The NFL still hasn’t announced whether Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes was fined for his LeBron James routine after scoring the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLIII.
Last week, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told us that the matter was under review.
But, as far as we can tell, Holmes indeed was fined $10,000 for using the ball as a prop.
It’s standard practice — if a player uses the ball as a prop, the team takes a 15-yard penalty, and the player takes a $10,000 haircut.
V.P. of officiating Mike Pereira acknowledged in the days after the game that a flag should have been thrown, but that the celebration occurred so long after the play that the officials didn’t notice it.  So common sense tells us that, if it’s conduct that should have drawn a flag, it’s conduct that undoubtedly drew a fine.
The league had no comment on the matter.
Meanwhile, there’s a chance that the Holmes situation could spark a revision to the rule.  Speaking to the media at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, Commissioner Roger Goodell explained that, at a certain point after the play has ended, the purpose of the rule against certain post-touchdown celebration loses some of its force.
“It’s my understanding that it happened about 15 seconds after the play,” Goodell said, “so I think that’s something the Competition Committee is going to have to look it — is there a period of time where it really doesn’t have the same impact that it would if it was done immediately?  As you know, part of this rule is to avoid having a reaction from opposing players and from what I could see, only seeing it once, it didn’t seem like it was anywhere near that.  It’s something the Competition Committee will look at.”
In our view, such a tweak to the rules would be hard to apply.  How long is long enough?  And a safe harbor of that nature would prompt players inclined to engage in otherwise prohibited demonstrations to wait 15 seconds or so before doing their thing.
Here’s the bottom line.  Based on the rule currently on the books, the Steelers should have been kicking off after taking a late lead from their own 15.  While it’s easy to assume that Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner simply would have fumbled the ball 15 yards closer to the Pittsburgh end zone, the more accurate view is that we don’t know what would have happened, because the imposition of the penalty could have changed the dynamics of the last 35 seconds dramatically.
The Steelers could have been deflated, the Cardinals rejuvenated.  Arizona might have gained more yardage on the kick return, and former Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley might have called different plays.
Regardless of what would have happened, what should have happened is that the flag should have been thrown.  The fact that a fine was imposed only underscores that point.
As does the league’s desire not to talk about the situation.


  1. Mike do you have a license ? Because you are fishing my friend . But there isnt any bait , just bullshit

  2. Question: What’s the difference between a porcupine and a bus full of Steelers fans?
    Come on, it’s an easy one…

  3. The Steelers have had a lot of help from the Zebras in their last two Superbowls. I still think they’re the better team for both matchups – but it’s ugly how favorably they’re treated by officials.

  4. The officials robbed Zona all game long. So many uncalled holding penalties, the other calls on the last drive. A tainted victory Steeler fans…….no i’m not a cardinals fan

  5. how about when Kurt Warner took his helmet off RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE REF’S FACE?
    should that have also drew a flag?

  6. It is about damn time!!! It should have been called in the game!!
    Remember…Frank, I am jealous…so jealous….

  7. funny, if this was the other way around, we would hear nothing but complaining from steeler fans and how there is a league wide conspiracy against them.

  8. Soon players will not be allowed to celebrate anything, since any type of celebration could be considered “taunting”. Mr. Goodell, go back to 1940 when you ruled Germany.

  9. Everytime a team loses, there is always talk about this play or that play or this incident or that incident that “could have” changed the outcome of the game. It doesn’t matter who the teams are, whether it’s regular season or playoffs, or any of that. It just amounts to the fact that this is a game played by human beings and, unfortunately for those seeking perfection, human beings make mistakes. These mistakes don’t mean necessarily anything other than we missed out on the chance to see what could have happened. Doesn’t mean the outcomes of games are wrong or would ever be changed by the mistake made. In some rare cases it does, but in the overwhelming majority of those cases it doesn’t.
    Next season, there will be a whole slew of “coulda, woulda, shouldas” for the fans and media to talk about. They can tweak this rule or that rule and try to make sure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again, but even if they do it won’t matter. This problem will be replaced by some other problem that fans and/or the media will scream about because it unfairly impacted a team. It’s the nature of fans and the media to complain about something that didn’t go their way or to make a mountain out of a mole hill when there isn’t anything else to talk about.
    Last year, it was whether or not the Giants really caught the ball when it was sitting on that receiver’s head. This year it’s Holmes’ TD celebration. What will it be next year? Who knows. But rest assured that grumbling fans and bored media personnel will make sure you know about it.

  10. “The Steelers could have been deflated, the Cardinals rejuvenated.”
    How does scoring a go ahead touchdown with less than a minute left in the game ever going to deflate a team? Penalty or not. It’s fifteen yards! It wouldn’t have deflated the Steelers but it woulda gave the Cardinals a false sense of hope. Which would’ve made the win even more sweeter.

  11. Did Chad Johnson ever get flagged or fined when he put on that Giant Suit… cause that had to have been way after the play

  12. Its a legitimite concern. The guy should be fined for what he did. Of course Steelers fans want this to die down, but the fact is the refs once again played a large hand in giving them another SB victory.

  13. Florio, have you completely lost your mind? PFT was built on reporting stories (and of course rumors), not your babbling opinions repeated ad nauseam. Your fifteen minutes are about up.

  14. Exactly…..no one knows what might have happened if the penalty would have been enforced. The Cardinals might have fumbled the kickoff, or Warner might have fumbled or thrown an interception on the first play. We simply don’t know…..so let it go already!!!

  15. Come on Mike. If they threw the flag the Steelers might have lost and the league just couldn’t afford to have a 9-7 Arizona Cardinals team winning the Super Bowl especially when the President of the United States is openly rooting for the Steelers. Get with the program.

  16. So based on this assumption, which you headlined with “Holmes fined for LeBron routine,” you’re speculating that it had to have happened without ANY proof whatsoever? Reading Profootballtalk.com has become an experiment in watching a thorough new media journalist wondering whether he should subscribe to the new school or old school methods of journalism on a daily basis. One minute, you’re writing these rumor-based stories that lead to journalists uncovering any truth that may or may not be involved, the next you are scolding players for getting arrested for speeding. You straddle a thin line, Mike Florio

  17. Of course Steeler fans would say that. But regardless it is true. The Refs missed a call and it could have had a large impact on the game. Still, the odds Warner and company could have comeback and won are very slim. Your team won the super bowl, why be so rude to Florio who is just doing his job???

  18. “The fact that a fine was imposed only underscores that point.”
    Uh what? Unless you state precisely why you “know” that Holmes was fined, everything in that post is utter rubbish/speculation.
    There is absolutely nothing in your posting to indicate that he was fined, other than those voices in your head.

  19. Florio, you are hurting your credibility(?)by acting like a tool.
    Penalties are missed every game. It just so happens this one was caught on film from 50 different angles.
    By the way, on AZ’s winning TD vs the Eagles, AZ’s left tackle was illegally downfield interfering with a LB.

  20. Immediately following a touchdown the officials should start the play-clock again and if the players uses the ball as a prop when the clock strikes…..nevermind this is too stupid of a topic!

  21. Its funny that the only way the stillers can win the super bowl is by obvious biased by the refs. Take in part the seahawks super bowl. When they stillers played the cowboys in superbowl there was no ref favoritism and guess what happend. Now no doubt stillers fans will call me a hater and low rate this comment. But you cannot argue with the facts. The two most controversial superbowls in recent history involved the stillers winning. I will not argue that the stillers did not deserve to be there. They did what they do and tcb.

  22. cfmunster says:
    February 13th, 2009 at 9:18 pm
    The Steelers get favorable calls (or non-calls) in a big game, what’s new? So long NFL.
    So I guess getting a TD overturned and a Warner fumble overturned, a holding call on the offense in the endzone for a safety and a holding call on the first snap of the final drive of the game (pushing the Steelers back to the 12 for 1st and 20) are favorable calls right? I guess there were just no holding calls or blocks in the back missed by the refs that would have favored the Steelers right?
    I’ll admit, the refs were seen more than they should have been for the game, but that goes both ways. Too many penalties were called period, but that’s not what decided the game.

  23. cfmunster says:
    February 13th, 2009 at 9:18 pm
    The Steelers get favorable calls (or non-calls) in a big game, what’s new? So long NFL.
    So I guess getting a TD overturned and a Warner fumble overturned, a holding call on the offense in the endzone for a safety and a holding call on the first snap of the final drive of the game (pushing the Steelers back to the 12 for 1st and 20) are favorable calls right? I guess there were just no holding calls or blocks in the back missed by the refs that would have favored the Steelers right?
    I’ll admit, the refs were seen more than they should have been for the game, but that goes both ways. Too many penalties were called period, but that’s not what decided the game.
    Don’t forget the fact that Fitz’s first TD wasn’t a catch.
    We were treated to one of the best Super Bowls in history, and all we get is complaints.

  24. There you go again, Florio. Coulda, shoulda, f%&king, woulda!! Hitler shoulda released the 21st Panzer and his other reserve tank units on June 6, 1944. Last I checked the Germans still lost WW II. Also, last I checked the Steelers still won their 6th Super Bowl, 27-23. Get over it, dude. You’re continuing to act like a sore loser. So Lamar Woodley would have sacked and caused a fumbled a little closer to the Steeler’s goal line. Steelers still win their SIXTH!! Your whining fills me with the urge to defacate.

  25. The real shame is that Lebron is getting credit for the originator of that celebration… KG was doing that long before Lebron was in the league. But no one watched T-Wolve games, kinda like the cardinals of the NBA

  26. OK people, stop whining. Is this the first time a player has been fined for something uncalled in the field of play??? No! Because the obvious fact is refs do not catch every unsportsmanlike infraction on the field. When the NFL spots it on tape, they fine. This is what happened here. Why would a ref look for improper celebration that late? Refs have always priortized what they looked and they have always missed some iffy behavior on the field because of that limitation of the number of refs on a field. You can clearly see the ref’s attention turned away from Holmes because enough time has lapsed. To act like this system has been anywhere close to perfect in the past or can be in the future is ridiculous. Let us concentrate on getting the plays on the field right like inconsistency on roughing the passer, pass interference, holding.
    Answer me some questions
    1) isn’t it a fact that refs miss the instigator in some cases of unsportsmanlike penalty when they catch the guy retaliatiing?
    Isn’t it a fact that NFL has fined a few times players for infractions that were uncalled during the game? All that generated in the past was some complainin by the fans for a couple of days and then they moved on. What is going on here is ridiculous.
    It happens. life goes on. This is how life has always been in the NFL. As long as it is an infraction that is not relevant to the actual play, these calls are partly luck. You just hope the refs don’t catch you. I want to see some logic from the whiners why I am wrong on this. How many times you have seen a ref catch a lineman throwing a punch after a cheapshot by the other player, yet the ref catches the lineman, not the instigator. I find it rich that Baltmore fans join in on the whining considering they got the benefit of doubt on a play that actually happened on the field that may have affected the outcome of the game- the delay of game against TN.
    To expect a perfect system is ridiculous. Let us not pretend officiating has been perfect. It is not even close. So improve the system, you priortize. To give so much importance to a DELAYED improper celebration is such nitpicking. You only whine becuase the TV cameras caught a closeup. If the camera was attached to the ref in the area of Holmes, you wouldn’t have seen it. And I bet that if you checked out every camera feed, you would notice quite a few iffy instances of behavior that go uncalled.
    And let’s not even get into the fact that refs allow coaches to encroach the field of play too long on some occasions without calling them on it.
    Really, folks, have you guys even watched an NFL game in the past?
    2) If the refs were inthe Steelers corner, why would they call the safety? If refs left that uncalled, I bet no one would have objected. It was much less of a hold than what JAX did to the Steelers on the winning play last playoff year. So why did the refs leave that uncalled on the Jaguars last year on a 4th down play while they had no problem calling a lesser hold on the Steelers on a crucial first down conversion? Woodley should have drawn a couple of holding calls on his own if that is the standard of holding.That was a possible 9 point swing considering Steelers had a decent chance to kill off the clock(Steeelers had no problem moving between the 20s most of the game). And then the refs who were supposedly in the Steelers corner call back to back holding on the Steeelers when they called the Steelers again on 1st down play on the very next drive. (though the Steelers did deserve the holding on that one).

  27. Florio baits you guys and you chomp down every time.
    I made this list a couple days ago, but got interrupted and then the story I was going to comment on moved to the second page, so I didn’t bother. In any case, it still applies here. I went back over several days and made a list of all the stories that generated a significant amount (45 or more) of comments:
    Notice a pattern? There are 12 postings that qualified, and 8 of them are about the Steelers. Mr. Florio is capitalizing on the fact that right now, the most loved and simultaneously most hated team is the Pittsburgh Steelers. And he pits the two most polarized fans against each other to generate comments (which equate to page views) which generate revenue.
    The problem I have is that for the people who aren’t interested in arguing and insults, it leads to some completely boring comment threads. It’s like watching Meet The Press when the far right and far left battle it out, each side so polarized that they won’t accept anything the other side has to say. Pointless.
    Think of how this all started, with the “100+ comment” story where Florio questions whether Holmes got both feet down. Now, nevermind that Madden says during the broadcast it was “definitely a catch.” Never mind that Whisenhunt says after the game that it was a catch and specifically says “he got both feet down.”
    Do I think Florio really believed it wasn’t a catch? No. I don’t see how he could, given the video evidence and consensus before he posted his story. The only thing I can presume is that he knew it would generate a ton of (largely worthless) discussion. And it did. And so did the next Super Bowl controversy he stirred up. And the next. And the next. And he’s going to milk it for all it’s worth.

  28. “Come on Mike. If they threw the flag the Steelers might have lost and the league just couldn’t afford to have a 9-7 Arizona Cardinals team winning the Super Bowl especially when the President of the United States is openly rooting for the Steelers. Get with the program. ”
    So, wait. Lemme get this straight.
    The league wanted the Steelers to win in ’05 because of Jerome Bettis, it being the ultimate feel good story, etc.
    The league wanted the Giants to win it last year for the same feel good reason.
    Even though according to most, the league also wanted their baby — their pride and joy — the Patriots to go undefeated last year.
    Then, THIS YEAR, the league had maybe the best feel good story of all time in the Arizona Cardinals. It’s the Cardinals! Kurt Warner! Larry Fitzgerald! Holy crap, did we mention Larry Fitzgerald?!
    But… they wanted the Steelers to win… because the Steelers are their baby; their pride and joy.
    Roger Goodell throws one hell of a curveball.

  29. Good! I am glad he got fined, Lebron should get fined for that as well because it was KG’s celebration first!!!

  30. What’s with all the Hitler references?
    It’d be sweet to somehow rewind and watch the last 2 minutes with the penalty enforced, just to see what happens. The Cardinals were moving the ball very well & it would have been interesting, to say the least!

  31. I found 4 penalties in addition to the facemask call on the int return, all by the Cardinals.. Many were immediately after the INT.. And don’t go crying that none of them would have mattered Cards fans because you wanted a call on Woodley.. The refs chose not to throw the flags on the Cards.. If Harrison had been stopped at the 40, one of those calls would have been huge for the Steelers. The refs didn’t know whether the flag thrown already was on the Steelers or Cardinals either.
    -At the 0:55 mark, #94 Lawrence Timmons gets held by #74 Reggie Wells.
    -At the 1:02 mark, #51 James Farrior has his jersey grabbed and is throw down by #81 Anquan Boldin.
    -At the 3:50 mark, #24 Ike Taylor gets tackled from behind by #82 Leonard Pope
    -At the 3:53 mark, #26 Deshea Townsend gets horse-collared by #11 Larry Fitzgerald

  32. the SOB blocked the running back in teh back at the 35 yard line on the longest play in SUPER BOWL HISTORY. The PIVOTAL play of this game, yet I have to hear about some LeBron crap. WATCH THE TAPE, watch the RB of the CARDS @ the 35yard line! the play should have been called DEAD right there – DONE no TD no 7 pts and only a 3 point lead at the half. FACE IT – the STEELERS have been handed the last 2 Super Bowls – or as the NFL instances II SUPER BOWLS (idiots)

  33. Further, I am done with this sport.
    It is not about the fan. In fact, the players want nothing to do with the fans, in fact they are afraid of the fans (see Plaxico Buress). See the security around the players and coaches in hotels and events. This is about making money – wake up and smell the coffee and quit drinking the cool-aid. MONEY – not U – in fact, the NFL loves your money and support Wake up people!!

  34. “desertscrub says:
    February 14th, 2009 at 1:15 am
    Insists, not instances (dang keyboard!)”
    I don’t think it is your keyboard. I think it’s the software for posting on this site. I’ve seen errors in my post’s that I know weren’t there when I typed it.
    Steelers still win!

  35. Only some immoral deviant would be prancing and dancing after a touchdown. A suspension should be in order for all players who misbehave so badly.

  36. Could’ve, would’ve, should’ve. It’s all a moot at this point. The Steelers are the first to 6 and that’s all she wrote…

  37. Lovin it… lovin it… lovin it…
    Keep up the good work!
    The greatest team in all of sports and their fans are straight up lovin it…
    And to think we beat the brown stains 5 times this year to win it all!
    2 times beating cleveland… 3 times beating former cleveland.
    Hey… anyone remember when the brown stains had their home opener for their new stadium on sunday night footballl and the steelers shut them out like 52 – zero???
    I do.

  38. cardinalssuck says:
    February 13th, 2009 at 7:40 pm
    Question: What’s the difference between a porcupine and a bus full of Steelers fans?
    Come on, it’s an easy one…
    I know! It’s that you wouldn’t blow a porcupine.

  39. Regarding DesertScrub’s and Azzman’s comments.
    First my fellow Steeler fan Azzman:
    I don’t think Timmons was held by #74. It seemd they were just jockeying for the lane to get near the ball carrier.
    Same with the Farrior and Townsend instances you point out. Just usual jockeying.
    However, I agree with the Ike Taylor tackle by #82.
    As far as DesertScrub’s comment, the initial block was on the shoulder , and then Woodley uses his other hand on the player’s back. Refs will usually not call every instance of those if the initial push was on the side. They only get split second looks at plays. If you want to play such a microscopic review, do you seriously want to examine the AZ RT’s play on Woodley the entire game and tell me that there wasn’t a single instance at some point of holding? Hell, the RT got the usual leeway most OL people get when he blocked Woodley on the final AZ TD. Unless it’s blatant, don’t whine.

  40. savocabol1 – just let it go.
    Florio speaks like a true West Virginian; all hatred no substance.
    How is that double wide Florio?

  41. Nice compilation Mborz!! Mborz is correct…but isnt this part of the fun?
    I for one love the banter back and forth with Steeler fans. I get this alot in my personal life since my brother is a 4 season ticket holder who lives in Pittsburgh! Although I know some fans take it to heart, I think this is great fun. Although I hate to admit, I sometimes feel like Hines Ward, with a big smile on my face while you know some Steeler fan is reading your post and getting pissed and then reacting by calling me names.
    That is fun. I for one do not mean any harm and definitely do not want to see any player get seriously injured..oh alright maybe Hines Wa…no wait…I do not want any player to get seriously injured. It is just fun.
    If Florio posting this stuff brings everyone out, it just means there are fans that want to express our loyalty to our team and dislike for an opposing team. Some of the posts (whether for or against the Ravens) are hilarious!
    I tell my wife that Florio should host a party (yes Florio pay for everything) in which we could all get together and party on Florio’s dime….after all we support him!
    Remember no matter how heated it seems to get, I am always on the other end of a keyboard with a smile on my face..keep the posts coming Florio!

  42. I think all the Fixburgh Steeler fans should stop trying to justify it and just sit back and enjoy their Lombardi trophy in the same spirit as the Patriot fans with their own tainted Superbowl wins.

  43. The Steelers may have been deflated by the Holmes penalty?
    Enough to bend over like the Cardinals’ defense just had, Florio?
    The number one… defense in the lea…
    That’s a reach.

  44. “Mike do you have a license ? Because you are fishing my friend . But there isnt any bait , just bullshit” -steeltown pride
    My cousin Dirty Pierre once caught a catfish using bullshit as bait. Ergo, technically, there was bait.
    I didn’t read all of the comments on this topic, but of those I had, I didn’t see any regarding Holmes’ apparent disregard for the possibility of his actions costing his team a championship. I personally wouldn’t care much for going down in history as the asswipe who gave away a Superbowl, but then I’m not a wide receiver. To many of them any publicity is good publicity. Right, Terrell?

  45. In the Superbowl this year, there were a dozen, maybe two dozen OMG, jaw dropping individual efforts and plays made by players on both teams. Watch Harrison’s TD run: http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId=09000d5d80e97cd9 Most of the players on the field made all-out efforts on that one play. Each of the Card’s TD’s were extraordinary plays. The Holmes catch, just wow.
    In the face of those efforts, to be focused on the work of the officials is truly pitiful.
    So talk about the lack of a particular call or how the game might have changed if the officials had seen it differently if you must. Just know there is one fan who feel sorry for you and your inability to stay focused on the beauty of that game and the efforts of both teams.

  46. 31 yard line – 31 yards from paydirt. 2 hands planted in or on HIGHTOWER’s back. Open field, no reason to miss this blantant clip. I admit, Gandy held almost every play. CALL IT – that is the job of the ref. Make the call, do your job. The video clearly shows a clip or block in the back – never, never has the NFL addressed this call or non-call
    it is more than obvious the NFL has given the Steelers the last 2 SB wins. Those wins came in years that were less than steller for the NFL.
    Flat league, Flat team, STEALERS win (boring)
    Who did the Steelers beat for wins 5 & 6? Cards and the Seahawks!! Wow, two ‘farts-in-a-box teams’ one hit wonders, boring!!

  47. One call does not change a game. Watch the whole game again. There were non calls which helped both teams. There were also calls for both teams that were questionable. It is sad that the haters only have the “Lebron” non call to complain about. Let it go! Warners fumble was a fumble also. And it was looked at in the booth. I don’t hear you saying anything about Warners helmet. (more that once) The holding of Harrison on EVERY play. The personal foul call on Ike Taylor when he and Fitz went out of bounds in the Cards bench and 4 or 5 Cards took a swing at him and he got called. Fitz running 30 yards out of bounds on the Harrison INT to make the tackle. The ref that had the balls to call holding on the Steelers in the end zone when the o lineman fell on the d linemen that happens 20 times a game. That gave the Cards 2 points and the Ball. The list goes on and on. The refs it is always the refs! Watch the game again with an open mind and pay attention to what calls were made or not made on both teams. You might be suprised! All we need now is someone to post something about Harrison and HGH and everthing will be normal. To all you Ratbird fan who keep crying about Harrison and HGH I Guess the Lewis “Roid Rage Chicken Dance” before every home game is normal? Great player but he makes himself look like and a$$! This is a worn out subject about the Lebron thing just like the Lewis stabbing thing. Let it rest!!!!!!!!!!!

  48. Forgot to add, yes he should be fined under the leauge rules. Should he have been called for it yes but as it has been VERY CLEARLY STATED the refs missed it. Let it go!

  49. mborz, that is the best comment i’ve ever read on here. if you notice, on just about every post you mentioned, you’ll see there’s no comment from me. i’m not about to allow myself to be manipulated into some sort of verbal sado masochist bull sh!t for the pleasure of florio. he’s one of the people who have helped divide the country in half and teach people how to devalue other’s opinions and attack anyone whom they disagree with. but what do you expect from a lawyer? look at politics. you can’t even have a civil debate anymore. it’s really sad. and it’s just as sad to come on here and see people like baltimoresport and vox and several others, go to the trouble of logging on and typing a comment just to let you know you’re and inbred, or your city stinks (pissburgh, shitsburgh, oh the hilarity!), or your mom has no teeth, or james harrison beats women, or big ben is a drama queen, or anything else they can say to try and make themselves feel bigger by belittling others. others who are complete strangers and anonymous through a computer screen. it’s all worthless. what the hell happened to a little respect? what the hell happened to good winners and good losers? i’ll tell you what happened. florio, and others of his ilk, created an environment for those things to be exstinguished, before anyone could notice. the things typed out on this board are the things we teach our kids, until we are as uncivilized to one another and don’t even realize it. i still hope it’s not to late to treat each other with a little respect. i, for one, will no longer post any negative comment about others personally. i would also ask any steeler fans to have a bit more class than to give in to these petty made-up arguments. and to all the people who just get on here and spew hate, i say this. why not try to do something constructive with your time? if james harrison beating up a woman really bothers you, go volunteer at a battered womens shelter. instead of throwing shots at another city, why not go sign up for a community improvement project to make YOUR city the best IT can be. and instead of ripping someone else’s team, throw you entire energy into supporting your team and make your fanbase the best in the world. i’m sure you team would appreciate it. bottom line, we need more postive, less cruelty and blind hate.
    now go ahead and delete this like you did robert smith’s comments, florio.

  50. South-fl-steel,
    Nicely said!! I think all that is written in here is just in fun. I have only noticed one person that I would question. All others I think are having fun.
    Like I said I think it would be cool to get everyone together and let Florio host us/pay for everything. I know there are a lot of good people on this site. There are always those who cannot control themselves but for the most part it is all in fun. If someone takes things personal this is definitley not the site for them.
    We all hate to lose and love to see our teams win. It pissed me off that we come off a 5-11 season and go 11-5 with a great rookie QB and then the Steelers win the Superbowl! But that is apart of it. If one team sucked all of the time and never won, what fun would that be?
    The AFC North may not be the best division in football (pretty close) but it defitnitely has THE BEST rivalry in the game with the Ravens and Steelers!!! There is no game each year that is a FOOTBALL game in the truest sense than these 2 games each year!! Fan or not of either of these teams, you have to love it!!!
    Man I miss football already….I cant wait for the Draft and then camp!!

  51. In the interest of fairness, let me also say that Larry Fitzgerald is supposedly allowed to go back into the field of play and make that tackle on the INT. I read on a couple of sites that it applies to people making a play on the ball or something. I thought I knew the rule, it is obvious a lot of people including I do not knwo the rule properly.
    But to desertscrub, there would have been offsetting penalties in the worst case and this is what I do not know for sure. I am fine with the refs not calling a block in the back because of the reason I gave earlier. But let’s say they did. There were 7 or 8 seconds left. There would have been offsetting penalties as they already called a penalty on AZ on the return. Obviously the INT still stands. But where do they place the ball? They can’t replay the down as they would on a normal offensive snap with offsetting penalties. They are not going to tack on 10 yards at the 31 because there is the issue of a penalty on AZ too. Would they bring the clock back to 7 seconds and allow the Steelers to kick a FG?
    I do not know and I doubt most readers here know all the rules that come into play.
    So here;s a question for the real experts who visit the site. If there were offsetting penalties on the return, what happens? Do they stop the clock at the instant the second penalty happened? Where do they place the ball? What if there were two AZ penalties and one Steelers penalty on the return?
    And to my Steelers fans, no need to exaggerate that Harrison was held on every play. It wasn’t close. Gandy deservedly got 3 penalties and theere could ahve been more. But I do think the RT got away with some holding on Woodley. But I really do not care enough to analyze closely. The better team won. Period. At least AZ put up a better fight than the Seahawks who wilted once the breaks didn’t go their way on two or three drives and lost by ELEVEN points despite being a 13-3 team. Holmgren let his team wallow in the victim complex and pretty much gave up on their final drive with some horrible clock management while Whisenhunt had his team fighting until the end.

  52. praveen says:
    February 14th, 2009 at 6:13 am
    Regarding DesertScrub’s and Azzman’s comments.
    First my fellow Steeler fan Azzman:
    I don’t think Timmons was held by #74. It seemd they were just jockeying for the lane to get near the ball carrier.
    Same with the Farrior and Townsend instances you point out. Just usual jockeying.
    However, I agree with the Ike Taylor tackle by #82.
    You can argue the Townsend and Timmons ones since they were more subtle, although you clearly see Fitzgerald grab hold of Townsend’s horse caller.
    The Farrior one was terrible. He was definitely dragged down from behind. Here’s another angle. At the 0:05 mark on the far left of the screen, you see Boldin start to yank at his jersey before the camera cuts away and Farrior goes down. Farrior got in front of Boldin and made a nice block; then Boldin just grabbed him and threw him down.

  53. I think the NFL’s rule against celebration sucks!!! It should be allowed to a degree. If it were not for the rule, there was really nothing wrong with what Sandubio did with the LeBron imitation. It was not taunting or overdone. When an opposing player scores a TD and then goes to the back of the endzone and taunts the crowd, why is that not a penalty (although I would not agree with it). Isnt the player trying to incite a riot?? I know that is a stupid notion but where do you draw the line?
    The NFL does need to lighten up. Let the players have a little fun.

  54. This just goes to show that the leagues efforts to make this a “pansy league” are being endorsed by the fans and the media. If you really think Holmes throwing the ball in the air after SCORING A TOUCHDOWN should have been made a factor in the outcome of the game then you are beyond reasoning with as a football fan.
    Yeah it sucks losing in the superbowl, us Steeler fans know, but at some point you need to look at the players who failed to produce during key moments of the game. Moping around because Holmes celebrated the biggest catch of his life well after the play is not going to change the outcome of the game, or take away the importance of the game. It was a hell of a game, but the team who deserved to win based on their performance through 4 quarters eventually did.
    The way this game has been covered by the media for the past couple of years has been a joke. Rather than breaking down the game by plays they cover up any contraversy or borderline pro-wrestling storyline they can find. I know it’s hard not to watch ESPN or go online, but I’m suprised at the amount of people who actually take them seriously.

  55. Azzman, you are correct on the horsecaller. I looked up my HD recording of the game. Fitzgerald definitely grabs a hold of it even if it was faint. I wouldnt call it a penalty, but I can imagine the gripes of Steelers haters if the situation was reversed.
    But I still can’t see the infraction with the Farrior one. Wouldn’t AZ be effective on defense on the return? Wouldn’t that allow them to do that?
    Just curious what the rule would be \.

  56. I’m still wondering why James Harrison wasn’t kicked out of the game. Just an assumption, but I’m guessing they wouldn’t have gotten the same kind of pass rush without him in there on that last “fumble”.

  57. The Steelers are the better team, but the Cards hung in there and this game could have easily went the other way, not only because of the officiating but also by cutting down on some dumb mistakes. I don’t know if I buy into the fact that the NFL swayed this game toward the Steelers…BUT one thing to think about is how much revenue the Steelers generate for the NFL and TV networks after their 6th SB (merchandise, ticket sales, nationally televised games, etc) vs. the Cardinals. From a financial standpoint it makes perfect sense. I’m just sayin…

  58. So did Warner get fined for removing his helmet on the field screaming “LOOK AT ME REFS! I DON’T HAVE A HELMET ON. ARE YOU GOING TO THROW A FLAG?! LOOK AT ME! TUCK RULE?!”

  59. Hey moron, the league doesn’t talk about the foul because there isn’t anything to talk about. The officials didn’t throw a flag because THEY DIDN’T SEE Holmes use the ball as a prop. And it’s a good thing they didn’t see it, too. The Steelers shouldn’t have lost the Superbowl because one of their players celebrated a little bit because he made one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history. Do you write for the Cardinals?

  60. I’ll go one step further, if a flag was thrown after the
    touchdown AND it was ruled NOT a fumble by Kurt Warner AND
    James Farrior had been called for his Unsportsman like
    Conduct for removing his helmet, then the Cardinals would
    have had the ball at the 15 or so. Talk about fun!! Well,
    we’ll never know.

  61. A player may remove his helmet during a timeout.
    That’s why Kurt Warner was not penalized.

  62. The Steelers won. The season is over! If we’re going to discuss what-if officiating scenarios the discussion will be endless. It’s like discussing religion and/or politics.
    “If I was a little bit blinder and a little bit dumber, I could be a NFL official.”
    Bum Phillips

  63. THIS IS MY CHALLENGE TO STEELERS HATERS. Keep your mouth shut forever if you cannot contradict me with logic. Actually I am still waiting for answers for most of my challenges issued earlier in this thread.
    So, the Steelers haters like to say a block in the back was not called during the Harrison INT while ignoring the fact that it would be an offsetting penalty at worst and until now, none of us can even tell what happens if such a scenario occurs, besides I pointed out the first block by Woodley was initialy to the side. Then we have the whole thing about the non penalty on the Holmes celebration. I explained why it was not a critical deal and got no answer on that.
    Well, here is some fresh points to ponder. The Cardinals were not called for two blocks in the back on the return after Jeff Reed kicked off on that final drive. When Ed Bouchette reported it for today’s PostGazette online, I went back to my HD DVR and checked it carefully on my 60inch TV(not some freaking youtube clip or a selective AZ paper photo frame). There were two blocks in the back on the final AZ kick return that were worse than the alleged Woodley block inthe back on the Harrison return. The first one is by AZ#47 on Steelers#55. The second one is by AZ#93 on Steelers #54 where 47 initially blocks 54 a little bit on the side, then after a couple of steps seems to push him from teh back. So can we once and for all can all the freaking talk about the Holmes celebration even if it should have been an old issue before I brought this up? The Steelers got a ticky tacky safety, a legit holding call on their very nexdt offensive snap, uncalled blocks in two instances on the same return on the AZ final drive and we are to assume the refs are in the Steelers pocket by drudging up ridiculously marginal non calls and lack of a LONG enough replay that has been proven correct anyway and lack of enough ref oversight on a DELAYED celebration??
    And what did I just prove? If you really want to go back and forth on this kind of marginal crap, Steelers fans will dig up a crapload of evidence to prove otherwise from this game alone, let alone other playoff years.

  64. More than a few bad calls
    The officiating in the Super Bowl was as horrid as many in a long line of bad games by them in 2008. But not all the calls went against the Arizona Cardinals:
    • The holding call on center Justin Hartwig in the end zone for a safety was a joke. Hartwig was engaged with his right hand on a Cardinals defender to his right when he was run over. Hartwig did not pull the defender down.
    • Perhaps Kurt Warner’s fumble on his last play was legitimate, perhaps they did do a quick review up in the booth, but on such a play in the Super Bowl, could they not have taken two minutes to look at it more closely? They took longer than that to overturn a meaningless touchdown by Troy Polamalu on the last play of a regular-season game against San Diego (only to get it wrong).
    • Yes, Santonio Holmes should have gotten flagged for whatever it was he did after catching the winning touchdown. Yes, the Steelers should have had to kick off from their 15, and, yes, it might have helped the Cardinals get 15 yards closer. But Warner fumbled on the Steelers’ 44, not the 15, and he needed a touchdown, not a field goal. It’s a stretch to assume Arizona would have scored a touchdown merely because the Cardinals would have been 15 yards closer.
    • If you’re going to count the non-call on Holmes’ excessive celebration, you have to count the non-calls on the two blocks in the back by the Cardinals on the subsequent kickoff.
    • Referee Terry McAulay overturned a Warner fumble on the first series of the second half, ruling it was an incomplete pass on a challenge by Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt. OK, but someone other than Whisenhunt should have thrown a flag on the play as it happened because if that was a forward pass, Warner, still in the pocket, was trying to shot-put it to one of his offensive linemen, which is illegal.

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