I was surprised to see so much hoopla about the recent Super Bowl on a site mostly familiar to those interested in computing.
Celeste started off the fun with a nice post celebrating the Steelers victory.
Adam Treat, a Seahawks fan, didn’t think the game was that great, however, claiming more or less that the Steelers would not have won were it not for many bad calls by the referees.
I’m personally a Steelers fan, so I was glad they won although I had hoped the game would have been better (and less controversially officiated).
Adam says that we earned the win with one of the worst quarterback performances in history. Actually, AFAIK, according to the NFL QB rating, Ben Roethlisberger (the winning quarterback) had the worst performance ever by a Super Bowl winning quarterback. But football is perhaps the consummate team sport. The Steelers have often won over the past ten years or so with mediocre quarterbacks. So even if the quarterback was having a bad day, is no reason to say the Steelers were guaranteed to lose. A good defense will keep a team in many a game that they would otherwise lose. In fact I think a good defense is better than a good offense. Just ask the Colts, Broncos, and Bengals.
I will say this: The Seahawks outplayed the Steelers for most of the game, especially on offense. Matt Hasselbeck (the Seahawks quarterback) was on fire, and would have easily secured MVP honors in my book if the Seahawks had won. But although the Seahawks moved down the field easily, they settled for punts or field goals far too often, even if you reverse the bad calls (more on that later).
The Steelers, on the other hand, had all of their scoring on pretty much three big plays. A great pass by Roethlisberger (who showed great awareness of the line of scrimmage, not bad for a second-year quarterback in his first Super Bowl) to Hines Ward (Super Bowl MVP) got the Steelers close to a touchdown. Three plays later, Roethlisberger runs in the ball for the score. Adam calls it a “phantom touchdown” but I will have to disagree with him there. All the ball has to do is break the vertical plane between the playing field and the white line separating the end zone. Even if the player is pushed back while being tackled the touchdown counts. I was confident that Roethlisberger got the touchdown after seeing like 7 replays on TV. Unfortunately I can’t find photos of the goal line touchdown on the Intarweb.
Adam also mentions a holding call that moved back the Seahawks, and a penalty on Hasselback for tackling a player. I agree that the call on the tackle was completely wrong, although I don’t see how it would have changed things. As far as the holding penalty, the view on the field at the time didn’t look like holding, but according to people on various sites I’ve been frequenting, especially Football Outsiders, the angle on TV masked whatever the actual holding was. I didn’t see the offsides call however.
May I remind the Seahawks faithful that on Roethlisberger’s long pass to Ward to set up 1st and Goal, that the reason it was 3rd and 24 in the first place was due to an offensive holding call on Heath Miller? The Steelers started out the game with two consecutive penalties (albeit minor), and had a fumble return taken away (correctly according to the rule book) by instant replay. I mean, I’m sympathetic, having seen a lot of Steelers games badly officiated, but the final score was 21 – 10, not 21 – 17 or even 21 – 20. And just three weeks ago the WORST CALL EVER happened to the Steelers, but they didn’t lie down and die on the field (although we sure did complain afterwards. =D)
I guess it’s a shame that a team always has to walk away from the Super Bowl as the loser. The Seahawks seem like a very classy team. Even Jerramy Stevens, who even though started the trash talking with Joey Porter, and dropped quite a few balls during the game (no mention of that, Adam?), stayed in the locker room after the game and answered all the questions people had for him. Lofa Tatupu, Matt Hasselback, and the rest of the Seahawks have been shown great sportsmanship in what I’m sure is going to be one of the more debated Super Bowl losses in history, and for that they have my deep respect. Hopefully they get Shaun Alexander back and make a second Super Bowl run, they’re one of the more deserving teams IMHO.