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Giants, Seahawks fans now share a common bond

Pete Carroll, Bill Leavy AP

MDS has covered the inability of referee Bill Leavy’s crew to notice a fumble by Packers receiver Greg Jennings in real time and Leavy’s inexplicable failure to overturn the ruling on the field via replay when the video conclusively showed that the ball was coming out before Jennings’ knee or lower leg were down.

I need to chime in separately on behalf of all Seahawks fans who can feel the pain that Giants fans currently are experiencing.

Leavy led the officiating crew in Super Bowl XL, which many Seahawks fans believe Leavy and company botched in multiple ways.  And with good reason; Leavy admitted in 2010 that he screwed up, in multiple ways.

“It was a tough thing for me,” Levy said at the time.  “I kicked two calls in the fourth quarter and I impacted the game and as an official you never want to do that.  It left me with a lot of sleepless nights and I think about it constantly.  I’ll go to my grave wishing that I’d been better.”

Regardless of the outcome of today’s game, Leavy has acquired yet another lifelong regret.  And Seahawks and Giants fans will be left to wonder how Leavy ends up getting those postseason assignments.

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50 Responses to “Giants, Seahawks fans now share a common bond”
  1. cowhawkfan says: Jan 15, 2012 5:58 PM

    Missing a call is understandable, but failing to correct an obvious error via replay is criminal…literally. Either the NFL has directly or indirectly asked officials to affect games or these guys are in someone’s back pocket. Surely, no one is this incompetent so often..AND keeps getting put into position to make the same incompetent calls over and over!!

  2. kotapug says: Jan 15, 2012 5:59 PM

    He should never ref again ! Not a fan of either team but I am a fan of football and he needs to go.

  3. redguy12588 says: Jan 15, 2012 6:02 PM

    So Leavy isn’t corrupt, he’s incompetent. Seahawks fans must feel so much better.

  4. bubbasmithguy says: Jan 15, 2012 6:03 PM

    This guy needs to be fired. When is the NFL ever going to get this right. The officials determine the outcome of too many games. The packers get EVERY call EVERY game. Pathetic that they can’t win with their own play.

  5. johntonioholmes says: Jan 15, 2012 6:03 PM

    Levy blew that fumble call in this game.

    He didn’t blow the holding call, or the push off in SB XL. But he did blow the unsportsmanlike on Hasselbeck for for going at Ike’s knees

    Those were indisputable penalties.

    The Ben TD is at least debatable, but it’s so close that I have yet to see a consistent judgement.

    Seahawks fans were just following Holmgren’s lead by being giant crybabies after the game. He should have yelled at his tight end for dropping 6 passes or his cornerback and safeties for biting on Randle El’s fake end-around.

  6. stampnhawk says: Jan 15, 2012 6:12 PM

    Even though it was the Superbowl, and it was 4 or 5 calls and a potential 21 point swing that his crew’s calls, something tells me that, especially if the Giants lose, the ramifications for Leavey will be a lot worse this time around, given that it was a New York team

    It was the Superbowl, it was multiple calls on direct scoring plays, it was Seattle, and it was Pittsburgh and it was Jereome Bettis’ farewell party in his hometown < A New York team with a call that may have made a 7 point swing in a divisional game.

  7. Stiller43 says: Jan 15, 2012 6:15 PM

    And yeah, he blatantly missed that call, but no, it had nothing to do with a game 6 years ago or his comments about a 6 year old game.

  8. trollhammer20 says: Jan 15, 2012 6:16 PM

    Bill Leavy is the #1 argument for full-time officials.

  9. charliegirl1 says: Jan 15, 2012 6:26 PM

    Unforgivable. Will be looking for a second half make-up call for the Giants

  10. ttommytom says: Jan 15, 2012 6:38 PM

    More sleepless nights on the horizon…

  11. fancyleague says: Jan 15, 2012 6:46 PM

    Nice try. Bill Leavy didn’t make the Seahawks receiver noticeably push off right in front of an official. Ben’s TD was called a TD on the field, and there was not indisputable proof that it was not a TD. The Steelers OLBs had been held most of the game. Getting one call isn’t really all that egregious.

    Fans not understanding the rules and/or plays being close calls are not logic foundations for claims of conspiracy or incompetence. Don’t play so awful next time.

  12. vincentbojackson says: Jan 15, 2012 7:06 PM

    Just puts a nice little bow on a horrendous season by the officials.

  13. docredskin says: Jan 15, 2012 7:07 PM

    They also share an 0-3 mark against the Redskins this season. Too bad we were 2-11 versus the rest of the league.

  14. melikefootball says: Jan 15, 2012 7:24 PM

    What Leavy saw today I have no clue. Was clearly a fumble He should never be allowed to do another game as well as his crew. I thought they were bad today in Baltimore, one official took twenty seconds to run in from the sidelines he was so old, but this crew is terrible.

  15. Bubby Brister says: Jan 15, 2012 7:24 PM

    And guess what the difference is? The Giants are overcoming said bad calls and have a great chance at still winning. The Seahawks did not.

    The refs in this league can be terrible but fans making them the scapegoats every time their favorite team loses is ridiculous.

  16. baldeagle6 says: Jan 15, 2012 7:25 PM

    The NFL Network included all of Super Bowl XL in its “10 Most Controversial Calls” program–at #8 as I recall. The entire game, not just one bad call–and there were several bad calls or no-calls featured, all against the Seahawks and all at critical points in the game.

    The worst call in that game was probably the missed off-sides by the Stealer DE. Instead, the Seahawks’ RT was called for a non-existent hold. The official who made the call later said he didn’t actually see a hold, but called it because of the way the pass rusher went down–because he slipped making his cut around the pass blocker.

    Worst non-call in a Super Bowl: the missed two-handed block in the back by LaMarr Woodley for James Harrison at the Cardinals’ 30-yd line on the INT return just before the half in SB XLIII. If that TD was properly taken off the board, the Cardinals would have won the game in the records, just as they did on the field.

  17. smart3rthanyou says: Jan 15, 2012 7:32 PM

    The bald buffoon needs to learn the rules. When an offensive player is facing a defensive player & turns at the last moment the block is legal.

    Put away your tinfoil hat & learn the rules you fool.

  18. thepowerofgreen says: Jan 15, 2012 7:38 PM

    2 terrible calls…hopefully this guy doesn’t get one of those full time gigs

  19. baldeagle6 says: Jan 15, 2012 8:01 PM

    smart3rthanyou,

    Everyone was facing and running in the same general direction downfield as Harrison ran down the sideline. Woodley pushed the Cardinal RB who was chasing the play in the back with both hands just as the Cardinal was lining up to push Harrison out of bounds at the 30. The Cardinal went down right in front of Harrison, and Harrison hurdled over him and ran the remaining 25-30 yards to the end zone.

    Check it out for yourself.

  20. steelersmichele says: Jan 15, 2012 8:19 PM

    while its easier to blame a loss on an officiating crew with a few blown calls, I would also like to remind fans that receivers drop crucial catches, running backs cut the wrong way and lose yards, blockers miss assignments, and QBs throw bad passes.

  21. discosucs2005 says: Jan 15, 2012 8:25 PM

    The time to talk about bad calls is during the game, or after the game for sad lonely people.

  22. getit28 says: Jan 15, 2012 9:17 PM

    bill levy is the worst current official in all of sports, not just the NFL. clearly after reading some of the comments posted about this issue as well as super bowl 40, several of these people are just as blind, criminal, and full of nonsense.

    then again what else do you expect from steelers fans

  23. Deb says: Jan 15, 2012 9:18 PM

    Well, on the post-game thread, I wasn’t allowed to thank the Giants for taking out the Packers. And on this thread, I’m not allowed to criticize Goodell for failing to address officiating issues in the six seasons since Super Bowl XL. Can you guys give me a hint as to what we are allowed to discuss on the football blog? :roll:

  24. bnwpnw says: Jan 15, 2012 9:28 PM

    Superbowl XL will live forever. For all the wrong reasons.

    The bad calls of course ruined it for Seattle, which was being treated like an unwelcome gate-crasher during the whole event.

    But in retrospect they also ruined it for Pittsburgh, which today is less remembered for winning the game than for the unsavory, potentially difference-making advantage gained by the bad calls they had no control over. They even got a new “Stealers” nickname from the game that lives to this day.

    The losers? Both teams. The fans. The NFL. The game. And America.

    Thanks for that, Bill.

  25. IMG says: Jan 15, 2012 10:13 PM

    Bill Leavy and crew should NOT officiate either of the chamionship games or the Superbowl.
    The fans must make their voice heard if he is

  26. deconjonesbitchslap says: Jan 15, 2012 10:23 PM

    he should be fired before Monday gets here. terrible bias by this guy. i guarantee you he is dirty.

  27. realitypolice says: Jan 15, 2012 11:09 PM

    The league needs to make a public announcement that this crew will not be assigned any more games this season and will be on some sort of probation next season before they will be considered for any further post season work.

    I normally don’t advocate for that sort of action but not reversing that fumble was so egregiously wrong that it simply must be publicly addressed.

    Thankfully it didn’t effect the outcome of the game but the league cannot allow something like that to slide.

  28. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jan 16, 2012 1:48 AM

    The ref closest to the play had it right, this fool comes FLYING IN to change the call, THEN gets it wrong on replay. Obvious cheating.

  29. dave1961 says: Jan 16, 2012 8:31 AM

    a crooked zebra…lol

  30. istallion says: Jan 16, 2012 8:35 AM

    Bill Leavy is a disgrace to the NFL. And why are these blogs so censored?

  31. jeffesky says: Jan 16, 2012 9:43 AM

    If the giants had lost this game there would have been a serious back lash because fans are much more in tune with this kinda bs from the refs and the nfl than we were in super 40. That game was like the feeling you get when you first find out your girl friends been cheating on you.

  32. schnu44 says: Jan 16, 2012 10:06 AM

    Steeler fans don’t like hearing it, but SB XL was gift wrapped for them by the zebras.

    The Giants were lucky that the screwups didn’t take points directly off the board for them – the phantom hold (when Haggans jumped the snap to boot) call wiped out a pass play that left the Seahawks on the Steelers 1 (with the best short yardage RB in the league on their team) & the questionable DJack offensive PI call cost them another 4 points.

    Even giving the refs the benefit of the doubt on the PI call, the 7 points would have given the Seahawks the lead with 12+ minutes left in the game.

  33. Deb says: Jan 16, 2012 12:08 PM

    @schnu44 …

    Guys like you love to point out the calls that went against the Seahawks but always leave out the calls that went against the Steelers in that game–and there were critical calls/non-calls that went against the Steelers. That offensive pass interference wasn’t questionable. It happened right in front of the end zone camera. Just because offensive PI is seldom called doesn’t change the fact that it is a foul and it did occur.

    As a Bama fan, I won’t argue Alexander’s value, but it was Pittsburgh’s Willie Parker who put up the longest TD run from scrimmage in SB history that night. It was Pittsburgh that pulled out the trick play when it was needed. Guys like you want to forget that Pittsburgh had an answer for everything the Seahawks did, and even accepting everything in your fantasy scenario, 12 minutes is a long, long time. Or did you miss the two-minute comeback in SBXLIII?

    Leavy isn’t corrupt, he’s incompetent. And he isn’t the only one. The whole system is broken and has been for years. The rulebook is overblown and they tweak it every year. These guys are part-timers, most of whom are decades older than the players. How are they supposed to keep up with the action on the field? Instead of continuing to complain about a game that has also been extremely painful for Steelers fans, why not focus on lobbying the league for improvements in officiating?

  34. tobiasjodter says: Jan 16, 2012 12:19 PM

    baldeagle6 says: Jan 15, 2012 7:25 PM

    Worst non-call in a Super Bowl: the missed two-handed block in the back by LaMarr Woodley for James Harrison at the Cardinals’ 30-yd line on the INT return just before the half in SB XLIII.

    ————————————

    Hardly. It was pretty close. The best angle on that one looks like a shoulder block not a block in the back.

    You guys are arguing very close calls in Pitt-Seattle game. Not obvious ones like in GB-NYG game.

  35. cool10857 says: Jan 16, 2012 12:40 PM

    Leavy and his crew have GOT to go.

  36. koenig61 says: Jan 16, 2012 3:23 PM

    Way to go MF Always find a way to work in a steelers reference. Lets get those site hits up!!

    I agree with other posters, there are bad calls every single game, and to try and pick one game such as the Seahawks loss in the SB is ridiculous. Mike Holmgren mismanaged the clock on numerous occassions during that game, and as painful as it might be to admit, the Steelers made the big plays when they needed to.

    The problem with the Offensive PI and the Offensive holding calls, is that for some reason refs never ever call it, so when they finally do make a call, everyone wants to say “How can you make that call” I see offensive PI every game, and i see Offensive holding every game, the problem is the refs only call it 10% of the time.

    But I understand you have a job to do and that job is to get hits on the site, not matter how much you have to stretch the truth. On second thought your not stretching the truth, you are just using the same judgement that NFL refs use. You not really wrong, your also not right, its just your judgement.

  37. veryfinewhine says: Jan 16, 2012 4:02 PM

    Worst call by far of the 2005 post-season was the “incomplete” call on Polumalu’s interception against the Colts in the divisional round.

    Worst non-call in SB XL was the missed block in the back on Herndon’s INT return. Gave Seattle an extra 30 yards.

    See, I can whine also.

  38. schnu44 says: Jan 16, 2012 5:05 PM

    @Deb

    “That offensive pass interference wasn’t questionable. It happened right in front of the end zone camera. Just because offensive PI is seldom called doesn’t change the fact that it is a foul and it did occur.”
    The PI call doesn’t bother me as much – but there was contact by both Jackson and the DB.

    “As a Bama fan…accepting everything in your fantasy scenario, 12 minutes is a long, long time.”

    The phantom hold (when Haggans jumped the snap) was the turning point – instead of having 1&G from the 1, they were 1&20 from the 29, with the INT on 3&18. Tack on the BS low block call ON A TACKLE, that’s just plan horrible.

    After the Parker TD run, the Steelers went 3&out the next two times they had the ball to keep the game 14-3. The pick by Ben, when they could have gone up 21-3 was a huge mo swing – the Seahawks scored 4 plays later to bring the game to 14-10. The Seahawks drive that the hold/INT happened on – if the Seahawks punch it in, it would have been on a 98yd TD drive – that would have been a huge momentum turner.

    BTW I’m not even saying the Seahawks defintely win if Alexander scores.Who knows how the game would have turned out – but it would have been all due to the 22 guys on the field, rather than the guys in stripes playing a role.

    “Instead of continuing to complain about a game that has also been extremely painful for Steelers fans…”
    How exactly so was that game painful for you??? Maybe its because the truth hurts – that the win somewhat tainted.

    I can face facts – the Steelers hoisted the trophy that night & the Seahawks made some critical mistakes that they could have overcome to win. But that doesn’t mean that I can discount that the refs blew calls all night that game, almost all working against Seattle.

  39. Deb says: Jan 16, 2012 7:07 PM

    @schu44 …

    How was that game painful for Steelers fans? Are you kidding? Our team played their butts off that season and throughout the playoffs, but instead of enjoying our first championship in 26 years, we had to listen to dimwits BSing about the Rooneys buying the refs. The Steelers have been owned by the same people since 1933 and didn’t win a single playoff game for the first 40 years of their existence, but suddenly the Rooneys decided to start buying championships? And they took a 26-year break between purchases? Uh-huh. :roll: The unsportsmanlike conduct–or is it the downright stupidity?–of some NFL fans is mind-boggling.

    Were there bad calls in that game? Yes, including failure to call pass interference against Seattle at a crucial point in the game. Somehow that’s never mentioned. It doesn’t fit the “Seattle as victim” storyline. Failure to call an illegal pick gave Dallas a TD in SBXXX–a game where the final score was even closer. You’ve probably never hear that … because we haven’t spent 15 years whining about it.

    No one is arguing that SBXL was well-officiated. But how much of the hype is genuine concern for officiating issues and how much is Steeler obsession/hate? If you can’t see the answer in the fools posting that we also didn’t really win SBXLIII, then you should see it right here. The calls in SBXL are debatable. The calls last night were blatant screwups. Yet before that game had even ended, attention had been deflected from the Giants/Packers right back to the old, old, old story of Pittsburgh and Seattle. Imagine that. It’s almost as if someone has an agenda.

  40. schnu44 says: Jan 16, 2012 9:11 PM

    “How was that game painful for Steelers fans? Are you kidding? Our team played their butts off that season and throughout the playoffs, but instead of enjoying our first championship in 26 years, we had to listen to dimwits BSing about the Rooneys buying the refs”
    Deb
    I neve heard anyone accuse the Rooneys of anything like that. So don’t make the Steelers to be the victim of some character assassination plot. And don’t make Steeler fans out to be victims – you root for one of the best franchises in all of sports run by one of the best owners. I’m still waiting for #1 for my team.
    All I’m saying is your team got lucky to be on the good side of several bad calls in the biggest game of the year.
    And the fact that XL has gotten this rep isn’t because Seattle is a media mecca that keeps the story going. It’s because most objective observers seee it as possibly the worst called SB out of the 46.
    Maybe some fans say something about XL to get a rise out of you – for the record, the game does seem to be a bit of an achilles heel to Steeler Nation. But the Steelers have 6 Lombardis – I would think that would ease the ribbing somewhat.
    And the only reason SBXL is coming up today is one name – Bill Leavy.

  41. jeffesky says: Jan 16, 2012 10:59 PM

    I cant wait for the book. Super Bowl XL , Conspiracy? You Make the Call!

  42. chikiboy says: Jan 17, 2012 3:54 AM

    The analogy that Superbowl XL left you feeling like your girlfriend cheated on you was pretty good…if you added “she cheated on you with your brother”.

    Alot of Steeler fans get sensitive when this game gets brought up…which it is usually by someone who’s NOT a Seahawks fan. I can understand to some degree…but people have no idea to know what it feels like to get your gut ripped out by a display like SBXL.

    Everytime I see Leavy calling a game I literally begin cursing out the TV. Sometimes I laugh when I find that I still do it under my breath when my kids are in the room. Can’t help it.

    I hope the SOB has sleepless nights for the rest of his days. Then he has the nerve to apologize? Refund me my five grand and maybe I’d feel a “little” better about it. Maybe.

    To sayLeavy and crew only missed a couple of calls in that game is a gross understatement.

    -Peter Warrick’s 40 yard punt return called back for a phantom hold.

    - Darrell Jackson’s catch just before the half on Ike Taylor that wasn’t reviewed (potential TD)

    - Playclock strikes zero before Roethlisberger can call a timeout (yet was granted one).

    - Hines Ward’s chucking of Kelly Herndon by the head to get open and make a catch to convert a 3rd and long into a 1st down (caught on NFL films and actually mocked). This was quite ironic that it wasn’t called after the DJack TD reversal.

    - A suspect spotting of a 3rd down run by Mack Strong that appeared to be enough for a first down.

    - Missed horsecollar tackle by Joey Porter on Shaun Alexander

    - Missed nuetral zone infraction by Casey Hampton and Clark Haggans on the infamous “holding” call by Sean Locklear.

    In my opinion, it was quite interesting that the least penalized team in the league that season decided to commit a torrid amount of infractions while the Steelers went the final 35 minutes of the game without one whistle blown on them.

    I spent over $5000 between airfare, car rental, hotel, memorabilia (what I could find with a Seahawk logo) and game ticket. Have never looked at the NFL the same since that day.

    I can remember walking out of Ford Field waiting for that one idiot Steeler fan that would choose to run up in my face and say something. All that day’s frustration would have been focused into a single punch to the face. Fortunately neveryone was pretty cool. I think alot of theSteeler fans in attendance understood what we as Seahawks fans were dealing with.

    There’s no accountability in so many aspects of professional sports these days that it’s hard to justify pouring your heart and soul into an organization. I did and had it ripped out by an incompetent referee and his crew only to see him making the same bad calls in other playoff games.

    And the sad thing now is fans almost expect to see at least one horrendous call each game. At least I know I do.

  43. sudz28 says: Jan 17, 2012 8:22 AM

    No point in dragging SB XL into this conversation, the Steelers won it fair and square despite some blown calls and no-calls (that went both ways). Seattle never stood a chance and changing every questionable call in the game wouldn’t have changed the outcome. The Steelers were the better team, all year, and in that game.

    However, the fumble by the Packer in Sunday’s game was clearly a fumble and I’d leave to hear how the ref explains his decision to not call it such after review. Seriously, he has to have a reason to make the call he does – what was it?

  44. bluethunder101 says: Jan 17, 2012 12:19 PM

    I’ll always find it perplexing that fans of such a storied franchise can’t admit to themselves the truth about XL. The Steelers have more rings than any other team, but you had help getting the one for your thumb. Went from sixth seed and smashed their way to Detroit. An excellent team without a doubt. Was there a conspiracy? No, as stated on this board, Seattle did not do enough to win (like the Giants did). They did not overcome game-changing bad calls like they should have. That does not negate the fact that those calls happened. Not just one or two, either. Special teams play was continually penalized in favor of the Steelers and they were phantom calls. Deal with it, Steeler nation.

  45. Deb says: Jan 17, 2012 12:44 PM

    @schnu44 …

    You must be new to PFT. I’ve been a regular for a few years, and that “Steelers bought SBXL” is an ongoing theme with a lot of commenters here. And I wasn’t talking about the Seattle press when I mentioned an agenda. That was a reference to bloggers who know any negative mention of the Steelers is good for dozens of page clicks.

    But you’re correct that SBXL receives attention because of the sorry officiating. If you’ll recall, officiating had become an issue prior to that game and it was often said that the day poor calls made a difference in a Super Bowl was the day the league would finally take action. Well, a Super Bowl felt the impact of incompetent officiating … and nothing happened.

    Goodell talks endlessly about the integrity of the game, but his only concern is $$$$$$. The NFL may lose viewers if a linebacker knocks out Tom Brady for a year, so he’ll rain terror on defenders. But no one’s going to stop watching the Super Bowl because the refs suck, so he does nothing.

    Whether or not you realize it, a tainted Super Bowl does hurt the winners. My team fought hard that year, and yes, I believe they would have won anyway. But that cloud will always hang over the game–through no fault of ours. I can’t do anything about SBXL. But I lobby constantly for changes in officiating in hopes we can keep things like that from happening in the future. To me, that’s a more productive use of my time than moaning about the past.

  46. Deb says: Jan 17, 2012 1:04 PM

    @chikiboy …

    After spending much of SBXXX gagging in the bathroom, I can empathize. SBXLV didn’t affect me that way. I’m at peace with that loss. With XXX, there’s a lingering sense of injustice in the way things played out. I do get sensitive about XL, but it doesn’t mean I don’t sympathize with those Seahawks fans like you who aren’t busting our chops on every thread. After what happened in the Giants/Packers game, that should be the end for Bill Leavy. But I don’t know what it will take for Goodell to care that officiating in the NFL is broken. Ultimately, he is responsible for all of this because simple fixes could have made the system more workable before SBXL.

  47. claymus1 says: Jan 17, 2012 3:42 PM

    Deb is absolutely correct in stating that the fault for the mess that was SB40 lies totally with the refs. Not the Steelers! Hell, had it gone the other way I would have defended the outcome just as Steeler fans have done eversince. Bottom line… If you expect to win, occasionally you have to overcome bad officiating as well as the opposing team.

  48. dachozen1 says: Jan 17, 2012 3:56 PM

    The comparisons arent close. 1st of all Giants won and the Seahawks loss. 2ndly those calls against Giants were blatant (especially with replay), those calls against Seahawks were judgement calls. The play against the Seahawks endzone the receiver DID push off. If he didnt push off it may have been an interception. The holding call where the Seahawks player was behind a defender and hooked his neck. If the Seahawk player doesnt do that it wouldve been a sack. The Giants bad calls were fumbles etc with replay.

  49. bluethunder101 says: Jan 18, 2012 11:19 AM

    dachozen1, you’re right. The comparisons aren’t close because there were several more blatant calls in XL than there were in that Giants-Packers game. Every call is a judgement call, genius.
    ” In my opinion, it was quite interesting that the least penalized team in the league that season decided to commit a torrid amount of infractions while the Steelers went the final 35 minutes of the game without one whistle blown on them.”
    Couldn’t have said it better. I have watched the game several times as objectively as I’m able. As I see it, there’s no other way around it, it was one the worst officiated games ever. Two bad calls do not compare with it. But it does leave little doubt that Leavy has to go….

  50. usdcoyotesfan says: Jul 6, 2014 6:00 PM

    I liked the non-fumble call. What’s the problem?

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