HOLMES TOUCHDOWN CELEBRATION "UNDER REVIEW"

Amid rumblings that the league might not fine Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes for his LeBron homage after scoring the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLIII, we asked NFL spokesman Greg Aiello whether it’s true that Holmes won’t be fined.
Aiello told us via e-mail that the matter is “under review.”
The review, frankly, should take only a matter of seconds.  And it would go something like this:
1.  Did Holmes score a touchdown?  Check.
2.  Did he celebrate the touchdown?  Check.
3.  Did he use the ball as a prop in celebrating the touchdown?  Check.
That’s it.  That’s all the league needs to do.  Because based on past precedent, it’s automatic.
As Dan Patrick surmised during our Thursday morning visit with him, the only reason for not fining Holmes would be to avoid the news event that would come from the imposition of the fine — which would in turn underscore the failure of the officials to throw a flag and impose a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kickoff.
And that’s really the issue that needs to be addressed here.  Why wasn’t the flag thrown?
The official explanation seems to be that Holmes’ antics came so long after the score that the officials didn’t notice.  But why aren’t one or more of the officials instructed to keep an eye on the person who scored the touchdown until he surrenders the ball and then returns to the bench area?
Our guess is that they are so instructed, and that — for whatever reason — they’re reluctant to throw a flag when the player who scores a “big” touchdown engages in a technical violation of the post-touchdown rules.
It happened during the regular season, when Vikings running back Adrian Peterson removed his helmet in the end zone after scoring a game-deciding touchdown against the Packers.
And it happened in the biggest game of the year, at a time when moving the point of the kickoff from the 30 to the 15 could have had a huge impact on the outcome of the game.
Maybe that’s why no one had the nerve to throw the flag — maybe the officials realize that it’s fundamentally unfair to penalize the team for the temporarily boneheaded actions of a player who was caught up in one of the most thrilling moments of his life.
If that’s the case, the league has two options:  (1) hire officials who’ll apply the rules as written in every circumstance; or (2) change the rules.
There’s another reason for lamenting the failure to flag Holmes.  Though throwing the flag might have indeed altered the outcome of the Super Bowl, doing so would have gone a long way toward erasing the perception that, in big games, the zebras trade their black and white for black and gold.

128 responses to “HOLMES TOUCHDOWN CELEBRATION "UNDER REVIEW"

  1. Mike Pererra (sorry if it’s misspelled) said that the celebration occurred after the Steelers were lining up for the extra point, and occurred some 25 seconds after the TD. The officials had turned their attention to the play on the field by that point, so Santonio got away with it.
    The thought that the refs should watch all players that aren’t involved in the game when their eyes should be on the field is just a bit silly. However, Holmes needs to be fined, or there’s no credence to the celebration rule.

  2. The problem is that none of this helps the Cards. The damage of any missed call cannot be done after the game is over.

  3. PS- A player might just want to hang on to a TD catch that won the Super Bowl as a keepsake, so the ref won’t usually take the ball from the player unless it’s given.

  4. You messed up this one, Florio.
    Footballs that make it to the endzone become the property of the people who take them there, hence the reason Hines Ward is able to give the ball to a fan in the first row every time he scores. So Santonio would never have “surrendured” the ball.
    When should the refs stop watching? After 1 minute? 5 minutes? 3 days?
    When did he do this? Was it after the review? If so, what the hell do the refs have to do with what he does with his own football several minutes after it became his?
    I can see if he celebrated in the endzone immediately but he didn’t.

  5. “in big games, the zebras trade their black and white for black and gold.”
    Amen to that, brother.

  6. Why don’t you talk about all the times that Kurt Warner took off his helmet during the game to complain to the officials without being flagged? I’m sure those penalties might have changed the game as well.
    Why don’t you ask the NFL how they truly define using the ball as a prop? You can spike the ball, you can dunk it over the goal post like a basketball, you can throw it in the air…but if you act like it’s talcum powder before throwing it in the air…well, that’s a game changing penalty. That is the definition of stupidity.

  7. I’ve never noticed officials that are scared to throw the flag in big situations. Seems to me that they almost take more pride in doing it during big celebrations.
    So in theory now, if Kurt Warner’s fumble would have been looked at and overturned (as we’ve seen more than one ref who doesn’t understand “indisputable visual evidence”) with that 15 yarder plus Harrison’s, the Cards are running one play from the 20 yard line to determine the Super Bowl? Damn shame we didn’t get that ending (not that we should have seen that ending Steeler fans).

  8. Penalties for touchdown celebration were only created to be enforced against certain teams. See also “Bob and Weave.”

  9. An eight game suspension for both the Holmes and the official that blew it seems appropriate.

  10. It’s not “black and gold.” It’s black and yellow…
    The Saints wear gold. The Stealers wear baby-pooh yellow.

  11. If you are a Cardinals fan, you come to expect the officials “oversights”. Had a Cardinal done that, it would be a yellow field in less than a second.

  12. Go to the shutdown corner. Holmes didn’t score a TD.
    He didnt have both feet on the ground.
    It doesn’t matter tho. Your team won, Florio.

  13. Just one of two complete mockeries of the NFL rule book the Cardinals can seriously complain about. The real outcome of this game was potentially stolen from them because the officials on the field couldn’t do their job and an official in a booth that no one can see decided to wave his terrible towel.
    The league should be ashamed.

  14. If the league wants to get it right, they will review the film of Kurt warner removing his helmet on the field towards the end of the game. That’s should be a fine as well. The way I look at it, it’s a wash. Warner should have had a 15 yard penalty as well.

  15. Why can’t people just let the game be over? All this crying about what might have happened is sucking the fun out of this site.
    What is Kurt Warner hadn’t thrown a pick-six to Harrison? I think that’s what people should be asking, rather than the possible, hypothetical, far flung effects of a ticky-tack penalty.

  16. You know..i really am getting sick and tired of this….you know how wins the game..the team who scores the most points…no one…told the Cardinals..to stop playing defense…they just couldn’t get it done….enough already Florio….get over it

  17. the video clearly show the official walking away from Holmes with his back turned when the celebration happens…they said they missed it but I guess we need more conspiracy theories on how the refs wanted Pittsburgh to win

  18. The rule is pretty black and white. There would be no one to blame besides Santonio. It’s a big game, part of it should be able to think under pressure and avoid doing stupid things like that. The officials blew it.

  19. “Though throwing the flag might have indeed altered the outcome of the Super Bowl, doing so would have gone a long way toward erasing the perception that, in big games, the zebras trade their black and white for black and gold.”
    It wouldn’t have changed that perception among the whiners unless the Cardinals had won the game. If getting called for holding in the end zone for a safety that nearly turned the game on its head didn’t change their opinions, something as silly as this wouldn’t. The biggest gripes among the complainers in the first place were all called correctly, so this call would have changed nothing.

  20. ummmmm how about the fact the the play was being reviewed when he did the celebration. theat might have something to do with it. It not like as soon as he made the catch that was the first thing that he did, he waited a while before he did that. I mean i am God so i knida know and see all.
    and all i know is this, Cards fans and steeler haters wont let this issue die, GET OVER IT!

  21. Oh god….here comes 10,000 comments!
    (now with Packer/Vikings fans involved too courtesy of the Adrian Peterson comment!)

  22. Brilliant analysis, except you forgot one thing. Holmes is a Steeler. Thus, the rules don’t apply to him.
    Try to remember that next time.

  23. Has the league commented on why James Harrison wasn’t ejected from the game? The officials clearly saw his punching of another player when they threw the flag and penalized the Steelers 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.

  24. “Though throwing the flag might have indeed altered the outcome of the Super Bowl, doing so would have gone a long way toward erasing the perception that, in big games, the zebras trade their black and white for black and gold.”
    Do you know what else might help erase that perception? If internet klaxons such as yourself would replace their one-sided incendiary reporting with a fair-minded, two-sided approach. Four or five stories on the Holmes TD, but none on the failure to penalize Warner for removing his helmet on numerous occasions? Not one discussion of Fitzgerald’s blatant scamper down the sidelines? Not one review of the game changing holding call that created a safety? Or of Fitzgerald’s first TD? Not one mention of the near continuous holding of Harrison and Woodley? If you’re going to go on and on about marginal officiating blunders, then you might as well be fair about it and cover both sides.
    The truth is that officiating wasn’t really an issue in that game. Both teams got some calls and non-calls in their favor, and both had some that went against them. There’s no such thing as a perfectly called game, and, in the grand scheme of officiating, this one wasn’t bad.
    It’s obvious why you don’t let go of the topic and why you don’t present it fairly. There are plenty of fans from other fanbases who don’t want to see the Steelers win another championship, and they’re desperate for any possible pretext to diminsh what the Steelers have done. You’re channeling in to their desperation so as to increase the number of hits that your site recieves. The jealous fans come here to gripe and nurse their feelings, while sucker Steelers fans (myself included) come here to combat their stupidity.
    Super Bowl XL was a sloppy, boring game. The officiating became the story, mainly because there wasn’t much else to talk about. Questionable calls were inflated into clear atrocities. In the end, XL will be remembered as a crappy Super Bowl with crappy officiating.
    Super Bowl XLIII is different. It was a great game, and the officiating was basically even. These trumped up controversies will not be the story of this game. In contrast to XL, where everyone ranted about the officiating, few of the mainstream media have done more than give a mention or two about it. The XLIII officiating controversies will die out after attention seeking bloggers stop flogging them. After all, you rarely hear people complaining about holding or the potential “in the grasp” non-call on the Tyree TD.

  25. It’s situations like this that make me hate the league sometimes. I bet if a cardinal player did that he would have got the flag. They should get rid of the rule anyway.

  26. “If that’s the case, the league has two options: (1) hire officials who’ll apply the rules as written in every circumstance; or (2) change the rules.”
    This should be the #1 priority of the NFL this offseason. Also, to apply the rules equally. If youre going to catch Gandy every time he holds Harrison (which the refs did — they didn’t miss a single one) strive to catch EVERYBODY else anytime they hold, even if it’s a Steeler.
    How many AZ drives were halted by holding calls? From the beginning of the 2Q to Pgh’s final drive, AZ outgained the vaunted Steelers something like 350-60 yds. It wasn’t the Steel Curtain stopping Warner & co.
    Oh, and Pgh’s only scoring drive after the 1Q: an 8-minute 16 play 3×15 yd penalty travesty that resulted in 3. Take away the roughing the passer call and replace it with the uncalled Intentional Grounding and the Steelers not only don’t get their 3, they lose probably a good 4 mins of possession time. (How many more pts does AZ score with that 4 mins?)
    The NFL needs to get the officiating right. Of course, there’s always the possibility that they like it this way…

  27. If Holmes surrenders that ball, he should be fined for playing while stoned. It’d be like throwing McGwire’s #70 back onto the field.

  28. Why do people refer to the Steelers colors as black and gold? It’s not gold, it’s yellow. The Saint have gold, the Niners have gold……..Steelers: you have yellow.

  29. Good to see the NFL really grab the bull on this one. I was really concerned that they wouldn’t review a non-penalty call 4 days after the largest sporting event of the year rather than take a look at it at a time when it might actually count for something.
    To put it in Ed Hochuli’s words: “Affecting the outcome of a game is a devastating feeling. Officials strive for perfection – I failed miserably.”

  30. why is Pittsburgh ALWAYS surrounded by officiating controversy that they always seem to be on the right side of??
    I’m not sayin…I’m just sayin

  31. If the league is not going to apply the rules in what is supposed to be the biggest game of the year why have any let’s just turn this into the nba.

  32. In 2008/9 the rules only apply to certain teams:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3792441&campaign=rss&source=NFLHeadlines
    Updated: December 24, 2008, 5:23 PM ET
    Pats’ Welker fined for TD antic
    It seems we’ve seen the last of Wes Welker’s snow angel-making exploits on NFL Sundays.
    The New England Patriots wide receiver has been fined $10,000 by the NFL for exactly that.
    “It was a spur of the moment deal, and you can be sure that it won’t happen again,” Welker was quoted as saying on The Boston Globe’s Web site.
    Welker was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct Sunday for making a snow angel just beyond the end line after his touchdown in the first half of New England’s 47-7 rout of the Arizona Cardinals.
    According to The Globe, Welker said he wasn’t certain if he’d file an appeal.
    League spokesman Corry Rush said Welker was fined for unsportsmanlike conduct for participation in an illegal demonstration by going to the ground.
    Following Sunday’s victory, Welker said, “I just got a little bit too excited there. I really didn’t think it would be a penalty. I wouldn’t have done it if I thought it was.”
    *************
    Watson fined $10,000
    http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/reiss_pieces/2008/12/watson_fined_10.html
    osted by Christopher L. Gasper, Globe Staff December 12, 2008 05:22 PM
    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Tight end Benjamin Watson’s shout-out to his expectant wife and the couple’s yet-to-be born bundle of joy has cost him a bundle of cash.
    The NFL has fined Watson, who celebrated a touchdown against the Seahawks last week by sticking the ball under his jersey and patting it to imitate being pregnant, $10,000 for his gestation celebration.
    Watson was flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty following the pigskin faux pregnancy act, which came after he caught a 2-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. The reason for the flag was using the football as a prop and that was the same reason that AFC information manager Corry Rush gave for the league fining Watson.
    Watson and his wife, Kirsten, are expecting their first child in February, and Watson said pantomiming pregnancy was intended as a salute to his wife and unborn child.
    “I have a baby due February 1. It was a little shout-out to my wife back home in New England,” said Watson, after the Seattle game. “It wasn’t worth getting a penalty. I didn’t know that I would get a flag. …I wasn’t trying to taunt anybody; that was just to her. It will be a little baby girl.”
    At the least, Watson will have an entertaining story to tell his daughter some day.

  33. “WhoDeyBuck
    Has the league commented on why James Harrison wasn’t ejected from the game? The officials clearly saw his punching of another player when they threw the flag and penalized the Steelers 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. ‘
    Despite Madden’s bellows, Harrison never punched Francisco with a closed fist.
    Watch the replay. During the first hit (the hit to the back), Harrison’s first looks closed as he starts to bring it down, but opened immediately after he hits the guy. The second hit was clearly with his open hand. I don’t even think that Harrison was flagged for his hits- judging by when the flag comes, it looks like Harrison was flagged for letting the guy up only to give himself the opportunity to slam him back down. When players who are throwing clear punches after the whistle after the play aren’t getting ejected (players from both teams did so at various times), it would’ve been unconscionable to eject Harrison for this.

  34. This has officially gotten ridiculous. Call me nuts but doesn’t everyone use the ball as a prop when they spike it?! Or what about all those receivers who use it as a basketball to dribble it in between their legs? Look, I am all about consistency in flag throwing so not throwing the flag on Holmes WOULD BE CONSISTENT! It was a 3 second dumb celebration that has no effect on the game so stop trying to take away from one of the most incredible plays in super bowl history, and the most incredible moment of his life, for throwing the ball 4 feet above his head.

  35. People can have any perception they want, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If the refs were biased, they wouldn’t have called a holding call (that was tick tacky at best) in the endzone to give the Cards points and the ball back when the Steelers completed a 20 yard pass for a first down, they wouldn’t have reversed Ben’s rushing TD, and they wouldn’t have called holding when the Steelers already needed 78 yards to win the game. The Rooney’s needed to shell out more money for a clearer bias if those calls still went against the Steelers.
    As for the celebration, it was a good minute in real time after the TD was scored. How long are you supposed to make the officials watch one player? The officials have to be concerned with other things after the TD, such as placing a new ball for the kickoff and some officials were talking about the review that was coming down already. The officials have more to watch than the player, especially that long after the last game action. Was it a bad call to not call it? Yes. Was this evidence of the refs being biased toward the Steelers winning? No. They just missed it. The Cardinals lost. Seahawk fans (and even Raiders fans) can tell the sore losers out there, complaining about it for years to come isn’t going to do anything for you. Get over it.

  36. roundman you cant review a holding call whether it causes a safety or not, and what superbowl were you watching last year that tyree caught a td in?

  37. mcrowell says:
    February 5th, 2009 at 11:48 am
    why is Pittsburgh ALWAYS surrounded by officiating controversy that they always seem to be on the right side of??
    I’m not sayin…I’m just sayin
    ————————————————————————
    Err because they aren’t? Pittsburgh has had quite a few seasons ended by official blunders. Last year against the Jags the entire team was basically being held while David Garrard ran the ball 30+ yards to set the Jags up for a score, the league later apologized. Jerome Bettis’ infamous Thanksgiving day coin flip call that lead to a Steelers loss and subsequently lead to the end of their season. The Joe Nedney acting job that allowed him a rekick after he missed a FG that would’ve sent the Steelers on in the playoffs, instead getting them a personal foul penalty and another chance to win the game which they did. Nedney later said he only did it as a joke, but he’ll take the win.
    The main reason the Steelers are on the other side of these controversies mainly is jealousy. People don’t look at the game objectively and only tell one side of the officiating story. They never mention that Kurt Warner had his helmet off on the field when arguing that first fumble that was overturned. That’s a 15 yard personal foul right there that was never called. It’s not like he only did that once during the game either, yet James Farrior does it later on and gets called for it. 2 uncalled personal fouls right there and yet the Steelers were held to a higher standard on that same call, where’s that story?

  38. Yeah Mike. Like in the Steelers-Jags playoff game last year when about half the Steeler defense was being held on Garrard’s 32-yard touchdown run. You may recall,there was no flag on that,and the league later offered an after-the-fact,lame-o apology…

  39. “slutnuts says:
    roundman you cant review a holding call whether it causes a safety or not, and what superbowl were you watching last year that tyree caught a td in? ”
    I’m not talking about official review, I’m talking about PFT coverage. Florio could certainly review the play. He could have five or six articles about it full of out-of-context pictures and innuendo insinuating that the refs were in the Cardinals’ pockets. He chooses not to.
    As for Tyree, I meant reception, not TD. I didn’t proof read. Sue me.

  40. Hahaha. Both the Steelers Super Bowls are now tainted, as they should be. Hahaha. Wave that flag, pansies.

  41. Is there going to be a league investigation into the fact that Kurt Warner removed his helmet on the field of play TWICE and was not penalized?
    1. Did Warner remove his helmet? CHECK
    2. Is that against the rules? CHECK
    3. Did a Steelers player get flagged for the exact same offense yet Warner got a free pass TWICE? CHECK
    I’ll be awaiting the fine for Warner and the PFT article on how the Cards got away with one there…. Fair and balanced reporting eh Florio????? When can we expect to see the Warner should have been flagged article? Or are the officials turning in their black and white for red and white stripes???

  42. Giganto-
    “If youre going to catch Gandy every time he holds Harrison (which the refs did — they didn’t miss a single one)”
    That’s probably the most delusional thing that I’ve read about this game, and that’s saying something.

  43. don’t forget the two time Kurt “don’t mess with the hair” Warner took his helmet off, which was on the field both times. Where was the penalty for this?

  44. Florio, you are such a freakin’ lawyer.
    You and your kind are ruining the game of football and our country, for that matter.
    This is the NFL! It’s supposed to be fun! It’s not about the letter of the law, it’s about the spirit of the law.
    Thanks to you, seriously, I have become so cynical toward the NFL that I almost can’t stand to watch it anymore.
    But I have come up with a better solution: quit reading your crap.
    Get a life, you dork.

  45. Just one of two complete mockeries of the NFL rule book the Cardinals can seriously complain about. The real outcome of this game was potentially stolen from them because the officials on the field couldn’t do their job and an official in a booth that no one can see decided to wave his terrible towel.
    The league should be ashamed.
    ——-
    Who cares, the league was a joke this year anyway. The league was terrified that Arizona would win and the leagues massive mediocrity would be exposed. Maybe there will be an elite team this coming year….maybe!

  46. How can anybody say the holding for a safety was “ticky-tack”? The guard grabbed, held on, and rode him to the ground, landing on top of him. A hold doesn’t get more blatant than that.

  47. What’s this intention grounding people keep talking about that wasn’t called on the Steelers? I was at the game and I thought it might be at the time, then the official explained why it wasn’t. I didn’t really buy it at the time, but then I came home and watched it on TiVo, NBC clearly walks through the play afterward and sets up a tackle box. Ben CLEARLY was outside the tackle box and got rid of the ball PAST the line of scrimmage out of bounds. Hence, no intentional grounding. The complaining about stupid call is just dumb. Some people can’t take losing, I guess.

  48. Of course Steelers fans want these stories to stop, and of course they think the game was evenly called. As a fan of neither team and a neutral observer of the game, the Zebras once again avoided throwing too many penalties on the Steelers.
    It was ridiculously one-sided. You can’t tell me that the Steelers didn’t have as many “infractions” as the Cardinals did. The refs just didn’t feel like calling them, then gave the safety as a mild compensation to the Cards later in the game.

  49. superduperboltman – this was settled yesterday, remember the picture showing possession of the ball and two feet down? Yeah that one.

  50. It’s so easy to criticize officiating in a game that is watched
    millions and millions of people.
    There were sooo many penalties that should have been called on the Cards that weren’t. Apparently Warner is the only NFL player that is allowed to take off his helmet on the field and argue with refs. The O line of the Cards (and just about every team this year)have diffrent rules applied to them when it comes to Holding Harrison.
    For the Steelers, the wind blows harder at the top of the mountain.

  51. perhaps there is another reason Holmes wasn’t flagged for his celebration–like the absolutely ludicrous holding call against the Steelers i the end zone…the man is being run over, is falling on his back with this Card DL about to crush him, and he’s not supposed to protect himself?
    what was he supposed to do, yell, “Stoplight!”?
    and this, mind you with the Cards getting away with holding onto the Steelers pass rushers ALL GAME LONG like ticks at the Westminster Dog Show, in particular, no. 69, who must’ve thought he was at a squaredance class;
    has anyone mentioned the blatant no-call on that block totally from behind that sprung open the Cards’ long KR?
    so please, can it about how the refs cower to the Steelers, okeh?

  52. you make me sick…stop your crying, what else happened florio…was the warner play a pass as well? Was james harrison down before he passed the white line? I like the site but sometimes you really suck

  53. Cry me a river of tears all you who are Haters of the Steeler’s. Game’s over! We won. Boo Hoo, “that 15 yards cost us the game”… Excuses, excuses, excuses… get over it.

  54. There should be no penalty on the field ever for excessive celebration, however they should jack the fines way up for people caught doing it. There’s no reason the game should be effected by something like this, it should just penalize the player.

  55. Harrison should’ve beat the hog slop out of that guy all the way off the field–i sure as h**l would have;
    that block he threw straight at Harrison’s knee EVERYBODY knows is a career-ender, and should be outlawed completely by the NFL;
    that’s the kind of block that ended the careers of many players, from Dick Butkus to Steve Emtman, and has no business in football any more than the crackback block does;

  56. This is really the tip of the iceberg. There are so many obvious non-calls that it’s become a distraction to the fans. And it’s approaching basketball-esque.
    One of the most blatant non-calls is encroachment that seems to be called only if a defensive player moves across the line-of-scrimmage (not, I repeat, not merely into the neutral zone) at the snap. But most, if not all, defensive linemen lineup in violation of this rule — some linemen’s hands are even with the tip of the football.
    And this infraction is the easiest to call by the Line Judge who’s eyes are bearing straight down the line-of-scrimmage.

  57. “What’s this intention grounding people keep talking about that wasn’t called on the Steelers?”
    The intentional grounding occurred during the steelers field goal drive int the 3Q. It was the same play that AZ got flagged for roughing the passer. You’re thinking of a different instance, and yes that one was well explained by NBC. This one was missed due to the phantom roughing call. But Ben is clearly in the tackle box when he throws the ball away in order to avoid a sack.
    Oh, yeah, and I think you’re dumb. Man I hate dummy dumb people who are dumb… Dummy.

  58. Florio is proving he’d rather have more “hits” on his webpage than do some actual NFL blogging. Stirring up controversies any moment he can, ignoring contradicting facts to maske his story look better.
    Do some real blogging or at least leave CFT alone and I’ll spend all my time reading “real” news and not this crap.

  59. So if the penalty is called Warner fumbles on the 30 instead of the 45 and the Cards still lose. If only the refs flagged Warner for removing his helmet on the field of play TWICE, the game would have been a blow-out. If only the refs didn’t wrongly take a Steelers TD off the board the game would have been a blow-out. If only the refs called the half dozen more times the slow footed Cards OT’s grabbed and held the Steelers pass rushers the game would have been a bigger blow-out…
    Sour grapes and crybaby syndrome has sunken to a new low….

  60. “in big games, the zebras trade their black and white for black and gold.”
    Am I the only one who thinks this is Florio intentionally rubbing salt in the wound here?
    Thats not nice Florio- Steeler haters just got through crying themselves to sleep at night, and you keep on giving them something to tear up about.

  61. “mcrowell says:
    why is Pittsburgh ALWAYS surrounded by officiating controversy that they always seem to be on the right side of??
    I’m not sayin…I’m just sayin”
    Your perception is wrong. Here are some major recent examples.
    2005 AFC Divisional round- Polamalu’s game clinching INT was wrongly overturned. The league issued an apology during the week after the game.
    2007 Wild Card Round- The refs fail to call a blantant hold that allowed David Garrard to run for a game clinching 1st down. The league issued an apology during the week after the game.
    Steelers games get more coverage because they have a large fanbase (and, as shown here, a large anti-fanbase). There isn’t as much controversy surrounding Chiefs games or Texans games because they’re not as widely loved/hated. The media runs with what will give them the most views / highest ratings.

  62. Im not a Steelers or Cards fans, I keep seeing people say he did it after the play so the refs didnt see it acting like its ok. Thats even worst. Look he scored, fell, and got mobbed by his teammates, all that is ok. Then he gets up goes to the back of the EndZone and does the LaBron thing 30 secs latter, that is delay of game point blank. Dont tell me the refs didnt see it, somebody had to see a football getting thrown in the air and hitting the ground.

  63. I’ve been coming here for years but I swear I’m about done.
    Florio, you used to be excellent for news and rumors. Now it’s “what can I post to stir the pot and drive traffic”. It’s a shame it’s turned from a damn good site in to the Jerry Springer show. It’s all driven by the almighty dollar I guess. That post yesterday showing one foot off the ground as some sort of “evidence” was about the most idiotic thing I’ve seen. This isn’t much better but you’ll keep posting it until the responses slow down and then you’ll move on to some other conspiracy.
    Sad

  64. Let it go man! Let it go!
    Steelers 27, Arizona 23. Game over. Six championships!
    The NFL has gone OVERBOARD this year on fines. Time for them to let it go too! Someone sneezes wrong, they fine’em. They’re ruining their own game with all the fine crap!

  65. A clear case of attempting to increase traffic to attract advertisers. Greater flow of traffic justifies raising the price of advertisements.
    Game over, stadium empty, everyone has gone back home.
    The “shyster lawyer” sees an opportunity to stir the pot by keeping it alive, drive traffic to his site, and further his quest to become “relevant”!
    A fantastic ploy!

  66. As a Giants fan I am a neutral party in this. But to hear all this whining is silly. If the refs had it in for the Cards, why did they call 2 holding penalties on Pitt, one for a safety and one right after AZ took the lead?
    And though the Cards played admirably, how about their D making 1 play with the title on the line. Pittsburgh went through them without any trouble. And on that final, somewhat disputed play, notice how the Cards RG decides to block NOBODY and leave the tackle one on one with Woodley. And maybe Warner could have gotten rid of the ball sooner so he wouldn’t have been hit.
    It was a valiant effort, but in the end, the Cardinal players lost the game.

  67. I can’t believe Holmes even agreed to do an interview with your sorry ass. You have done nothing but bash him relentlessly in the past by calling him Santurdio every time his name was mentioned. Now since the interview, you have attacked him even more by saying he didn’t get both feet down (without doing your own goddamn research) and not letting this stupid celebration thing go. What else are you going to call him out on? Was he wearing illegal socks and deserves a $10k fine? Was his visor too dark? Was he wearing illegal oversized shoes in order to gain an unfair advantage when catching a ball near the sidelines?
    Then again he probably did the interview because he didn’t even know wtf PFT was and obviously never reads your BS on a daily basis.

  68. The refs were clearly in the bag for the Cards on this play.It’s a conspiracy.
    “That white stripe along the sidelines in front of the team box? It’s an area where players are not supposed to go, unless speaking to a coach. Technically it’s a penalty for players to be standing on the white stripe unless talking to a coach. This foul (“sideline violation”) is almost never called. At any rate, as Harrison and his convoy passed the out-of-bounds Cardinals players, veteran Antrel Rolle stepped forward to get a better look. Rolle was just inches from the field of play, and Fitzgerald, struggling to maintain his balance, slammed into Rolle.”
    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=easterbrook/090203&sportCat=nfl
    Black helicopters were seen shortly after Harrison scored. I swear.

  69. This is perfect for the NFL. They can’t fine him. So this is the best example of why they need to ease back on touchdown celebrations. This was a simple yet awesome celebration that should have been flagged. Whats wrong with a guy using the ball as a prop, its great whether you are using it to fish, cut down a goal post, or even saving its life with CPR.
    No Fun League needs to change ASAP.

  70. How come nobody is talking about the blatant hold on Kurt Warner during Harrison’s INT return?
    To me, that blown call is way more important that adding or subtracting 15 yards to a drive that probably would have been stopped anyway.
    During the INT return, Warner was the only guy who really had a chance to tackle (or simply push Harrison out of bounds) before the endzone. Yet, he was clearly HELD just as he was getting close to Harrison.
    A holding penalty here would have pulled the TD off the board. I know the odds of Warner tackling Harrison are pretty slim, but he really just had to push him out of bounds and wasn’t given a chance since he was held.

  71. “You messed up this one, Florio.
    Footballs that make it to the endzone become the property of the people who take them there, hence the reason Hines Ward is able to give the ball to a fan in the first row every time he scores. So Santonio would never have “surrendured” the ball.”
    WHAT?!?! They dont become that person’s property! They get fined when they throw those balls in the crowd or hand them to someone in the crowd! They get fined the cost of the ball!

  72. The holding call in the endzone is definitive proof that the game was in no way fixed. That doesn’t mean the game was well officiated… there were a number of poor calls, but that holding call doesn’t happen in a game the refs are trying to swing. I can guarantee Pittsburgh would not have been called for that hold in Superbowl XL and if the guy making the call had somehow erred and thrown a flag Levy would have come in and had him pick it up.

  73. and did everyone notice the refs because they are roster players for the Steelers never threw a flag….. and you no why…. cause they only throw the terrible flag against the team they dont want to win…. these officials regularly are involved in referring Pittsburgh games, and have a very friendly arrangement with the Rooney family….. infact off the record Pittsburgh front office laugh and joke that the refs have terrible towels they can wave in the face of opponents tooo……….. the Gambling Rooney brothers were allowed to be part of ownership against league rules, Dan Rooney was allowed to change the ownership structure league rules to keep his team………… you wonder why? Seattle, now the cardinals too… the terrible towels of the officials knocked both franchises off their game to give the steelers a leg up….. two superbowls 2 questionable steeler touchdowns, and the rest of the NFL cities are suppose to believe these games aren’t fixed….. yeah, we also believe that Santa, the tooth fairy and the easter bunny could draft for the lions and get them a super bowl win…. Maybe if the Cleveland Browns started drafting drug dealers and ex murders they could get a trophy, and perhaps two MVPs, like the division foes….

  74. “I’ve been coming here for years but I swear I’m about done.
    Florio, you used to be excellent for news and rumors. Now it’s “what can I post to stir the pot and drive traffic”. It’s a shame it’s turned from a damn good site in to the Jerry Springer show. It’s all driven by the almighty dollar I guess. That post yesterday showing one foot off the ground as some sort of “evidence” was about the most idiotic thing I’ve seen. This isn’t much better but you’ll keep posting it until the responses slow down and then you’ll move on to some other conspiracy.”
    I completely agree. I used to enjoy PFT b/c it offered good analysis, coupled with a bit of insider info, as well as Florio’s intuitions/guesses on rumored items — some of which were spot on, some not so much.
    But lately, Ie the past 8 months, the site has become nothing more a dissemination of utter garbage, designed to do nothing other than flame Florio’s personal agendas, while avoiding/minimizing other hot topics.
    Seriously..I’m just down right shocked at how many jealous haters are out there. Wow. It is really disappointing that “controversy ” has been so egregiously attempted to mar a perfectly officiated game.
    Warner f-ing fumbled. There is no debate about that unless you are a retard..or blind. That is a text book fumble. He hit the ball out while the arm was moving BACKWARDS. BACKWARDS. Watch the f-inf replay. There is not one pt of his arm that moves forward. Ever.
    ANd it was booth review. Case closed.
    As far as the celebration? give me a break. IF he had done that right after catching the ball, then fine. But for all we know, that didnt happen until several minutes after the play. Seriously…LET IT GO. The better team won. And frankly if any team has gripes, there were AT LEAST 5-10 additional penalties that should have been called against AZ that were’nt ( at least 4-6 more holds, Fitzgerald running out of bounds untouched prior to touching Harrison, the ticky tack garbage safety )

  75. The Cardinals will never get that close again. Have fun watching Matt Lienart under throw Fitzgerald week after week.

  76. The reason why an official is not solely assigned to monitor celebrations is that it is not integral part of the game. If a ref can catch him, the league is fine with penalizing him the same way refs monitor other bad behavior on the field. There have been MANY instances of a player getting penalized for retaliating while the instigator got away scotfree because a ref didn’t notice it. It happens very often. Get over it, people. Refs have other important concerns on the field such as timeclocks, coaches encroaching onto the field, players delaying the game, making sure no fights break up, getting ready for the next play. To suggest a ref be assigned to monitor celebrations for an undetermined amount of time is the height of foolishness when we already have refs missing stuff like holding on the field because there aren’t enough refs to monitor every instance of holding or other penalizing worthy actions.

  77. Warner had his helmet off during a time out on the field due to the review…that’s perfectly legal. However, using the ball as a prop which using it like it’s talcum powder is just that, then it’s an unsportsmanlike penalty. It’s a black and white rule, the officials dropped the ball on this one.
    It doesn’t matter if it happens a minute after the TD is scored if it’s in the endzone…take the ball to the sidelines and do the prop celebration as it would be within the rules at that point.

  78. Things the Cardinals should have done to win Super Bowl XLIII:
    – Take the opening kickoff after winning the coin toss.
    – Cover a handicapped Hines Ward on the opening drive.
    – Get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald in the first half.
    – Get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald in the first half.
    – Get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald in the first half.
    – Stop trying to run the ball.
    – Tackle Ben Roethlisberger.
    – Have Kurt Warner not throw an interception to James Harrison at the goal line.
    – Tackle James Harrison before he scores a 100 yard touchdown on said interception.
    – Don’t hold James Harrison on every play. (Scratch that. It was probably necessary.)
    – Stop LaMarr Woodley from getting into the backfield.
    – Don’t have a rookie cover Santonio Holmes.
    – Tackle Ben Roethlisberger before he throws the ball on the game winning drive.
    – Tackle the Steeler receivers after they catch the ball on the game winning drive.
    – Have one of the 3 defensive backs in the end zone knock down the game winning touchdown pass.
    – Don’t have Kurt Warner fumble the ball at the end of the game. (See the item about LaMarr Woodley.)
    I can’t believe this stuff wasn’t in the Arizona game plan.
    This is getting to be almost as bad as Seattle missing field goals and dropping passes, but blaming the refs anyway.

  79. Maybe Cards fans and Seahawks fans can form a support group. They could get together over lattes, embrace, express their feelings and sing khum-ba-yah. Florio will bring the oatmeal raisin cookies and serve as Head Counselor.

  80. What is with all the prancing in the endzone like a rainbow warrior??
    All the limp-wristed dancing and prancing is unmanly and is harmful to the NFL and its audience.
    The rules against such undignified and anti-social behavior should be more tightly enforced and the penalties more severe.
    There are children that watch NFL programing.

  81. To all the people who “swear they are just about done with this site”,
    Shut up. If you’re so sick of it, then just don’t read that particular post, no one is forcing you to. You can very easily just scroll right through and on to the next post, but instead you decide to sift through the article and all the comments so you can post one of your own bitching about Florio trying to increase traffic. Meanwhile, people like me who want to read the posts and comments, and occassionally weigh in myself, are subjected to your ignorance. Why don’t you try ESPN.com, douchebag?

  82. “and this, mind you with the Cards getting away with holding onto the Steelers pass rushers ALL GAME LONG like ticks at the Westminster Dog Show, in particular, no. 69, who must’ve thought he was at a squaredance class;”
    This is becoming like an urban legend. I heard big-boy-radio boy Colin Cowherd pushing this tripe on his radio show on Monday. What a crock! Go back and watch your tape. The refs flagged No. 69 EVERY TIME HE HELD HARRISON. Every time. They didn’t miss one.
    People used to say that the refs could call holding on every play — which indicates to me that they typically don’t call it sometimes or even miss it once in a while. Well, they sure didn’t miss it when No. 69 held. I guess the new standard for holding calls is 100%.

  83. “in big games, the zebras trade their black and white for black and gold.”
    Are you just trying to maximize hits to PFT? For the love of God, LET IT GO!! WTF???
    Sometimes I wonder if Vox ‘lives’ in Florio’s basement…

  84. Officials don’t try to intentionally favor one team or the other. They still do so, and it’s often the popular teams like the Steelers and Cowboys who benefit.
    The holding call for the safety was legit.
    Even if it hadn’t been it was a good makeup call because on the previous play Willie Parker did NOT get the ball out of the endzone before his knee hit the ground.
    The Holmes celebration should be fined. Period. It’s a stupid rule but it’s a rule, and it should have been a 15 yard penalty.
    I’m still not sure the Holmes catch was a catch. The right foot looks off the ground to me. But either way it was called on the field would have stood; it was that close. Of course, it was called in favor of the Steelers on the field. No gripe with not overturning it.
    The Warner fumble was a horrible call.
    Arm moving forward + ball moving forward = pass. It doesn’t matter how loosely or tightly the QB is holding the ball.
    And it seems a lot of people don’t know what is meant when announcers say there’s a booth review. The booth reviews EVERY play within the last two minutes to determine whether the ON-field ref should take another look at it. Then HE makes the decision. In this case, they didn’t even give him the option.
    I don’t like either team, so I’m fairly objective in this.

  85. LOL. All the bitter jealous losers have been pimpsmacked with the facts on this site so many times by now. Let’s see:
    1)Funny how Whisenhunt won both his challenges, one of them overturning a Pittsburgh TD by the refs (who were supposedly helping the Steelers).
    2)Funny how Kurt Warner wasn’t flagged for removing his helmet on the field to argue a call.
    3)Funny how the refs (who were supposedly helping the Steelers) overturned Warner’s first fumble to rule it an incomplete pass.
    4)Funny how Fitzgerald was never flagged for running almost 30 yards downfield out of bounds on the harrison return without re-establishing himself inbounds before making the tackle.
    5)Funny how the refs (who were supposedly helping the Steelers) called a holding penalty to negate a 22 yard completion to Holmes in the 2nd quarter.
    6)Funny how the refs (who were supposedly helping the Steelers) flagged Justin Hartwig for a holding call in the endzone, setting up Arizona with 2 points and posession of the ball which would lead to the go-ahead score.
    7)Funny how the refs (who were supposedly trying to help the Steelers) flagged Kemo for holding on the final Steelers drive.
    8) Let’s take a trip back to the regular season when the Steelers’ opponents went nearly 9 straight quarters without having a holding call assessed when Harrison was being held at least 75% ofthe time.
    9) Oh and then there was the first San Diego game where there was a 13-1 penalty discrepancy against us.
    10) Let’s go to the divisional playoff game against San Diego where Santonio’s obvious big yardage catch inside the 1 yard line was overturned on repay when it was a clear catch.
    Yep, those refs just love us. *rolls eyes* Funny how none of the bitter jealous losers are talking about any of that. Let me know if any of you need any more instruction. I’ll be more than happy to hand out a few more beat-downs.

  86. In watching the replay, the official turned and walked away just before Holmes started his celebration, which occurred long after the touchdown. There’s nothing more to it than that. He simply didn’t see it.
    Florio: I know these type of stories generate a lot of hits, and I’m now going to officially accuse you of pandering to the lowest common denominator. The comments section used to be pretty engaging and informative, and now (largely due to these types of stories), the noise/signal ratio has gotten much worse. The vast majority of comments are no longer worth reading, and I get tired of wading through the sea of insults in hopes to find differences of opinion that are actually interesting to read and consider. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve lost interest in reading and participating in the discussions.

  87. It’s interesting how the officials watched the entire celebration when it was Vincent Jackson scoring a huge TD in the playoffs against the Steelers. Long after the play was over, the official threw a flag for something VJ did during his celebration. Not a single TV camera caught it, which is why there was no replay.
    Yet Holmes gets off when the entire world is watching.
    NFL officiating needs a major overhaul. Right now, it’s a disgrace.

  88. Nobody should be surprised that the Steelers got the majority of the calls. They have always gotten the benefit of doubt on close calls. The Immaculate Reception in 1972 is a prime example.
    There seems to be 2 sets of rules in the NFL: 1 for the Steelers and 31 for every other team.

  89. Look, I am a Giant fan so I really had no favorite in this SB. If anything, I grew up watching football in the 70’s so when I was a kid I was a Steelers fan. That said, there were a few botched calls in this game that may (I stress the word may) have had an affect on the outcome. I know it is done and over & again I really didn’t care who won. My point here is if the NFL doesn’t address the horrific officiating (not just the SB but horrific the whole season) this offseason, I for one will have a hard time investing my time & energy in the NFL next season. This isn’t any form of sour grapes, it is just an overall observation…..

  90. TheDPR, you couldn’t sound more like a thick-headed fool. The Holmes catch and Warner fumble were both proven correct. The fact that you would even try to argue those calls erases any credibility you thought you had. If the refs would have seen the Holmes celebration, it would have been flagged. This has already been stated countless times. Seriously, did you just finish watching the Super Bowl or were you living in a cave from Monday until today?

  91. “Though throwing the flag might have indeed altered the outcome of the Super Bowl, doing so would have gone a long way toward erasing the perception that, in big games, the zebras trade their black and white for black and gold.”
    Florio – that “perception” is a direct result of Mike Holmgren’s whiny speech to Seattle after XL and the snowball effect the walrus’ words had on the media and fans looking for excuses. Whitlock, as we all know, is a complete media whore and will write something stupid just to get his name out there. I hate to say it Florio, but you’re turning into Whitlock Jr. and it’s sad.
    Please get off your knees and focus on football, not pleasing the masses and a few in the media whom you like. You have too much talent to be falling into these traps.

  92. “There seems to be 2 sets of rules in the NFL: 1 for the Steelers and 31 for every other team.”
    So there’s actually 32 sets of rules? Dummy, did you take math in school?

  93. joe6606 says: February 5th, 2009 at 1:12 pm
    “I’ve been coming here for years but I swear I’m about done.”
    I couldn’t agree with you more. There are other sites who’d probably appreciate the hits they’d get more than this one.

  94. I’m gonna start blaming everything on the refs.
    The refs are responsible for the economic downturn.
    The refs caused global warming.
    The refs made a bird poop on my car.
    The refs made me get a parking ticket.
    The refs spilled my coffee this morning.

  95. Hours later and the score still hasn’t changed.
    Pittsburgh 27
    Arizona 23
    Why not try blaming Obama? Maybe he had a direct line to the replay booth?

  96. westclaims says:
    February 5th, 2009 at 11:22 am
    If you are a Cardinals fan, you come to expect the officials “oversights”. Had a Cardinal done that, it would be a yellow field in less than a second.
    ———————————-
    Yeah you mean the way they were all over Warner for taking off his helmet right in the refs’ face? Man they really nailed him for that one.
    Oh wait — they didn’t?
    Now where do you go, dude?

  97. Doesn’t the celebration need to happen in the end zone to draw the flag? Didn’t Holmes do his routine out of the playing field?

  98. GigantoGillicus says:
    February 5th, 2009 at 11:41 am
    “If that’s the case, the league has two options: (1) hire officials who’ll apply the rules as written in every circumstance; or (2) change the rules.”
    This should be the #1 priority of the NFL this offseason. Also, to apply the rules equally. If youre going to catch Gandy every time he holds Harrison (which the refs did — they didn’t miss a single one) strive to catch EVERYBODY else anytime they hold, even if it’s a Steeler.
    How many AZ drives were halted by holding calls? From the beginning of the 2Q to Pgh’s final drive, AZ outgained the vaunted Steelers something like 350-60 yds. It wasn’t the Steel Curtain stopping Warner & co.
    Oh, and Pgh’s only scoring drive after the 1Q: an 8-minute 16 play 3×15 yd penalty travesty that resulted in 3. Take away the roughing the passer call and replace it with the uncalled Intentional Grounding and the Steelers not only don’t get their 3, they lose probably a good 4 mins of possession time. (How many more pts does AZ score with that 4 mins?)
    The NFL needs to get the officiating right. Of course, there’s always the possibility that they like it this way… ”
    Intentional grounding? Did you even watch the game, or are you just repeating some crap that someone else said. Did you not even watch right after the play when they showed on TV the two red lines that represent the pocket for the QB and Ben standing outside of those red lines when he threw the ball to the sideline? That’s why it was not intentional grounding.
    Gandy was called for holding 3 times…hate to tell you, but Harrison was held more than 3 times. And just so you know, offensive holding was called 3 times against Pitt (2 times on Kemo and once on Hartwig) and the one on Hartwig was in the endzone resulting in a safety. There was also a defensive holding called, but was declined because Fitz caught the pass for a bigger gain than what the penalty would have given. Seems to me they had no problem calling holding on the Steelers, people just remember the calls against the Cards more and focus on them because they lost plain and simple.

  99. “There seems to be 2 sets of rules in the NFL: 1 for the Steelers and 31 for every other team.”
    So there’s actually 32 sets of rules? Dummy, did you take math in school?
    ———————————————————
    HAHAHAHA! Owned.

  100. Honestly, as far as all this whining and crying goes…I could really care less. Most people seem to forget that in week 11 when the Steelers played the Chargers, the Steelers were given 13 penalties for 115 yards to 2 penalties for 5 yards for the Chargers (the second penalty overturning a Troy fumble recovery and TD). Guess what happened though, the Steelers STILL found a way to win the game! An 11-7 penalty disparity is nothing to get all worked up about.
    Good teams find a way to win the game despite bad calls plain and simple, they erase them from their memories and just move on and make the plays they need to make.

  101. If the Steelers lost we’d be finding calls that helped them. The hold in the endzone after the completion to Holmes that resulted in the safety was questionable.
    Florio – stop this crap. Don’t create something that isn’t even there. Don’t go ESPN dude. You have been heading there recently. I love this site. Please don’t get all caught up in your sponsers (sprint, pepsi) and lose you objectivity just for ‘hits’. I was really happy that you got props and got on NFL network…but don’t get drunk on it, bro. You built this site by being a rogue reporter. Don’t forget that. Don’t become ESPN. SI, whatever – I follow you and this site because there is no editor – no corporate agenda. You call it like you see it – but I sense that is fading – and will no doubt stop following this site when it happens for sure.

  102. To the idiot that said Parker didn’t get the ball out of the endzone before his knee hit…..what game was you watching? They must have replayed that 10 times and you can clearly see that he falls forward and then the Cardinals player brings him down. And I believe the Cardinals still had their 3rd challenge available at that point. Now, don’t you think Whisenhut would have challenged that if he thought it was close and gotten his team 2 points and the ball?

  103. jhitchins1,
    First of all, it was the center. Second of all, the defender ran into him and they both fell down. Hartwig (the center in question) barely got a hand on him, but they fell down because the mass of bodies on the ground.

  104. “Intentional grounding? Did you even watch the game…”
    Sigh… SteelerGal, take a breath. You’re looking at the wrong play. Here, I’ll make it easy for you. 7:40 left in the 3Q. Ben about to get hit, throws ball a mile from nobody, and is then hit, resulting in roughing the passer. Tackle box is roughly along the hashmark, Ben inside the hash when he threw. Easy call. The only reason there was roughing (a phantom ticky tack call anyway) was because Ben grounded the ball.
    This is at 7:40. Steelers go on to possess the ball for about another 5 minutes (after a roughing the holder call gives them 2 shots at a game-clinching TD — which they couldn’t convert). Steelers up 10 at this point. This drive in which Steelers amass about 30 yds of offense lasts 8 minutes.
    “Gandy was called for holding 3 times…hate to tell you, but Harrison was held more than 3 times.”
    Um, hate to tell you, he wasn’t. Provide an example, please.
    I’m not saying all calls against AZ were not correct, I am saying that the game was called much more tightly against AZ than PGH. At one point in the 3Qor 4Q penalty tally was 90-something-to-15.
    I’m not a Cards fan, but the thing I took away from this game is how good the cards are and how troubled I think the Steelers are. No running game, sporadic passing attack, full back running back kickoffs, porous O line, weak DBs when no pressure on QB, no redzone O at all. Cards exposed them. They were lucky they only had Balt and one-time 4-8 team SD to get through to SB in a weak AFC. Could be a long year next year.

  105. @GigantoGillicus
    “full back running back kickoffs”
    What the fu#k does that have to do with anything? He’s actually a Tail Back, a real Full Back barely exists in the NFL anymore (BTW Leron McClain is also a Tail Back).

  106. “There was also a defensive holding called, but was declined because Fitz caught the pass for a bigger gain than what the penalty would have given. Seems to me they had no problem calling holding on the Steelers,”
    Again, you have to do better than this. Yeah, this was a HUGE call in the game. Actually, it was the strangest call of the game, and brings out the paranoid in me. Here’s how it went:
    Fitz runs a down and in, and is “held” on the cut (although I never could see this despite rewind and replay many times — never shown during telecast), continues running to the center of the field, cuts upfield at the 20 and, by gum, it looks like maybe he might even score, flag comes out, Fitz runs to the 10 and is tackled.
    Safest flag of the night against PGH. Fitz already has 1st down, flag isn’t thrown until Fitz cuts upfield and looks like he might bust it. Interestingly, right after the play, Fitz sees flag and starts complaining thinking it’s a call against him. But all it is is an imperceptible Dholding call that is obviously declined. Interesting play all the way around.

  107. Re: Intentional Grounding on Roethlisberger
    For what it’s worth, on the play in question (7:40 left in 3Q), the ball is spotted on the right hashmark. Max Starks (Steelers LT) is lined up about a yard inside the left hash mark. Roethlisberger releases the ball with his foot on the left hash mark.
    Roethlisberger is about two feet outside the pocket at the release of the ball.

  108. There are too many discrepancies on what is and what is not a celebration. Shaking the ball toward the hand is hardly any more demeaning toward the defending touchdown team than the weaving of the ball between the legs. The only way that everyone is happy is too have a list of what is and what is not celebration. Any celebration that occurs that does not resemble anything on the list will come under deliberation for inclusion on the list and until that time are not penalties. This should solve the problem for all of the dishearted that like to micro analyze the game.

  109. Can you just imagine if a safety was called on a ridiculous holding call against Seattle in SB XL? The whining would have been worse. I have never seen such a marginal call in the end zone. Wait, wait. What about the IN THE GRASP ruling on Atlanta’s MATT RYAN when he got rid of the ball against the Cardinals in the 1st round. Wow, maybe we should be whining about the lucky safeties AZ seem to be getting. Is there a conspiracy to have AZ win?
    Wow , see how crazy that sounds?
    People move on. There are always debatable calls like these where the ref could call it either way that hurts either team. I initially said that safety call was OK when it happened. But when I see the replays now, there is no way that center was taking him down. He was bowled over and the hand was on the other guy more out of a reaction than anything. I believe the guy would have fallen down by his momentum anyway. THe refs allowed Fitzgerald to go unpenalised despite his running out of bounds for a long time and making the crucial tackle on Harrison. Where was the extra flag on that??? What if Harrison was tackled at the 1` inch line on review. Steelers lose 4 points because of that tackle.
    The biggest game changing call was the safety. It awarded 2 points, forcing Steelers to get a FG to merely tie and changed possession too soon when the Steelers had a chance to run out the clock if they could get another first down. If the refs were in it for the Steelers, they could easily have let it go and not one person would have noticed any injustice. Steelers lost a freaking playoff game last year because the refs bungled much more blatant holding againt JAX on a crucial game ending 4th down and the NFL even admitted it. Steelers complained about it for a while, but I heard not a single Steelers fan complain that it was becuase the refs were in the pocket for the JAX JAgs.
    Someone also explain to me why refs have been ignoring worse holding against left tackles guarding Harrison while they had no problem nullifying TWO 40plus yard TD passes in crucial situations on holding calls on Willie Colon. Poor Mike Gandy. He probably didn’t realize refs would call that based on film study of Harrison’s games this year. Baltimore didn’t seem to mind it when Flacco made a long pass on a play refs swallowd the whistles on a blatant hold on Harrison. Even Simms had to make a comment. Well, that was not the first time such a thing happened.

  110. GigantoGillicus says:
    February 6th, 2009 at 9:29 am
    “There was also a defensive holding called, but was declined because Fitz caught the pass for a bigger gain than what the penalty would have given. Seems to me they had no problem calling holding on the Steelers,”
    Again, you have to do better than this…”
    Do better than what…explain to you that the Steelers were called for holding as well? How convenient that you complain about the refs not calling holding on the Steelers and then you ignore my point about the 3 offensive holding calls on the Steelers and choose the one defensive holding call to complain about. Talk about cherry picking lol.
    Listen, you can peruse every single play of the game all you want and twist the penalties against the Cards all you want, but they were all deserved. The only one I would argue that probably shouldn’t have been called was the roughing the passer, it was pretty ticky tacky. I have little sympathy though, Troy was called for roughing the passer during the Ravens game when he was going towards Flacco with his hand up (trying to block the pass most likely) and ended up hitting him in the face because of forward momentum….Flacco wasn’t even knocked to the ground lol, yet it was roughing the passer.
    There were missed calls on the Steelers, and there were missed calls on the Cardinals, it happens every single game. Whining about it after the game does nothing to change the outcome of the game and just comes off as childish and petty.

  111. as for myself, and most likley all of the steeler fans, all i can say on this subject is wah, wah, wah!. the guy made a great catch, the cardinals shot themselves in the foot with penalties and the refs did a decent job of officiating. i’m near suggesting that replays be eliminated from the game to stop this nearly infinate crying because someone’s team lost. it’s supposed to be a man’s game, remember?

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