02.02.09 9 years ago 88 Comments

If you’ve been watching football all year, you undoubtedly noticed the unusually high number of penalties during the game. This asshole would say that most of the decisions by the men in stripes were pretty kosher. Three holding penalties called on Mike Gandy, who had the dubious task of blocking James Harrison, sounds about right. There was that safety in the second half that, technically, was the correct call, though the hold itself seemed to have no bearing on the play.

People will bring up the Harrison moment in the fourth quarter against Whoever That Guy Was, saying that Harrison should have been ejected. Meh. No one’s ever been ejected from the championship game during the Super Bowl era, and while penalizing this play might have been a good way to get that ball rolling, there was no real effect on the game in letting it slide.

Arguably the biggest blown call of the game was Larry Fitzgerald’s touchdown catch, which was clearly bobbled and touched the ground before he seemed to establish possession. “Shades of David Tyree,” I think not, Mr. Michaels. At least Tyree caught the fucking ball. However, since the ruling was made before the two-minute warning, the Steelers had the option to challenge. They did not.

Arizona did not have that luxury after their last offensive play of the game.

It’s worth noting that Ken Whisenhunt, statistically one of the worst replay challengers in the league, won both of his challenges in this game. And it’s additionally damning of the officials that that second challenge was a play nearly identical to this one. It was a questionable turnover late in the game.


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