Sunday, November 16, 2008

Refs get CLEAR call wrong in final seconds of Chargers-Steelers game; analysts lie about it

Although not effecting the game’s outcome, it effects the integrity of the game

by Rick Simons
November 16, 2008

In Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers, with 5 seconds left in the game something bizarre happened. On the last play of the game San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers throws a 9-yard forward pass to one receiver. He runs about 3 yards and tosses to another receiver about a yard behind him (shown in picture above). That receiver drops back about 2 yards and throws a 3-yard backward lateral to another receiver, which is then batted down by Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu, who bends down and scoops up the ball and runs 11 yards for a touchdown.

The game is delayed a few minutes, then refs rule the play a touchdown. A few moments later, after a booth review, the play is called "dead due to an illegal forward pass" made by the Chargers, then the game is declared officially over. No big deal is made about it since the Steelers won the game anyway without the touchdown, although the play only added to the frustration of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin because of his team being the victim of a whopping 13 penalities in the game.

I know the outcome of the game was not in jeopardy. The Steelers win either way. But that call has to be the biggest blown call in the NFL since I can remember. Polamalu earned that touchdown. There was clearly no illegal forward pass. For any analyst to say that the play didn't matter other than in Vegas, or fantasy football, CLEARLY doesn't have the integrity of the NFL in mind.

It was stunning to see on TV these ‘so called’ NFL experts totally ignoring that play (only touching on it briefly), and showing no clips of it!!! How are we to believe them the next time they touch on a play without showing the clip? NBC’s Keith Olbermann needs his eyes checked for blatantly lying when he announced during the Redskins-Cowboys pre-game show, “It was clearly a forward pass”. Even a writer for didn’t mention the play in her story here.

I don't know what’s going on regarding that play, but its obvious something is amiss. Bias, or just plain stupidity?

Worthless in the aspect of the win; priceless in the aspect of what’s right. I thought instant replay was designed to get the call right. It didn't work here.

by Larry Simons

I also found it interesting that after the play was over, the referee said, “the illegal forward pass would have killed the play. There was no time remaining on the clock. The game is over.” Just minutes before making this announcement, the ref said it was a touchdown but obviously reversed the call. This has to be the most blatant blown call since 12-year old Jeffrey Maier interfered with a fly ball hit by Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter in the 1996 Championship series that would have been easily caught by Orioles right fielder Tony Tarasco, but was ruled a home run.

One question I want answered: If the play was killed after the “illegal forward pass” (which there was none), where was the flag? The play was even reviewed and the wrong call was made.

The NFL needs to further examine this play and reinstate the points to the Steelers to make the final 18-10 (assuming the extra point was made), and to credit Troy Polamalu with his personal career stats he was denied.


It appears that referee Scott Green has now ADMITTED the Polamalu touchdown was a touchdown in yesterdays Chargers-Steelers game.

“The rule was misinterpreted,” Green said. “We should have let the play go through in the end, yes. It was misinterpreted that instead of killing the play we should have let the play go through.”

What’s he talking about? The play was NOT killed. The play DID go through. Doesn’t anyone remember the refs first calling it a touchdown and then overturning it? If they killed the play (like Green claims) there would have not been a touchdown ruling at all, but they DID call it a touchdown first, so Green is blatantly lying.

How is Green getting away with blatantly making an incorrect call that was CLEARLY wrong and then blatantly lying about “killing the play”?? If the play HAD been killed, there would have been a flag, or whistle. But there were neither.

ESPN’s Chris Berman said after the game that the reason why the TD was overturned was because “you can’t advance a recovered lateral”. 2 BIG problems with this analysis:

1- The referees did not mention this on the field as the reason for overturning it and

2- the fact that Scott Green has now ADMITTED it was a touchdown. If a mistake is now admitted, how can Berman’s analysis be correct?

Further investigation reveals that this is not the ONLY incident in which Green and his crew’s inconsistencies were in question. The Steelers LOST a playoff game to the Jaguars earlier this year 31-29 on an incorrect call by the Green clan. Does Green have it in for the Steelers? It appears so.

Here’s the clip


Anonymous said...

sorry about not posting on the story larry, but the fraud of the year vote looks real close. i wonder who will win?

Anonymous said...

what chris berman said was not the truth, a lateral can be advanced by either team. here is the category from the nfl rules book--

Backward Pass
The conditions and restrictions of laterals

here is the definition-

Digest of Rules Main

Backward Pass
Any pass not forward is regarded as a backward pass. A pass parallel to the line is a backward pass. A runner may pass backward at any time.
A backward pass that strikes the ground can be recovered and advanced by either team.
A backward pass caught in the air can be advanced by either team.
A backward pass in flight may not be batted forward by an offensive player.

as you can CLEARLY see any lateral can be recovered and advanced by either team, and since palamalu is not an offensive player, he's not restricted by batting the ball forward as he did when he deflected the ball.
so even the rule book backs up that it was a touchdown, so why did berman say a recovered lateral can't be advanced?, who knows, maybe he needs to do some fact checking himself.
a bungled lateral is a fumble, so even commom sense tells you if recovered it can be advanced.
this needs to be changed, and palamalu credited with a fumble recovery, and touchdown.

rick simons