So once again we all live under a piss-yellow Yinzer moon. Great.
I have to admit this win was more legit for Pittsburgh than XL. Santonio Holmes' spectacular game-winning TD catch made him a football immortal, to be mentioned forever in the same breath as David Tyree, John Taylor, etc... The game overall was an instant classic, and another bit of evidence that the NFL is the most compelling sports experience anywhere in the world today.
However, XLIII couldn't escape controversy, and yet again a couple of highly questionable calls went Pittsburgh's way...
1. James Harrison's non-ejection
As Sando said:
The officials obviously saw the infraction. They penalized Harrison on the play. How could an official see one player punch another player in the back, then deck that player, without ejecting him from the game?
This non-call might not have affected the outcome of the game, given that it happened so late, but it still makes one wonder if the Steelers are just forever going to get the benefit of the doubt from NFL officials...
2. Kurt Warner's "Fumble"
You've all seen it: Warner gets hit on the game's penultimate play, and it certainly looked like an incomplete pass to me rather than a fumble. Shockingly, there is NO REVIEW from the booth.
Before you say "well, they just would have gotten a chance at a hail mary," remember that
A) the personal foul against Pittsburgh would have moved the final play to the 35 yard line.
B) The Cardinals have Larry Fitzgerald.
C) That's about the douchiest defense of the officials I can think of.. No surprise that argument was used by the trained Yinzer chimps at PFT...
So the torturous 2008 season is over... We look forward to a better 2009, hoping that Michael Crabtree is some sort of L-Fitz clone, hoping that Beck's back is OK... looking to Miami and Atlanta for "sucky one year, playoffs the next" inspiration, and pleased to see Dwight Scrute is a Seahawks fan:
UPDATE: I forgot to mention the no-call on Santonio Holmes' TD celebration. What happened to "you can't use the ball as a prop?" He sure did that with his little LeBron James impression. Once again, it may not have changed the outcome of the game, but it's evidence of the ingrained tendency for officials to give Pittsburgh the benefit of the doubt on any "gray area" calls.