 5) Officials timeout? Still the defense was offsides at this point. I don't see any alternatives and as of yet have heard no official explanation in the press, on the NFL site, or even on any of the fan sites as to what the explanation is. What happened on that play and how is it possible to stop play with a whistle, in this situation, with no flag? I am not saying this to whine, as I stated, the call probably should have gone against the Steelers, I'd just love to know. These events also lead me to the first time in my life that I felt bad for Big Ten refs, being a Penn State Fan as well. Somebody during the game said these refs were as bad as Big Ten Refs thinking he had made a degrading remark to him, but I just had to say it: "The Big Ten ref's aren't THAT bad..." As an instructional level coach I do not argue referee calls in any of the sports I coach. I use the opportunity with my kids to show them that you have to play better than the other team, and better than a few bad calls if you really want to win. If Bettis puts the ball in the end zone, none of the "bad calls" would have made a difference. I tell them that bad calls happen at all levels of sports and they will continue to happen. They also happen in life. Get used to it. Get used to overcoming them. I am absolutey amazed at the number of split-second calls that officials get right the first time and without any replay. However, that being said, I don't think that business as usual should cut it. I think there are a few more improvements in the officiating and replay area can be made to ensure the fairness of the game and accuracy of the officials, which USUALLY is impeccable. Even a rating system to ensure the best are rewarded. Yes, the official was wrong. The system needs to be changed to help prevent it in the future, but as we are human, there will ALWAYS be errors.
posted by HereWeGoSteelers at 04:43 PM on January 17
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