If you are a Seahawks fan, Super Bowl XL was one of the most traumatic events of your life. You saw your team outplay the opposition in the NFL's ultimate game, only to see our opportunity to hoist the Lombardi Trophy taken away by callow officials pulling an all-time choke job. No, the fix wasn't in. No, there wasn't a grand conspiracy. Unfortunately, incompetence piled upon indifference was enough to tip the scales Pittsburgh's way.
I've talked about XL many times on these pages before. For the Twelve Army, Bill Leavy is (Grady Little + Steve Bartman)x1000. His apology Friday for blowing multiple calls in XL was shocking, but not comforting for Seahawks fans. In fact, he may have admitted more than he intended. Let's take a look at what Leavy said:
"It was a tough thing for me. I kicked two calls in the fourth quarter and I impacted the game and as an official you never want to do that. It left me with a lot of sleepless nights and I think about it constantly. I'll go to my grave wishing that I'd been better. I know that I did my best at that time, but it wasn't good enough. When we make mistakes, you got to step up and own them. It's something that all officials have to deal with, but unfortunately when you have to deal with it in the Super Bowl it's difficult."
Leavy doesn't talk about individual plays, but his direct address of the 4th quarter specifically can only mean one thing: He's GOT to be talking about the mind-meltingly ticky-tack holding call on Sean Locklear in the final quarter of the game. Just to refresh y'all:
The Seahawks trailed 14-10, and were in the middle of what would have been an epic 99-yard go-ahead touchdown drive. The momentum had swung entirely Seattle's direction. The Steelers were half-dead on their feet, and one more body shot would have been the death blow. Matt Hasselbeck dropped back, fired it over the middle, and Jerramy Stevens made a spectacular catch to set up Seattle at the Pittsburgh 1. No one watching that game, no one who could perceive the flow of the action, could have doubted that league MVP Shaun Alexander would have punched it in on the following play, and the Seahawks would have won XL going away...
But there was a flag on the field. Holding. Was it technically a foul? Perhaps. Was it the kind of call that is typically made in an NFL playoff game, or the kind of flag that would have been thrown against the Steelers that day? Fuck. No. In the litany of terrible calls going against the Seahawks that day, that was the single most devastating error by the officials.
Almost certainly, Leavy's apology applies to that THAT call, which makes it an nearly unfathomable admission of failure. I can feel the urge to kill rising yet again.
I guess on some level I welcome Leavy's admission of guilt, and I guess it's nice that the rage of the Twelve Army is in some way validated by this, but still...
FUCK YOU LEAVY!!!! FUUUUUUUUUUCK YOU!!!!!!! (spittle flies at screen, middle fingers stab the sky) FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCKKKKKKK FUCK!!!!
What do you think, sirs?