Last word on the Steelers-Dolphins fumble

I’ve learned over the 18 hours or so since doing the Sunday Night Football postgame thing with Bob Costas that Steelers fans do not appreciate even a hint of a suggestion that the rules as currently constituted produced a potentially unfair outcome in their favorite team’s favor against the Dolphins on Sunday.

So allow me to clarify, without in turn pissing off the Dolphins fans who are taking solace in the notion that their team got jobbed.

The officials on the field got the call wrong.  There’s no debate about that.  A touchdown should not have been signaled, and a scrum should have determined possession of the ball.  (As Bob pointed out last night, if it had been ruled a fumble in real time, it would have been a touchback for the Dolphins or a touchdown for the Steelers.)

That said, the replay system worked as currently designed.  Referee Gene Steratore correctly determined that indisputable visual evidence proved that the ball had been fumbled.  And he correctly determined that indisputable visual evidence could not determine whether the Dolphins had recovered the ball in the end zone.

Whether the Dolphins came out of the pile with the ball doesn’t matter.  Under the current rules, the Dolphins would have gained possession only if it was clear that a Dolphins player had recovered the ball in the end zone.

This doesn’t change the fact that the rule should change, as explained last night and in the Week Seven Monday 10-pack.  And our view that the rule should change doesn’t mean we think the Steelers should have lost on Sunday.  If the rules were different, Steelers players may have fought a lot harder to emerge from the pile with the ball.


Finally, the fact that Steratore lives only 30 miles from Pittsburgh doesn’t matter.  He correctly applied a rule that needs to be revised. 

But if believing that Steratore’s decision was the product of a rooting interest and not the correct application of the rules makes Dolphins fans feel better, that’s fine with us.

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108 responses to “Last word on the Steelers-Dolphins fumble

  1. why doesnt the league take measures to avoid refs officiating games in which their “home town” team plays?

  2. Yeah so you think the Steelers players were thinking of the rules when they were fighting for the ball at the bottom of the pile? I don’t think they had to to sit and think about the rules when they were fighting for the ball.

  3. Superbowl 40 ring any bells? Like we told the Seahawk Fans…… You got jobbed and you lost get over it. This league will always error on the side of the Rooneys so deal with it

  4. When the official blows call on field like that and says touchdown no rule change is going to matter. It was a bang bang play and sadly Dolphins really got screwed.

  5. Terrible call Florio. There’s NEVER indisputable evidence in a fumble “dog-pile.” The only indication of posession is the player who emerges with posession. And the Dolphins linebacker, Ike Alama-francis, clearly emerged with the ball. Even during the scrum, there were two officials leaning into the dog-pile to determine possession. Check out the video and/or still-photos, which are readily available. The Dolphins played physical football and deserved to win.
    Secondly, there is a major problem with all the so-called experts on various news outlets suggesting Ben Roethlisberger played a great game. He had 3 fumbles!!!!
    Miami got jobbed.

  6. On the replay, I saw a Dolphins defender come out of the pile with the rock. Seems pretty clear to me who recovered, but whatever.

  7. No conspiracy theory but I do remember those calls vs seahawks in sb. Miami hurt aaron smith for the year. That’s gonna hurt steelers in the race for wildcard. Cause ravens are gonna win that division. They more physical, already beat steelers once this year, and just got ed reed back. Ravens would never let the dolphins outrush them like the steelers did.

  8. Florio, you failed to leave out the photos of the 2 Dolphin players on top of the ball.Its a touchdown or touchback. Were in the rules does it say the ball goes to the 1 yardline?Florio,stop being such a Jobber for the Steelers. It was a bad call…
    If the league is going to fine or suspend players, why not refs? The game should be replayed with the Dolphins ball at the 20 with 2 mins… Just like the pinetar game….

  9. Miami had other chances to put the Steelers away.
    How many times were they in Steeler’s territory and couldn’t punch it in for 7?

  10. How come no-one…….. and I mean NOBODY in the media, not once talked about how the Bills got screwed when Reggie Corner intercepted Flaccid IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ENDZONE while Bolding hooked his right arm behind him (and was not flagged for it), caught it with his LEFT ARM, fell on Boldin, and then bounced 3 yards off his big #ss out of play.
    Result: Incomplete pass. Bills got screwed.
    Please somebody tell me why? Cue the Bills haters in 1…..2…..3…..

  11. @ Rex Ryan
    Baltimore might not let Miami run against them but I’m not sure Pitt would let Fitzpatrick look like Manning either…….

  12. Ravens would never let the dolphins outrush them like the steelers did.
    But they would let Buffalo gain 500 yards against them.
    Good luck against the Steelers next time . . . with Ben at the helm. Ed Reed will get lost in Mike Wallace’s exhaust fumes.

  13. 5 different players could have the ball at the bottom. To me It’s who comes out of the pile with it. It was a BS call.

  14. I hate all the stupid stupid (oh did I mention how stupid) all the Steeler hater are. Idiotic, moronic douche bags!
    All they keep on saying is how the Miami guy came out of the pile with the ball.
    Douche bags!!!!
    The refs were telling the players to stop going for the ball you cretins! They were telling the players it’s a TD, it’s a TD, stop going for the ball. There a ficking reason why the Miami player came out with the ficking ball you stupid stupid moron. God, no wonder your teams suck so much. Its because they got idiots and imbeciles like you idiots as your fans.

  15. When a team only scores 6 points off two fumbles in the first 2 minutes of the game, they only have themselves to blame for the loss. Bury a team and it will never come down to a last second call.

  16. Yeah, a BIG “thanks” for the clarification. Only comes one day, and 2000 idiotic, uninformed comments later. At least you did what you typically do, drive traffic to this site. ‘preciate it though.

  17. One BIG problem with your idea Mike, is that the whistle blows. When a runner is incorrectly judged to be down the whistle blows the play dead. In this age of “protect” the players (and build new stadiums) do really think they’re gonna just let them keep playing after an official believes the player is down? Or will the refs be expected to anticipate any and all potential fumbling scenarios? So if this is your last word, which I doubt, then it’s a little weak my man.

  18. btw, Nate is Gay for Brady…..there are no Bills haters, they are a terrible team in a city where like sand through the hourglass, so is the Bills days in Buffalo…..seriously, nobody hates Buffalo, its like hating the taste of water

  19. The point is a referee who lives in the Pittsburgh suburbs, and has the Pittsburgh city skyline in the background of his website, should NOT be assigned a game involving the Steelers.

  20. The Dolphins got the ball back with 2:28 remaining in the game and couldn’t score. Maybe their fans and Florio should focus on the Dolphins inability to score TD’s in the redzone. The Steelers gave them two freebies in the 1st quarter and they couldn’t capitalize. But let me guess: the refs forced the Dolphins to kick 2 field goals…not the Steelers’ defense.

  21. Why can’t the refs signal TD and look to sort out the pile to see who recovered the fumble?
    The refs were lazy and once the assumed Roethlisberger scored deemed the fumble irrevelant.
    Then the embarassed themselves when the TD was reviewed and they had to admit they didn’t bother to find out who recovered, which nullifed not only a game-changing play, but a season-defining play by the Dolphins D.

  22. “Finally, the fact that Steratore lives only 30 miles from Pittsburgh doesn’t matter. He correctly applied a rule that needs to be revised.”
    Listening to sports shows today, a guy called in that knows him and reffed with him when he was a high school ref in the WPIAL, and he said that Steratore’s favorite team is the KC Chiefs…just sayin.

  23. Mr Florio
    Why don’t you do the job that made you famous and get into the NFL for allowing not 1, but 2 Pittsburgh natives to officiate a game involving their hometown team?
    The guy who signalled TD, when the ball is clearly tumbling forward? Meet HL number 91 Jerry Bergman, from Pittsburgh.
    And Umpire Number 40, Butch Hannah, is staring at the play and clearly sees the ball come loose. Why didn’t they huddle up and take their time making a crucial call?
    No, the linesman from Pittsburgh whispers in the ref from Pittsburgh’s ear, and he can’t wait to put his arms up.
    Watch it, it is so obviously a carve job.
    Parity in the NFL? Not true apparently.

  24. once the nfl starts to fine or suspend the officials for game changeing calls they may get it rite. i mean i see more blown calls every week then i do illegal plays. sunday was a great example

  25. Haven’t heard anything about this. According to several players, the back judge referee who had the best angle was calling “white ball”(referring to the Fins since they were wearing white jerseys). He clearly must have seen Alama-Francis(who emerged from the pile with the ball) recover the fumble. So, if he determined Miami recovered the ball and replay showed a clear fumble then why didn’t his call trump the so call “inconclusive evidence” on the recovery. He had the best angle as to who recovered and was in the pile, something replay couldn’t see.
    P.S 2 more things irked me
    1) how the f**k is Roethlisberger gonna sit there and say he had the football! does he honestly think his hand reaching out was going to pry it from from a 290 lb DE who had it in a full nelson.
    2) why did the side judge immediately call touchdown. i’ll give him a break that from his view he couldnt tell the ball was out but once he saw it out he shouldn’t have blown the whistle

  26. Another rule that needs tweaked.
    It doesn’t matter though, neither the Dolphins or the Steelers are going to the Super Bowl this year anyway.Regardless, the officiating this season has been absolutely HORRIBLE.
    These guys make very nice money so you would think they would have a little bit of intelligence. I could ref the game better than some of those clowns. But as ridiculous as some of the calls I have seen the Ref’s make this year, they pale in comparison to the BONEHEADED plays I saw the two Chargers make yesterday. If i were the head coach, both players would be gone PRONTO!

  27. Rooneys win all the time. Get over it.
    Rooneys run the nfl and godell. Mr Almighty. Raper Ben is such a lier. He dose not know the difference between a lie and the truth. The best part of the game is when he is 10 yards past the line of scrimage and he still is trying to throw a pass. He has nothing between his ears

  28. What almost everyone is forgetting is the fact the Dolphins had 2 minutes plus to move the ball the down field,And they did not do it.. Oh but I guess that’s the refs fault also right?.
    Give me a break..All the whiners who complain about this shit is unreal.. Steelers have been on the other end of shitty calls,But I don’t think I hear “Oh such and such is in the refs pockets.. Total bull shit..
    Miami can scream all they want.. They had 2 shots in the 1st quarter to get 14..came away with 6.. Then had a chance to get the win..And blew it… And Florio.. this WON’T be the last word..You have such a hard on for the Steelers for some reason this will last all week

  29. I believe there is one thing to clarify that nobody is talking about. I believe the rules states that only Rothlesburger can recover the football for it to be a touchdown with the amount of time remaining on the clock. A ball can’t be advanced into the endzone unless the player fumbling the ball recovers it, at a certain point in the game like the end. This is not the case throughout the game, only in the final minutes..Again, I could be wrong so some clarification would be welcomed.

  30. I’ll preface this with saying that I’m a Dolphins fan….with that being said…
    I don’t like the call one bit. under normal circumstances where you have what appears to be a fumble…you can signal TD, first down, what looks like a completed pass…fumbled away, whatever….but you ALWAYS, as a ref, should determine who recovered the ball. There, the refs blew it big time. The replay, fine.
    But, you can’t blame the refs. we had the opporitunity, with time on the clock, to drive the ball down the field….and we failed at that. We had the opporitunity to drive the ball deep and stop them, but the special teams failed us and allowed them to get into decent field position to begin with.
    So, does it suck? Hell yeah. But you can’t blame the officials for this. We just stunk it up.

  31. You have to love how many fans hate the Steelers when you read all the comments in any and all stories about the team. Funny how not much is said about all the wrong calls in the Sunday night game as well as other games during the game. To bring up where a ref lives–that could bite you in the butt when you have no idea wher any of the officials live. The rationale of that is out the window.The league has so many rules that are some what questionable and can be taken to whtever each fan may see. just because I guy holds up a ball means nothing.

  32. Since Gene Steratore was also the official in the Calvin Johnson (non) game-winning catch game Week 1, he has single-handedly decided more outcomes than any MVP candidate this season.

  33. @ Nate is Gay for Brady
    I agree with you. ESPN showed it once last night but not a peep since. At a minimum offensive pass interference should have been called.
    The Ray Lewis strip was bogus. Forward progress on the receiver had stopped and the play should have been whistled dead. Again cue the sound of crickets as nobody talks about two plays that clearly has the Bills winning in Baltimore.

  34. Bad calls suck, and the Steelers got a break yesterday. No question. It didn’t decide the game, but it was a break for them.
    But some of you people get so wound up about this stuff, it makes me wonder if you even enjoy watching football, and why you continue to watch if you truly believe it’s fixed.
    It would be very interesting to get many of the commenters here in a room to see what would go down. At first I thought it would be like all hell breaking loose, but it would probably be completely quiet, with everyone silently waiting to voice their over-the-top opinions online where they knew they were safe.

  35. Love the posters who believe that this was the last play of the game. The Steelers either lost four points on the call (FG instead of recovered for TD) or the Dolphins lost a touchback (which gave the Steelers three points). The Dolphins, had they recovered, still needed to run out the clock and/or stop the Steelers. Perhaps leading by two points they wouldn’t choked under the same pressure to get a first down that they did training by one. But if we accept they went three and out and would have punted instead of four and out which is actually what occurred, the Steelers still had plenty of time to gain 30 yards or so and kick the game winning field goal. Who knows what would have happened — anything is possible except, of course that Randal-El would have returned a punt for a touchdown. One shouldn’t believe that this call determined the outcome of the game. There were still plenty of plays remaining.

  36. Shula13……stop your whining!!
    If Henne played half the game that Roethlisberger played you would have won! He didn’t and that is too bad for you and the dolphins!!

  37. I agree stinkfest…I thoroughly believe the hot seat now gets ignited for this coaching staff. With the talent on offense, there is no reason for the conservative play…1) no 2 point conversion only td to tie came. worst case they are down by 2 and still need a FG to win 2) punk on 4th and inches on 50 yard line..if you can’t move the ball 6 inches, you don’t deserve to win. 3) calling final TO before Pitts FG only to 4) run on 1st and 10 with zero TO’s left. The coaching decisions have cost this team dearly…Last week, kneeling on the ball when there was a shot for hail mary to win it. Another non two point attempt against the jets 3 weeks ago. I don’t understand these decisions. Yea the call sucked, but that’s not my biggest beef by no means. The lack of aggression from this coaching staff cost us this game…

  38. So ‘Naturally the call was a touchdown on the field’
    and ‘Can’t figure out the defense recovered’
    come across to me as why try I want pitt to score.

  39. Hi, gameday lol
    Went to Mizzou, but my heart belongs to the Tide. Southern girl 😉 With both in the top 10, though, I can’t complain.
    Florio … you didn’t fix it.
    Don’t act like you’ve been unfairly set upon by mean ol’ Steelers fans. You implied conspiracy theories and improper game outcomes where there were none. We’ve been through quite enough already this year because of pot-stirrers like you. Did you think we’d throw rose petals?
    Imagine my surprise to see footage of Ben getting an arm around that ball just before the Dolphins came roaring in. You should apologize for suggesting he lied about that. Shame on you. You should also apologize for mentioning anything about Steratore’s hometown. Since he made the right call–even by your snarky estimation–what does it matter? Or do you intend to provide addresses for refs who don’t live near Pittsburgh?
    No, it’s not okay for fans to indulge idiotic conspiracy theories, especially not when you helped them get there. And you should tell the truth even if it puts the Dolphin fans’ noses out of joint. You’ve never worried about injuring our noses.

  40. Why are so many of you jealous of the BLACK AND GOLD?
    Let’s face it… The Steelers are the face of the NFL!
    When the Steelers play in prime time the ratings are higher… LOOK IT UP.
    I was at the game yesterday and you Dolphin fans sold half of your tickets to us. It’s like that in nearly every stadium.
    Everywhere we go it’s the same!
    Here’s the rule:
    THE WHISTLE BLEW at the goal line. Dead ball. The ball can’t be fumbled forward and must be placed at the spot of the fumble if the call is overturned.
    Quick whistle… who knows? ALL I KNOW IS WE WIN!
    AMERICA’S TEAM WINS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. I like all these rubes and rednecks who make such asinine statements as “well the fins that many other opportunities to win the game”….gee who the hell helped them to come to that obvious conclusion. It is about as feeble an argument that can be made for inept officiating. We all know every team has endless opportunities during the course of a game but that does not translate into a team scoring everytime it has the ball, or create a turnover everytime their defense is on the field. We also all know that there are penalties that could be called on every damn play of a game, so please save that arguement too. Those weak-ass arguements do not even begin to rationalize major game changing errors by part-time officials. Like any other fumble on the play of field, it is part of the officials responsibility to determine who recovered the fumble…being it happened in the end zone should make no difference. This particular blunder by the officials may or may not have led to a fins or victory but the ridiculous calls in the vikings/packers game provides a gross injustice. Even the NFL head of officiating, Carl Johnson, came out the first thing this morning and apologized to the Vikings and their headcoach for the bad calls, specifically the td call for the GB TE that should’ve been an incomplete pass and for overturning a legitmate TD by the Vikings TE…that is a 14 point swing which instead of 28-24 the score would be 31-21 Vikings. The NFL needs full time officials, it is the only major sport that does not have them. 40 years ago, Hank Stram, Tom Landry, Bud Grant, Don Shula all stated that it was ridiculous that the NFL did not have full time officials…and the NFL still hasn’t been able to wise up. They will spend how much time to eliminate “excessive celebrations, protecting the officials safety, ignoring concussions until being forced to address it (by Congress) the past two years, disallowing “tweeting” prior or during games, etc. etc. but spend no money or invest no time in making sure the officials make the right calls on the field.

  42. You guys are missing the point entirely. ANY scrum at all involving members of both teams prevents clear evidence of recovery. When the refs were telling the players to stand down, “possession” of the ball became a moot point. Coming out of a non-live scrum is meaningless. When they say there had to be clear evidence of recovery, they mean the ball basically had to bounce right to an open Dolphin defender who cleanly fielded it. No scrum. The fact that Ben got his hand on the ball in the video means there was no clear evidence of recovery. Ironically, the two Dolphins appeared to fight each other for the ball and that allowed time for the scrum to happen.
    Also, I get tired of fans griping about the last two inches when they just watched their team escort the opponent 79.9 yards down the field. If you let the human eyes of a referee win or lose the game for you, then it’s on you, not the refs, and certainly not on the other team.

  43. Where’s the rule that says when there’s a fumble on the play, you let the players finish and then use replay to figure out if it’s a fumble or not (or in this case, a TD)?
    This isn’t the only time this has happened. Many times before a player will fumble a ball and be called down by contact. When the call is challenged, the ref agrees it’s a fumble but because there’s no clear evidence of who recovered, the offense retains possession of the ball.
    One of many BS rules the NFL has.

  44. many of you are probably just steeler haters so i don’t assume you were watching your team which isn’t as good as the steelers because the other 1 loss teams jets had a bye and pats were on at 4 … but all this nonsense about how the refs are from pittsburgh is SO STUPID … nobody talks about the touchdown the dolphins scored troy blitzed up the middle and was tackled which is why henne had time to throw a td and on several occasions harrison was tackled coming around the end and finally hines ward is bumped 15 yards down the field if he was not touched thats ANOTHER touchdown but guess what no call and oh man the steelers didn’t sit aroud and bitch and moan they kept playing football and produced MORE points … awful officiating … ALSO say the refs over turn the call dolphins get the ball on the 20, they didn’t gain 10 yards on 4 plays what makes you believe they would get it on 3 to get a first down to seal the game?.. steelers had 4 times outs 3 + the 2 minute warning, so all your arguments suck.

  45. And people say Florio never gets it right. He did here (except for one little part).
    I do NOT take issue with the common feeling that the Dolphins got robbed yesterday. They did. There’s no doubt about that. I was actually rooting for them to rule it a touchback and for Miami to get the ball at the 20 with a 1 point lead, the Steelers having 3 timeouts and the 2-minute warning to get the ball back and a field goal. Why? Because I DO take issue with the asinine belief that the refs purposely changed the outcome of this game to help the Steelers win and I wanted them to EARN the win.
    The rule is a very flawed and stupid rule, but it’s the RULE. And the refs went by the books on it. I don’t care who came out of the pile with the ball. I have seen on numerous occasions a person from one team come out of the pile with the ball in their hands and the refs award possession to the other. It happens when the players give up on the scrum because they’re told the outcome has been decided. And guess what? The players in the scrum yesterday were told the outcome had been decided. I’d say there’s about an 80% chance that the Dolphins would have been awarded possession, had the whistle never blown, but it was, and we’ll never know what might have been.
    The Dolphins had plenty of chances to build a lead bigger than 1 point yesterday, but they didn’t do it. They had a chance to stop Manny Sanders on the KO return, but they didn’t do it. They had a chance to stop the gamewinning drive, but they didn’t do it. They had the ball with over 2 minutes and a kicker who was on point all day and made the Pro Bowl last year. Getting into field goal range was very realistic for them. They didn’t do it.
    This win tastes almost as bad as a loss, but whatever. I’ll take it. Just like I’ve taken close Steelers losses throughout the years when the refs made bad calls, Jeff Reed missed easy field goals, Big Ben made an impact by either playing a terrible game or not playing in it at all and important players were lost to injury. The Steelers probably should have lost the game, but they didn’t. That loss made an impact on the Dolphins’ season just like Aaron Smith’s loss made an impact on the Steelers’ season. S**t happens. It’s a part of football. Get over it. Hopefully the rule is changed. Great teams aren’t always great, they’re only great when they have to be. If the Dolphins are great, they will overcome this. If the Steelers are great, they will overcome the Aaron Smith injury.
    Let’s move on and let’s leave it alone. Nobody can change what happened. For once, I would love to see football fans (Steelers fans definitely included) take accountability for shortcomings and not blame them on single plays or a single player.
    Bunch of whiny hypocrites. And yeah, I’m still looking at Steelers fans on this.

  46. With you Mr. Florio, there is no last word. Because the Steelers won the game after a correct call, oh it’s time to change the rules!! The league has to allow someone else win! It was a team win. How many times were the Dolphins in the Steelers redzone only to come away with a field goal?

  47. @Finsfan says:
    October 25, 2010 7:45 PM
    I believe there is one thing to clarify that nobody is talking about. I believe the rules states that only Rothlesburger can recover the football for it to be a touchdown with the amount of time remaining on the clock. A ball can’t be advanced into the endzone unless the player fumbling the ball recovers it, at a certain point in the game like the end. This is not the case throughout the game, only in the final minutes..Again, I could be wrong so some clarification would be welcomed.
    Nobody said it was a Touchdown finfan, they put the ball on the 1 yard line.
    But yes, Dolphins got screwed.

  48. Let me get this straight… you played 60 minutes of football,you blow 2 fumbles recovery by kicking FG and you had 2 minutes and 30 sec + the 2 min warning stop to score 3 points and win the game and you blame the referees ? Oh and by the way …Steelers got 5 penalties for 34 yards,Dolphins got 3 for 24 so please stop with the referees advantage.
    Fins fans are pathetic….but again like Vince Lombardi once said
    winners blame therselves in losses,losers blames everything but themselves

  49. Thats funny, this post reads nearly identical to the post I put on the Roethlisberger thread earlier…. Maybe there was a little posters remorse after reading mine and all of the other posts calling your “report” irresponsible.
    FYI yes, Steratore was born and raised, in my hometown, Washington, which is only about 1-hour south of Heinz Field. That makes no bearing on anything, are these guys going to risk, upwards of, $120,000 per year for their team to win a game… I think not.

  50. Steelers fans are some of the most arrogant in all “fandom” second only to Yankees fans, and you all have this false sense of entitlement. You have a storied franchise no doubt but year in and year out nothing is given to you, unless you count that gift of a call against the Dolphins. Then Big Ben says he broke the plane with the football and had possession of it in the endzone and only surrendered it once the official asked him for the football.. Maybe Ben has been away from football for too long because in the replays i saw a DOLPHINS defender came out of the pile with POSSESSION of the football. Go figure right? Then the officials take the play to the letter of the rule and Christmas comes a bit early for Steelers nation.
    Another call that i hear a lot of complaints about was the “forward progress” call where Ray Lewis stripped the ball for a turnover in OT. If anyone looks closely enough TWO BILLS OFFENSIVE LINEMEN pick up their player in an effort to push him forward which is legal in the field of play and while that was happening Ray Lewis got a paw in there and made magic happen plain and simple. Great players make heads up plays.

  51. Mediation
    Steeler fans shut up. If positions were reversed you’d be complaining even worse. Dolphin fans aren’t that bad because they are used to getting hosed by the refs.
    Dolphin fans shut up. You had a chance after this play and couldn’t even get a 1st down. If you want to play the blame game, look to your HC and OC. They think they’re living in 1972 with that play not to lose BS. You’d think they’d have learned their lesson in the Colts game last year, trading FGs against TDs doesn’t win games.
    Mike, what’s with the corporate line since you joined NBC? And quite the acid tongue lately.
    Maybe NBC just bombed your site last year so you’d join up. Let me ask you, did they approach you…. ah huh I thought so!

  52. i love it even more that the steelers won this way. just give fans of all the other bad teams in the nfl something to bitch about. no matter what happens, when the best team in any sport wins, people have to find something to complain about as to why there team sucks. GO STEELERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  53. First, when the ball was knocked loose, it should have been ruled a fumble. The officials anymore signal a touchdown because when they have been wrong in stopping plays because of the whistle, it takes away touchdowns that can’t be given back because the play stopped initially. Second, if a play involves two possibilities, don’t call anything and only blow the whistle when the play is completely over; i.e. ball not being advanced and a whistle. The players at that point could have been dispersed, as is the case of a real fumble, and determination of recovery could go to the proper team. Once the two plays are determined in this nature, the play could be reviewed, and either a TD called or ownership of the football given to the proper team. There should be a league wide policy regarding the breakdown of possible scenarios. Continue the play to completion then use replay to decide.

  54. Kiss the rings,
    I realize a TD wasn’t ultimately called, but had they reviewed the play and it was determined that a pitt player recovered it, they would’ve gotten a TD and it would be moot. I am looking for clarification because there are pitt players saying they had the ball and it would’ve been a td anyways. I am not sure this is the case. I remember this same issue back in the Sammie Smith era because of numerous goal line fumbles, one being at the end of the game. Fins never should’ve been in the position anyways, I’m just curious if my understanding of this rule is correct or at what time in the game a player can’t fumble into endzone with only that player able to recover it. In addition, where should the ball be placed if that had occurred…

  55. What do you have to say now Steeler Haters. Thought So! Now carry on.
    Sorry Fins you have no other excuses to come up with. You lost fair and square. Maybe you’ll catch some breaks with the Jets and Patty Cakes.

  56. Stay classy Pittsburgh…talk about an oxmoron…
    Let’s see: your team benefits from a blown call and you can’t stand the fact that people who object to the blown call don’t blindly support the Steelers?
    And the rapist really didn’t rape anyone; and James Harrison really isn’t a headhunter; and Ben said he had the ball at the bottom of the scrum…
    Que the banjo music from the movie Deliverance: Big Rapist Ben says to the silverback Harrison: “James: that’s a purdee little mouth ya got on ya Jimmy Boy; I think little Ben would like a piece of it.” The rapist/Ben unzips and has James kneel which James is so willing to do and follow his great QB; the leader of the classy Steeeler nation…the camera pans away and one hears the distinctive sound of a pig slurping and squealing (which is indisitinguishable from the sounds that emanate from a female Pittsburgher in the throws of passion).
    Stay classy Pittsburgh!!!

  57. ETL says: October 25, 2010 7:20 PM
    “Its because they got idiots and imbeciles like you idiots as your fans.”
    Really dude? As a Dolphins fans I have proudly earned two Master’s Degrees and you’ve just made Florio look bad via association.
    Viva la Rosenthal!!!!

  58. One thing I noticed about the ‘Phins fans is they are fair weather friends and sunshine patriots… when it started to rain, they ran indoors.
    The Steelers fans stayed out in the rain.
    Also, Miami really needs a dome.
    Now I see why they won’t play any more Super Bowls there.
    It’s the same climate as a swamp… well, wait, that pretty much describes all of FL since it is a big drained swamp.

  59. For those of you who are crying foul on a Washington Pa official…
    If he were rotten to the core…as some of you suggest why not just claim inconclusive evidence on the fumble?
    A FG while being a gimme, still can be blocked/missed and the Dolphins had 2:26 to March down into FG range not TD range which is what they would’ve had to do if it were called a TD.
    Oh sorry to use logic on you silly conspiracy theorists…

  60. If the Dolphins came out with the ball it DOES matter. The problem is that the refs had to determine that on the field. And if they were competent they should’ve. Even if they were going to rule it a TD, it was close enough that they should’ve determined who recovered it just in case they had got the call wrong and it had gone to replay. And funny, that’s exactly what happened. But because they were so insistent on not doing their jobs (by announcing to the crowd it was a TD over the loud-speaker while they were still fighting for the ball), there was nothing to be done after they saw it on replay.

  61. the problem with this isn’t the rule, it’s the fans inability to understand the simplest of rules.
    Unless a Miami player lands on the ball and touched down very clearly on replay, the ball doesn’t go the the Dolphins. Once a scrum happens, clear possession cannot be determined by replay and the ball goes back to the offense. end of story.
    Miami fans can stop crying now

  62. Regarding those who are claiming how the calls always go in favor of the Steelers – please explain to me how the missed interference call on Ward was to the Steelers benefit?
    Thought so

  63. the refs are screwing up big time buffalo got screwed on a int by reggie corner the refs blew it in overtime on a forward progress call .miami got robbed the refs should be drug tested

  64. Ok. . .
    This is insane. Fins fans blaming a vast Pro-Rooney Conspiracy?
    Ravens fans chiming in at all? As if we don’t know your feelings on the Steelers. . .
    But Buby Brister, you called it fair, you called it right and here is one Steelers fan who will stand up and say SOMETIMES WE GET LUCKY.
    Yes, if you are an HONEST sports fan, you will HATE a win like Sunday’s. . . But you’ll take it. No matter who you cheer for a win is a win.
    So yeah, the Fins got Jobbed. It sucks. It means one less win for your team. It means a week’s worth of b##ching rights.
    Here is what it doesn’t mean:
    1. It doesn’t prove there is a vast NFL related Conspiracy.
    The NFL is the number one sports product in North America, the wealthiest region in the WORLD. They print money with their broadcasts, jersey sales, ticket prices, PSL’s, 12 dollar beers, and bobble heads. There is NO POSSIBLE WAY they would risk it all by staging an elaborate, (and according to some, decades-long) conspiracy to grant a formerly hideous football team (look up the pre-Chuck Noll record of the team, its pathetic) from a middle range market a Dynasty and a half.
    Even if your argument is only the 21st century Steelers are reaping this magical conspiracy idea, that’s absurd. The NFL has no reason to stage championships for the Steelers. Sure, their fan base is large, but the merchandising numbers consistently show DALLAS and WASHINGTON as far more profitable and popular teams. Where are their gifted Super Bowls? Even in terms of broadcast numbers, both NYC teams, the Manning-Lead Colts, and Anything with Brett Favre does better (but not by much) in the ratings.
    There is far too much on the line to risk setting up an old and admittedly politically connected franchise for a couple Super Bowls.
    2. Karma is a B#$ch.
    I think any SMART Steelers fan would agree with me when I say I’d trade a loss to the Dolphins for a healthy Aaron Smith. 3-4 D Ends like Smith are almost non-existent. He has been the best 3-4 DE in football for years. He is 50 percent of our run defense.
    Wins come at a cost. This cost a lot. Maybe it was Karma, who knows? Miami is looking solid and should still be able to challenge Baltimore and Houston for the last wild card spot. Who knows how well the Steelers will play with out one of their 2 best Defensive players?
    3. The Ref’s hometown DOES NOT MATTER
    These men are professionals. Think of the number of football officials in the country. Think how few NFL games are played every year. Imagine how HARD it is to climb that high in your professional passion. Its an incredible achievement. Do you really think this guy is going to risk EVERYTHING he’s accomplished to see his team get one measly non-division win? If you said yes, you’re angry and you’re lying. Not everyone is psychotic in their love of their team.
    4. The World is NOT GOING TO END
    Let me say it again, THE WORLD IS NOT GOING TO END. The sun will come up tomorrow. You still have to go to work, school, or wherever you type your fanatical replies from. Its one football game, so far not a HUGELY important one either.
    5. Florio likes to start a fracas to drive up page hits.
    Great “last word” Florio. You managed to leave it about as open-ended as you possibly could. Its pretty smart tactics for a guy running a small news start-up on the web.
    The problem is, you’ve crossed over from rank amateur to Pro, the minute you sold to NBC.
    Its completely unprofessional to indulge occasionally dangerously delusional fans in vast conspiracy theories in the same article you discuss where the Ref lives. I’m actually a little shocked that a lawyer would be so careless, and really really dumb. You know better then that. You owe it to your readership, the NFL, the Players, and your own moral compass to ad an update rejecting the notion of a vast Pro-Steelers conspiracy theory. This crap is best left to Fox News and the Clintons (see, I’m an equal opportunity hater)
    6. Anything can happen.
    Watching the news coverage of this game, a lot of outlets made a fair point that there was still over 2:30 left in the game and anything could have happened. To ignore the rest of the game simply to b$#ch about one INCREDIBLY BAD CALL, is foolish.
    Steelers blitzers where held or downright tackled ALL DAY. Of course the same thing happens to a lot of blitizing players on a lot of teams (hence I dont cry like a baby about it).
    The Dolphins certainly could’ve converted one of those FIVE FIELD GOALS into a TD
    The Steelers could’ve stopped the clock with 3 time outs left and kicked a field goal. No matter his checkered personal history, Ben knows how to stage a last minute drive.
    Yes, this sucks. If you’re being fair and honest, it sucks for everyone.
    But this wasn’t a personal attack on Dolphins Fans. The Ref didn’t train for years to screw you out of one win. The Rooney Family does not have naked pictures of Roger Goodell. ITS JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS. Not to make an unfair comparison, but my god, think about all the people who just DIE every day, for no good reason, beyond “Sh!t happens.” There is unfairness in LIFE. Football is a part of life.
    Please tone back the crazy. Lament, complain, call for full time refs, call for rules corrections, do things that might help make Football (and thus life) a little less unfair.
    But don’t pound your fists and curse the oppressors. This isn’t one of those times.
    And Florio, please, remember your voice matters now. Be responsible.

  65. There’s no perfect system. If the players are encouraged to go after a loose ball after the whistle has blown, they can get called for a late hit. If they’re told to stop at the whistle, then you can’t rule it a fumble on replay and award it to the other team.

  66. The people here whining about the Steelers yet again are clueless when it comes to the rules — just like they were a couple years ago with the Holmes TD catch in Baltimore. No concept of what “breaking the plane” means.
    For you blind haters, please re-read this section from above:
    “Whether the Dolphins came out of the pile with the ball doesn’t matter. Under the current rules, the Dolphins would have gained possession only if it was clear that a Dolphins player had recovered the ball in the end zone.”
    Got that? Once the whistle blew, considering a TD was originally called, NOBODY was supposed to be recovering anything. The whole idea of recovering a fumble when the ORIGINAL CALL WAS NOT A FUMBLE is ridiculous. At that point there IS no scrum, because a TD has been signalled. Why do you think Roethlisberger mentioned being tapped on the shoulder to let go, because a TD was called?
    Nobody got jobbed. The refs correctly overturned the TD call. Since NO FUMBLE COULD HAVE BEEN RECOVERED IN THE FIRST PLACE BECAUSE NO FUMBLE WAS EVER CALLED, the only POSSIBLE call was to award Pittsburgh the ball back. Too bad for Miami, but that’s the reality.
    Sorry Steelers, just like with Holmes a couple years ago, you are all wrong.
    Nobody got jobbed… except the Buffalo Bills yesterday. Why nobody is discussing this fiasco is beyond me. Funny our Ravens friend who is defending Ray’s controversial strip is avoiding the MUCH bigger joke, the Buffalo interception in the end zone that got robbed away. Boldin got away with murder, pure and simple. Let’s go back to that one, we want to talk about “jobbed.”

  67. @monet99 It wasn’t a bang bang play, the ref who called TD, couldn’t see the ball…The ref who sat there and watched the fumble…nobody talked to.

  68. Wonder if he can spell too? Really “Lier”?
    connie73 says:
    October 25, 2010 7:40 PM
    Raper Ben is such a lier

  69. Deb says: October 25, 2010 8:08 PM
    Imagine my surprise to see footage of Ben getting an arm around that ball just before the Dolphins came roaring in. You should apologize for suggesting he lied about that. Shame on you.
    Not trying to be mean but:
    I have watched the video multiple times and not once does it look like he has the ball. Legursky (Speeling?) maybe but sure as heck not Ben.
    Here is the video I am watching:

    If you have a still photo or something please post the link because I honestly do not see Ben with the ball.
    Never the less, it was blown dead too early, Steelers were fortunate and won. Luck is part of a season. I can look at every team in every season and point to times when luck helped/hurt them.
    Coaches tell the players to play a loose ball even after the whistle. Belichick does, Tomlin does, Reid does, they all do.
    I hope a civil response doesn’t shock anybody.

  70. Well well, what do we have here… the Giants just scored a TD on the same kind of play Holmes did against Baltimore a couple years ago. Now of course, it’s just matter of fact, hey obviously a TD, the ball only has to break the plane, doesn’t matter where his feet are yada yada… but OH the stink when the Steelers scored on that play, remember haters?
    Once again, geniuses — the can be NO FAIR SCRUM FOR A FUMBLE AFTER A TOUCHDOWN AND NOT A FUMBLE HAS BEEN CALLED. Got it? As soon as the ref signaled a touchdown for the Steelers, the idea of a “scrum” was negated. No fumble could be recovered because no fair judgment of recovery can be made in that situation. Got that? Good.
    Doesn’t matter if all 45 Dolphin players came up holding the ball at the same time — no valid judgment of a recovery is possible. Period. Now get over it.
    The refs got it right, once again. Only the Steeler haters decided to make a stink about it. Because after all, nobody raises a stink (literally) like a Steeler hater.

  71. @Rav3nMad …
    Maybe if your brain weren’t so clouded by team hatred, you wouldn’t have soooo misinterpreted what Roethlisberger said.
    He did not say the ball broke the plane and was a TD or any of that.
    He acknowledged the fumble and chastised himself for not holding onto the ball after the hit. He was speaking about what occurred AFTER the fumble. The end zone camera footage aired during NBC’s postgame coverage last night CLEARLY showed Ben turn around to face the end zone. As the Dolphins dived in for the ball, he reached in and scooped his arm around it. The last thing you see as everyone piles on is BEN’S arm around the ball. He is saying that he held that ball through the pileon until the official tapped him and said it was a TD. Then he let go of the ball and disengaged from the pile.
    THAT is why no clear possession could be determined after the fumble. Because once the whistle was blown, half the guys on the field didn’t even try to go for the ball. Those that did go for the ball let it go when they heard there was a TD. The mistake was blowing the whistle–which was NOT done by the official from Pittsburgh. Once the whistle blew, the ball was DEAD. That is the rule from Pee Wee through Pro–and all of you should know that.
    From that point, the REF made the correct call. The ball goes to the last team that had possession prior to the fumble: Pittsburgh, first and goal on the six-inch line.
    We know there was a fumble. We know the whistle shouldn’t have blown. We know we lucked out. But it’s not a big conspiracy, and it’s ridiculous to smear the reputation of a ref who had nothing to do with blowing the whistle. If you watch from the sideline camera, it does look like the ball broke the plane, so you can’t blame the line judge either. They’re human. It was a mistake. We’ve had plenty of calls go against us, too. Everyone needs to grow up.
    And the Ravens have plenty of arrogant fans, too.

  72. Florio once again, even when trying to be diplomatic, your ego/agenda rears it’s head. I’m not even going to comment on the so called clarification of the rule from your slanted approach, but the subliminal attempt to infer that the ref had a “rooting interest” in the Steelers since he lives so close to PGH, is pathetic. You are so smart??? I bet the “suit’s” at the NFL offices had no idea he lived so close & now congratulations Deputy Fife you solved the “Big Caper.” Hey by the way, you might be surprised, but try researching how many NFL officials live in or near the Western PA region…..More than people might think, but I’m sure you are saving that data for some other official when their number comes up with you….

  73. Bubby Brister, I would like to commend you for your thoughtful post, which is the only thoughtful post I have seen from a Steelers fan. Weren’t you taken to the same backwoods camp to be brainwashed like the rest of them? Please refrain from sounding humble and balanced in future posts or people will wonder if you are really a steelers fan after all. Instead, try making myopic statements that show an alternate sense of reality. Even better, ignore facts and reason and just prattle on about how many super bowls your favorite team has won, as if that validates your existence and makes up for your own lack of success in life.
    To the fans of both teams, it’s just a game. Both teams played hard, either could have won. The Fins got jobbed by the on-field official, and after that once again bad rules were applied correctly. It happens. No one likes to lose but it’s still just a game. Spending the whole week gnashing your teeth won’t help.
    It would be nice for steelers fans to show class but its not in their DNA. Except maybe for bubby brister.

  74. Deb; I don’t know what interview you watched maybe his statement was retracted later on in the evening after he saw the reply of the whole mess clearly but in the post game interview he maintained he had the ball in the endzone. If you don’t believe me then please review the following link.
    As for being clouded by hatred for the Steelers, obviously I’m a Ravens fan so thats going to be a given but I’m apt to approaching things level headed and civil. More often than not I’m met with the “Oh you stupid ratbird fan” which is typical of feeble-minded unintelligent football fans. I can’t speak for the rest of the Ravens fans out there but I’d be willing to bet that Steelers fans are among the most willing to resort to “name calling” and “tomfoolery” to make a point. Not to mention you’re quick to make excuses and deem the refs call “legit” because you have more calls go your way than anyone else in the league. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way either.

  75. It is also convenient for Steelers fans to pretend that the officials blunder didn’t hand them the game. I mean they only fumbled the ball 3 times, and kicked 3 FG’s themselves. For all of the “Miami” should have scored more in the redzone” yapping, yes they should, but they also nearly doubled Pitts PPG allowed, so they didn’t exactly underachieve. The initial ruling of a TD was premature and inaccurate, as he could not see the ball where he was standing, and that began the rest of the calamity. A more important question would be why does the rule (still waiting for all of you who claim to know it so well, to produce it to the letter) reward the team that fumbled the ball, and shaft the team who made a great play to cause the fumble. How is that even remotely logical or fair? When you have a rule system in place that allows officials to say yes there was a fumble, but then say we can’t figure out who came up with it, there is a problem with the system. Congrats Pittsburgh. You got the win, but you didn’t deserve it.

  76. @Rav3nMad …
    Yes, I’ve been posting on that link all day, and Mike was referring to Roethlisberger’s comments about getting his hands on the ball after the fumble and holding onto it under the pile until he was told he’d scored a TD. The interview was from the postgame press conference. Either you’ve misunderstood Mike’s comments or Ben’s, but that is what he was referring to–and the footage from the end zone confirms that he did get his arm around the ball just as the crowd piled on.
    Hon, for as long as I’ve been on PFT, I’ve seen name-calling by every fanbase, including ours–and yours. That kind of stuff is all in fun, and you shouldn’t take it so seriously. For every Steelers fan who calls a Ravens fan Ratbird, there’s a Ravens fan ranting about Sqealers or Stealers or Rapistberger. If you haven’t seen it, then you haven’t been here long. You should hang out silently on the Vikings/Packers threads sometime–those are by far the worst. I don’t get into that kind of name-calling myself–though I’m an Alabama fan and do have some good-natured fun with the “cowtown” fans from Auburn on CFT 😉
    But I’ve personally been called wh**e, b***h, c**t, and worse, which has not been fun. If you think it’s rough on you, try being a knowledgeable female fan. The Steelers are no better or worse than any other fan base. We seem arrogant because we can always fall back on having six Super Bowl titles. But having the most championships and the largest fan base also makes us–like the Cowboys and Patriots–the most hated. That’s why people whine about refs. When you win, you make enemies. You have to be able to take the bad with the good on a site like this. And there are good fans in every group. If you were here when Baltimore beat us, you would have been surprised how many of us posted our sincere congratulations.

  77. It’s funny that last week people were screaming about player safety and all the unnecessary physicality. This week they’re screaming that the refs should eat their whistles and let whatever crotch grabs and eye gouges go on underneath the pile on a play they thought was decided.
    Gimme that cake I just ate.

  78. Yep, a Miami player came out of the pile with the ball. That was after the refs told everyone it was a TD which ended the play, and many players stopped going for the ball at that point, per the rules. Some people are so blind and stupid it makes you laugh. The game is over, and the Steelers won. Case closed.
    What I also find interesting is that on PFT, if you look at post counts, it seems that the average story about the Steelers gets about 4-10 times the average posts of any story about any other team other than Farve. Florio, do you keep stats on that? It would be interesting to see the average posts by team.

  79. The call after the review was correct according to the rules. The real officiating error is in the call of a TD by a sidejudge who could not see the ball. How do you signal TD when you never see the ball cross the line? For all he knows that ball might be down around Ben’s nuts. He cannot make that call and I’m sure he will be punished for it.
    For those who say ” it doesn’t matter where the ref is from” google SD State-BYU a few weeks ago.

  80. Honest question: if the play was ruled a TD, and the challenge was to overturn the TD itself, should it not matter who had the ball after the supposed fumble that happened after the play was over?

  81. skidoo44, I may be going out on a limb here, but this is amongst the best posts I have read on PFT to date! I am not being a hater, but just a fan of the game of football. This was not a blown call…it was correctly called. Miami fans need to get over it and concentrate on the next game. Trust me, the rest of the league and it’s fans have, so please do the same!

  82. It was a blown call that started the problem. The side judge prematurely, and erroneously ruled TD when he had ZERO view of the ball.
    That is known as a blown call.

  83. RexRyan=Fattwat
    A disgusting handle might I add…
    kind of like the Ragged-Ass Bills came in to M&T Bank stadium and were beating the RatBirds up and down the field! The sorry, woeful Bills took you into overtime!
    Continue to masturbate of your 1 2000 superbowl Ratbird fans, and we will continue to polish up our six trophies!
    Steelers-6 Titles
    Ratbirds 1 Title
    Oh’ and you beat the Steelers without are 2x superbowl champion QB!
    Pittsburgh dominated that game and if they weren’t on their 3rd QB they would have kicked your ass!

  84. BenChokeshischiken
    That was a real “Classy” Post on a football forum!
    Your disgusting, sophamoric, post that all end in Stay classy Pittsburgh!
    I haven’t heard anyone make a masturbation reference such as chicken choking since midle school! and then you make another sophamoric sexual reference to two men engaging in oral sex, where the hell is your mind at! This is a Football forumn not your own perverse Penthouse fantasy!

  85. Hey Ratbird Fan,
    Steeler fans don’t make excuses, we know the game, and we don’t ned to make excuses!

  86. Connie73
    I believe that 73 might be your age! But sweetheart (I respect my elders) Raper is not a word anymore if it ever was this is not the 1940s!
    Connie73 were you in that bathroom? If you were than maybe Ben might have more explaining to do, as to why Gram was involved, but I digress! With all do respect grame you can romove the dentures so that you can suck it without the unfortunate teeth scraping! Your just upset nobody wants to sex you up in a public bathroom anymore! Envy, will get you nowhere!

  87. Thanks to head linesman Jerry Bergman, gamblers now have insight into how you can fix a game. Fix the rule

  88. Steelers lost pure and simple DO OVER. Officials could care less about the playoffs or SB as long as they have a job. Let’s put an end to that. If the officials call it wrong (Dolpins and Vikings) they would play the game over from the beginning.
    How DARE that players of ted coaches can’t rip an officials butt from here to there and back. Wussy refs. By the way, the refs are part of the field, players – knock the crap out of them!

  89. Steelers fans sure are some whinny tools. You got a lucky win that was handed to you by the refs. Same with teh Packers last week. You fans need to accept it, take it with some class and get over it. We all know it’s true. Fighting your case that it wasn’t lucky or handed to you just makes your entire fan base look bad.

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