posted on Apr, 12 2006 @ 04:05 PM
I 100% agree Indi had all the best of the horrible officiating in the Pitt-Indi game. The league even apologized for it and took no action against
the Pitt player who accused the officials of skewing their calls because they wanted Peyton in the Super Bowl. When I heard that guy on TV, I
thought he might have to sit out 1/4 to 1/2 of the next season, without pay, because those are the remarks you just don't make. But the officiating
was so execrable that he didn't even get bloodied for what he'd said.
On the New England-Denver game, however, New England did not begin falling apart until a succession of dreadful calls, of which the worst was
that horrendous P.I. in the end zone, the single worst call I have ever seen, one the official who was right on the play tried to talk that
blind-or-corrupt C.S. (and no, that has nothing to do with chickens) in the other side of the endzone out of, since he could--and probably
should--have called offensive P.I.
As I said, the worst call I've ever seen, and the score was 3-3 at that point, but only because of a succession of other awful calls and non-calls,
all of which went in Denver's favor.
I will state what I believe, but in advance, I want to say I am not a big believer in conspiracy theories, except where a certain person's "elections"
are concerned, and even there, it took a lot to make me believe #2 was fixed. In general, I roll my eyes and tune someone out when he/she talks to me
about major conspiracies, and fixing an NFL playoff game would certainly qualify as such, but:
I think they really did want Peyton to get into the Super Bowl. Obviously it would have been a lot better for the league than a matchup like they
got. I think that's why that can-you-believe-this? fumble call was made against that Pitt defensive player, who then made remarks about the officials
which would cost me my law license and some jail time if I ever made comparable ones about judges (First Amendment doesn't protect lawyers in that
spot). Instead, the remark got blown off by the league so it went away.
The fact Pitt won that game is a testament to their superiority that day, and to how badly Indi (not just the kicker) fell apart. And it further
validates MY belief that the game was lost by the G.M., who should have told Dungy that he could give all the pre-game talks he wanted, and supervise
all the workouts he wanted, but that someone who has just lost a child--something ANY shrink will tell you is the most shattering, mindbending loss
anyone can suffer--has no biz calling the shots in an NFL game a month or so later. Nobody's enough of an unfeeling machine (and certainly not Dungy)
to do that. So clearly one of the coordinators should have been calling the shots that day and not, for instance, making that ludicrous call which
Manning found it necessary to disobey.
In other words, I obviously agree Pitt took all the worst of the horrible officiating in that game. And if the New England game hadn't happened, I
might even call that the worst officiated playoff game I've ever seen.
But I did see the New England-Denver game, and I don't think the league wanted a teetering Indi team to have to face New England, for obvious reasons.
And THAT, I believe, is the reason for all those mind-bending bad calls, topped off by one which I believe should be criminally investigated, that
bent New England's normally solid mental composure to the point they went on tilt in the second half--while the bad calls continue to flow like
I've made no secret of the fact that, after many, many years and some huge amount of money, I've given up betting on sports. (I actually retired
while $$ ahead of baseball, but betting on that sport ruins it for me, and I don't want to ruin, e.g., post-season baseball.) One or two more
post-seasons like that, and I will simply give up watching the NFL. We don't watch all year long to have the biggest games (New England/Denver,
Pitt/Indi and the Super Bowl) decided by corrupt or blind zebras.
I'm too old, too big and too naturally slow-footed to take their places, but I'll bet that with two years of practice and poring over the rules book,
most of you younger guys with decent eyes could do far better jobs than what we've seen, as long as you are willing to keep your eyes off the
scoreboard and never officiate from your heart (or from what the league wants).
And all this multi-zillion dollar league has to do is hire full-time, professional officials--like the other three, far less lucrative, major
sports--and then tell them to play it straight at all times.
[Edited on 5/5/06 by BaseballHistoryNut]