August 6, 2010

"I kicked two calls in the fourth quarter and I impacted the game as an official"

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?


Eric said...

I'm almost certainly in the minority on this, but hearing this admission actually does make me feel a lot better about the whole situation. Now whenever the situation is brought up the Stealers fans can't just say we're whinning; the ref from the game ADMITTED that he blew it. Sure it doesn't get us a trophy, and who knows what would have happened after the ensuing touchdown (assuming a touchdown would have ensued) but somehow my pride as a Seahawks fan jumped a good deal. Not my loyalty, mind you, because while I'll be loyal to the Mariners till the day I die, my Mariners "pride" is pretty darn low these days. My loyalty to the Hawks will never die, but damn it if I don't feel so much better about that 2005 team now.
My biggest regret about the game will always be Marquand Manuel getting injured late, leaving us with a third stringer at safety and allowing the Stealers offense to walk the rest of the way. But this still feels like sweet vindication. Thanks Leavy, for once you made the right call.

neurocell said...

Chaos theory. I know one little change can affect the outcome. I also know that there were a hell of a lot of big changes that affected the outcome of the Super Bowl.

If the Hawks don't get screwed on just one of those fuck ups, would the game have been different. Yes. Would the Hawks have won? The way they were playing, yes. But if it had been called a fair game, or even an equal game, the Hawks would've been up 24-3 when Manuel was hurt. The Hawks would've scored from the one, and even with Pruitt's gaffes, the final would've been 31-17.

I know I have the biases of a fan. But I admit that Stevens and our punting game sucked. I admit that Josh Brown missed two field goals (one pushed back on a bs call, of course). I admit that Holmgren sucks at time management during the two minute drill when things aren't going well. But not calling Porter for the horse collar tackle in the red zone, not calling the db for offensive pass interference or illegal contact downfield (in the end zone), for not calling two defensive ends off sides at the same time, for calling a block in the back ON THE WRONG TEAM during Warrick's punt return, and for allowing a lifelong stealers fan to be a ref (!) shows that these inbred cum guzzling gutter sluts don't care about fair play. I don't believe that the NFL paid to have the stealers win, but they didn't stop someone else from destroying the integrity of their game.

We know that those calls were wrong. If the holding call wasn't, then why did they change the rule for holding in the following off season to allow what Sean Locklear did to be a penalty. Because during the Super Bowl it WASN'T.

Yes I get mad. I know that the Hawks could've out played the stealers and still lost 42-7. But I'd be able to handle that better if the game had been called fairly.

JohnDoeAt30Below said...

Just so we are clear, Leavy is admitting two calls in the 4th Q were wrong, likely the Locklear hold and the Hasselbeck block. Those 2 calls led to a direct 14 point swing ...... but .......

He's not talking about the missed PI on Stevens in the 3rd, the phantom TD that Ben never scored, the Porter horse collar of Alexander that wasn't called, the 1st half offensive PI on D Jax that could have easily gone the other way or not been called at all.

Those other calls were either made by other officials or Leavy figures 'close enough' but when taken with the calls Leavy admits were wrong, clearly, the Hawks got jobbed.

If Leavy had not made his mistakes, the Hawks win. If the other questionable calls had evened out, the Hawks win.

Neither happened and the Hawks lost. Apology not accepted, I'm still mad and will be forever.

bleedshawkblue said...

If Rapistburger had not been given 300 years to complete a pass to Ward on the 2 when he was pinned back on 3rd and 28, and if the 5 blue jerseys in the immediate area would have broke on that ball while it was in the air, and if Boulware could have made the deflection while he had his arm across Ward's body as the ball was settling into his breadbasket, Phantom Touchdown 2.0 never would have been set up.

And, if someone could have tripped up Willie Parker when he plunged off Right Tackle instead of letting him take it to the house, and if Hamlin hadn't been drinking and fighting in Pioneer Square like a wannabe thug so he could have made that stop, and if...

And if the Queen had balls, then she'd be King.

Let's do it again, this time with more depth and better clock management. 55-3 over the Stealers, MVP Nick Reed ends Rapistburger's career when he and Curry pinwheel him yet again while he throws his 5th interception, and the national media goes on a 6 month long jizzfest afterward about how Shitsburg is definitely the superior team than those latte swillin' Recycle-fags in South Alaska.

dan said...

Worst Sunday....Ever!

JasterBaster said...

I'm only coming to terms with my grief now. After that prison shanking the refs delivered to the Seahawks (and myself personally) in the 2005 superbowl- Leavy's belated admission of guilt gives but little solace...
I know the hows, If only I could understand why?? Why did this happen to me? (Umm us)
The Judeo-Christian mindset would be: "bad things happen to good people because of the fallen nature of man." The reformed church says "bad things happen to good people because God gave us freedom of choice- yet, made us bound to natural law ie; gravity, time, mortality, etc. .. The not so reformed church would say that God is punishing us. (possible) If you follow this combined logic to its conclusion ,some would conclude that God is fucking with us- and having a good time of it.
Yet, "not I" said the sweaty guy on his iPhone. I doubt anyone could know the mind of God. You're being a dick for even thinking you know what he's thinking... 
 For now I'm clinging on to my personal conspiracy theory: it was the mob. They had one of Leavy's pets or possibly a niece. It was like an episode of 24. You could see it on Leavy's face withdrawing from the reviewing booth. It wasn't Rothybuger on that screen! It was nippers!! (or Levy's niece Carol.) Imagine, all duct taped, and terrified on that screen. What could Bill do?
The reality that I choose to accept is that my/our loss saved lives- it's important that we remember that!