Two years have passed. I've had a son, moved to Illinois and generally life is good. But if I glimpse one second of Super Bowl XL I have to fight the urge to throw a brick through my TV and then I have to talk myself out of being pissed for the rest of the day.
We all know that the officials did all they could to steal the game from us, but Seattle also missed opportunities to put more points on the board. That combination makes it the most painful experience I've ever had as a sports fan, and frankly one of the most unpleasant memories of my entire life.
Goddamn. Fuck. Shit. Fucking Pittsburgh Assholes. Who knows if we'll ever make it back. Fucking ruiners, fucking up our special year. Eat a cock, you fuckers.
Here's what I said back then:
“I knew it would be tough playing against the Steelers, but I didn’t know we’d also have to play the guys in stripes too.”
-Mike Holmgren at Seahawks Stadium rally, 2/6/06
We live in a bizzaro world today, my friends. We live in a world where a team that controls time of posession, gains more yards and wins the turnover battle loses the Super Bowl to the team whose young star quarterback posted a stellar 22.1 QB rating…
Aside from a few personal tragedies & tribulations that I won’t discuss here, I’ve never felt worse in my life than I do right now. It would be one thing for my beloved Seahawks to be outplayed or blown out by a better team in their first trip to the Super Bowl. It would be another to lose a well-played, close, hotly contested classic of a Super Bowl… But to lose a Super Bowl thanks to a lethal cocktail of incompetent, biased officiating & a series of self-inflicted spastic fuck-ups? It makes me want to bazooka barf non-stop for about a week.
Don’t misunderstand me here, though. I am not saying that the terrible officiating cost the Seahawks the game… We made too many of our own errors to claim that. However, the officials denied us a CHANCE to win the game. That is the ugly truth that has me sitting here fighting back tears as I bang this one out…
So why the anger? There were an astounding number of very questionable calls against the Seahawks, but let’s solely focus on the few EVERYONE agrees were incorrect:
1. Sean Locklear gets called for holding on a play that would have given Seattle a first and goal at the Steelers’ 1, down 14-10 with 12 minutes left in the game. Replays showed no evidence of Locklear committing a foul. Two plays later, Matthew threw a game-changing interception.
2. After that interception, Matt got called for a low block TRYING TO MAKE A TACKLE!!!! Inexplicable call, which led to Pittsburgh’s final TD.
3. First quarter: Darrell Jackson catches a touchdown pass from Hass. Replays show that the closest official makes no move to throw his flag UNTIL the Pittsburgh DB started furiously complaining. Oh, a Steeler complained? I must throw my yellow hanky! Replays also show that this was at best incidental contact, NOT offensive pass interference…
4. Roethisberger was clearly stopped at the one-inch line on a touchdown that made the score 7-3 Pittsburgh in the 2nd quarter. Replays show that the line judge started running in with one hand up as if to spot the ball, but then CHANGED HIS MIND and raised both hands to indicate a touchdown. This was not overturned by instant replay.
These penalites DIRECTLY cost Seattle at least 11 points (Which happened to be the margin in this game)…
I could go on, but you get the point. At many different moments, Seattle momentum was stopped cold by a very questionable flag. This directly contributed to a number of Seattle miscues, because it became clear that ANY questionable call was going to go against us. This took us out of the normal flow of our game plan and gave a distinct advantage to Pittsburgh.
Why did this happen? There is no vast conspiracy, but officials are human. They were in an environment where everyone was told for two weeks how Pittsburgh was supposed to win, and how great it would be if Jerome Bettis retired with a ring, and this is capped by a Ford Field festooned with terrible towel waving fans. Officials can be intimidated by crowds.. They can be overwhelmed by their surroundings. They can CHOKE. These officials did just that.