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Bad Call? You Bet


Gamblers had to endure a wild finish in Pittsburgh's 11-10 victory over San Diego yesterday, and poor officiating was to blame.

For a time, it appeared the Steelers were going to emerge with a 17-10 win -- or perhaps 18-10 if an extra-point were attempted -- and thus cover the five-point spread. Millions of dollars were at stake as officials discussed a call in the closing seconds, and afterward referee Scott Green said he his crew made a mistake.

With five seconds to play and San Diego trailing by one, quarterback Philip Rivers threw a short pass to LaDainian Tomlinson, who made a short lateral to wide receiver to Chris Chambers. Chambers then tried to pitch the ball to a teammate, but safety Troy Polamalu picked up the loose ball and scored.

Players from both teams began leaving the field, assuming the final score was 17-10. Then officials called the teams back to the field for the extra-point. At that point, a replay official called for a review.

After viewing the play, Green announced the call on the field was upheld, but officials huddled before the extra-point try and changed the ruling, saying the touchdown didn't count because of an illegal forward pass by San Diego.

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

Green said there was confusion because of a misunderstanding about which lateral was in question.

"The first pass was the one that was illegal, but it only kills the play if it hits the ground," Green said. "That was incorrect to have killed it at that point. The ruling should have let the play go on. That's just the way that it played out. We believe the second pass was legal."

Because the ball did not hit the ground and no whistle had blown, the play was never dead, and thus the touchdown should have stood. Even if officials thought the second lateral did hit the ground, it still would have been a free ball, meaning Polamalu's touchdown return was valid.

Those are some of the most basic rules of officiating, and this crew flat out missed them.

"I know," Green said. "The rule was misinterpreted."

That's small consolation to bettors who wagered on Pittsburgh and gave the points. Can you imagine if you had bet a grand on the Steelers, only to have an admitted blown call cheat you out of your winnings?

By Gene Wang  |  November 17, 2008; 2:32 AM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Many say the outcome of the game wasn't affected - this argues 100% to state the score correctly 17-10. Why wouldn't it be changed if it doesn't affect the game?...because somebody was betting who shouldn't have been - somebody working for the National Fixedball League.

Posted by: TOP | November 17, 2008 10:54 AM

The crew should be investigated. Thirteen penalties were called against Pittsburgh and two against San Diego. When you combine that fact with the bizarre ending, you have to wonder about the integrity of the officials calling that game.

Posted by: John | November 17, 2008 11:54 AM

Top & John, Thank you for saying what everyone that is a Steelers fan has been thinking since last night. There were some AWFUL calls last night. Some of these Refs are out of their minds! GO STEELERS!!!

Posted by: Jess | November 17, 2008 12:10 PM

I'm not too concerned about someone betting $1000 - that's a risk you take in a human endeavor like football. Mistakes happen; factor that into your bet.

Posted by: JRG | November 17, 2008 12:10 PM

Maybe if you weren't gambling then you wouldn't have anything to complain about. Get a job people.

Posted by: CorrectOpinion | November 17, 2008 12:10 PM

Who cares whether or not people who gambled on a game lost money because a team didn't cover the spread for whatever reason. A "W" is a "W" to us real fans. Screw vegas and all the other gambling linesman.

Posted by: Jeff | November 17, 2008 12:12 PM

got to love the idiot steeler fans compaining about bad calls. You donkeys are lucky to have won that game. Missed chip shot FG and a horrid once in a lifetime INT gift by Rivers in the redzone. All the steelers had was dink and dunk. enjoy your lucky year

Posted by: Anonymous | November 17, 2008 12:15 PM

I could not possibly care less whether a gambler lost money - in fact I hope they all end up in the street with the back-end of their pants missing and their hand out wondering where their next meal is coming from. The real issue is the integrity of the game and the officials for the fans sake, not the gamblers. The author blew this story.

Posted by: Jeff in North Carolina | November 17, 2008 12:15 PM

These REF'S have been on the take for years...Look at Superbowl XL!!!!!

Posted by: AKRandy | November 17, 2008 12:19 PM

Another reason not to bet. All games are rigged, this one is just more obvious than the others.
When Vegas stands to make $66 million on a call don't you think they'd spend a few of that million assuring the outcome of that game?!
If you don't believe it then all I have to tell you is that I hope you're enjoying your stay in Fantasyland.

Posted by: jojo | November 17, 2008 12:20 PM

who cares about the gamblers? How about the casinos caring for their customers? Can't they make the 'right' call and honor the smart bets people made? nope, the corporations keep the $ and 'those are the breaks' is their only excuse. It's the same thing w/ insurance companies when you think about it.

Posted by: jr | November 17, 2008 12:21 PM

I'm sure there are an equal number of betters that WON because of the bad call. It is called gambling for a reason people. what a waste of space. I can't believe I replied to this garbage article.

Posted by: better | November 17, 2008 12:21 PM


Posted by: jkhjkh | November 17, 2008 12:23 PM

Oh, boo-hoo-hoo. Gamblers took it in the shorts. The only way I feel sorry about it is if someone bet their rent and lost. Can't blame the refs for someone's getting hooked through the gills.

No, society itself is the culprit there. Always promising something for nothing.

Posted by: laboo | November 17, 2008 12:24 PM

The bottom line is that was a td at the end of the game, yes the steelers still won but it was a td and the final score should have been 18-10 and 13 penalties to 2 sorry i have been watching the steelers for as long as i can remenber and their were a bunch of bad call against the steelers, the ref must have been a san diego fan is all i can think of thats for sure

Posted by: brian | November 17, 2008 12:24 PM

Jeff from N.C. must be looking forward to some other type of spread if his happiness is geared toward gamblers pants being marginalized. Good luck Jeff.
Tough to be good ref. Easy to call the game when the spotlight isn't on you, hours later.

Posted by: Gay coalition w/Jeff | November 17, 2008 12:25 PM

Hey Anonymous-

The only "idiot donkey" around here is you. If you're going to spew nastiness, at least have the balls to provide a name along with your bullsh*t.


Posted by: Christina in DC | November 17, 2008 12:26 PM

Officals are over payed and lack commom sence, It's very evident where their money was placed. Where is the commision, do your job. Lets keep sports fun not a money market.

Posted by: Gene | November 17, 2008 12:27 PM

Who cares about football

Posted by: M2 | November 17, 2008 12:27 PM

When you see it, you have to assume that the fix was in.

Posted by: Frank the Fixer | November 17, 2008 12:27 PM

I didn't think the first lateral was illegal. It was a typical hook and ladder play on a post pattern reverse. Lateral was behind.

Posted by: Richard in Hawaii | November 17, 2008 12:28 PM

To all those complaining about the disparity in penalty calls: You must be kidding! A holding call (which was a tackle) isn't supposed to be made because the penalty calls aren't "even?" False starts and illegal formations are supposed to be ignored because of the same?

I'll bet you're just as ignorant about NBA games--expecting the exact number of fouls called for each team, regardless if one team is playing better and in more disciplined fashion.

Posted by: elviejo | November 17, 2008 12:32 PM

This is not just about betting. Some players in the NFL earn bonuses based on touchdowns, and interceptions. Troy Polamalu was robbed of a statistic that could potentially change his income, and that is unfair to him.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 17, 2008 12:33 PM

hey hypercritical morons--
gambling is a legitimate way to earn income. there are many people for whom this is their livelihood. some might even be your neighbors, or people in your family. they need to have the correct calls made. all you naysayers are probably people who don't know how to gamble intelligently, and are JEALOUS of those who do. how'd YOU like if instead of getting the $150 per week you appear to be capable of, somebody misread your timesheet and only paid you $20? and when you protested, said, "tough..who cares about you anyway?" ???

Posted by: Anonymous | November 17, 2008 12:34 PM

Sorry - no sympathy for gamblers. Score was wrong, but the outcome was correct. All else is (to me) irrelevant.

Posted by: So what | November 17, 2008 12:35 PM

Forgive me if I have a hard time scrounging up some pity for the poor bettors who lost a grand on missing the spread.

Posted by: bobo | November 17, 2008 12:36 PM


Posted by: JEFF | November 17, 2008 12:37 PM

Gamblers can take their lumps and rabid fans bellow and fuss, but the integrity of the game matters most. Achievments on the field should be recognized. First apologize to Polamalu (great player, wonderful to watch) and the Steelers, then set the score to 17-10. How hard can that be?

Posted by: higie | November 17, 2008 12:38 PM

Listen, It does not matter if your a Steeler fan, a Chargers fan, or a fan of any other team. This was a poorly called game as are many this year. This was just another balring example of why they need dedicated full-time refs in the NFL. Corruption, maybe. But that can happen anywhere. Look at the NBA. As for Anonymous and his comment to enjoy the Steelers lucky season...I will thanks!

Posted by: Not just a Steeler fan | November 17, 2008 12:39 PM

I loved the 11-10 score. I couldn't give a RA who won or lost.

Posted by: max 210 | November 17, 2008 12:39 PM

This only goes to show that we need a new reveiw system. The announcers in the booth do a better job than the refs on the field. We have the manpower and the technology to have a three man review crew who would be in a booth watching the game like everyone else. They wouldn't be running up and down the field, getting knocked down and cussed at by the players and coaches. So they could review all the calls quickly and calmly. I believe they could get all the calls correct, and the game would proceed much better. Let's get rid of the red flags and get all the calls right.

Posted by: Skandahar Flintbag | November 17, 2008 12:39 PM

football..whats that.. Oh I forgot its a bunch of overpaid whinners and snivlers crying about not making enough money.... lets get to NASCAR...thats a sport... where if you want more money u win more races.. football is a joke for the mentally challanged.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 17, 2008 12:40 PM

I was one of the few to actually benefit from the terrible call in Pittsburg last night. The way i look at it is i'm just getting my money back from the even worse call against San Diego in week 2 against Denver. That call changed both the outcome of the game as well as the "vegas outcome."

Posted by: jerseyjohn | November 17, 2008 12:43 PM

No Steelers fan should ever whine about bad calls since they STOLE Superbowl XL on several blatantly bad calls. You know it, Pittsburgh, so take your stupid 1 point victory and move along...

Posted by: PUHLEEZE | November 17, 2008 12:43 PM

Let's throw out "for a moment" that there was corruption or just incompetence involved. There may not have been. The refs may have just wanted to end the game amongst the fan raucous. But that would provably lean more toward letting the TD stand.

Let's take a look at this from two points that everyone can agree upon.

A. If Pittsburgh was behind when Polamalu scored the TD the play would have been quickly reviewed and Pittsburgh correctly given the TD and subsequent win. It was an obvious TD and would have taken 10 seconds to review.

B. Points scored/Pts allowed is the 6th or 7th tie breaker (depending on how many teams are tied) used to determine tie breakers for post season play. It is why teams toward the end of the season run up games on opponents because they know the tie breaker could come down to the number of points they scored.

If Pittsburgh were to somehow lose a playoff spot because of the points scored tie breaker it would be a great injustice.

Unlikely to happen but it could.

The official score in that game should be reversed to include the Polamalu touchdown. It was an obvious TD. This wasn't a play that was inconclusive. It was a clear cut TD.

The issue reminded me of something that would happen in a college game but not the NFL.

Didn't have a cent on this game or any other just couldn't believe what happened.

It should raise more questions than it has.

Posted by: Man in Black | November 17, 2008 12:44 PM

"and afterward referee Scott Green said he crew made a mistake." PLEASE PROOFREAD YOUR ARTICLES!

Posted by: Askuhn | November 17, 2008 12:45 PM

Questionable plays should be reviewed after the game. Bad or improper officiating should be heavily fined. It is criminal that the players, those people whose skills are providing everyone else with a paycheck, are held to a high professional standard for performance and the support structure is held to a mediocre standard. I'm not even sure that calling it a standard is appropriate.

I don't care about the betting community. They know exactly what they're getting into before they bet.

Posted by: Joe | November 17, 2008 12:47 PM

Forget gambling, my fantasy football PIT defence lost 6 points with the call! lol.

Posted by: Dale | November 17, 2008 12:47 PM

The fix was on this game. It is clear. The sad thing is that nobody will ever investigate it. The new commissioner is the worst and perhaps even had a part in this. The NFL has been taking a downward spiral since the new Commish has taken over. I think the owner's should have him ousted along with many of the refs. It'll never happen. NFL is currently governed by communists.

Posted by: owner of 4 club seats | November 17, 2008 12:48 PM

The heart of this commentary is in the wrong place. I have no simpathy for the gamblers. That is the nature of risk. The real worry is that the officials might have been involved in gambling. That must be investigated. The issue is the integrity of the game, not whether some guy in Vegas blew some money.

Posted by: Joe | November 17, 2008 12:49 PM

"afterward referee Scott Green said he crew made a mistake"

Looks like yo crew also made a mistake.

Posted by: Paul T. | November 17, 2008 12:49 PM

If i did my job as poorly as NFL Officials and MLB Umpires i would be fired immediately. How they could blow that call just baffles me and i didn't bet the game.

Posted by: Paul S | November 17, 2008 12:50 PM

Here's my prediction if the touchdown stood. SD blocks the XP returns it for 2 points and the game pushes, well we will never know

Posted by: J E T S | November 17, 2008 12:50 PM

I lost money on the election, I bet the same jigaboos fixed that contest as well.
Now Sambo is tapdancing to the White House.

Posted by: Ray Scistt | November 17, 2008 12:54 PM

The NFL and the referees should be investigated by law enforcement. This game was proof that the game was fixed. The refs tried with all their might to defeat the Steelers.

Posted by: Greg | November 17, 2008 12:55 PM

"If i did my job as poorly as NFL Officials and MLB Umpires i would be fired immediately."

My guess is that every one of us makes as many mistakes on our jobs as these guys do. Probably more. Plus, they don't get to take 20 minute bathroom breaks or sneak outside to smoke ... and every time they do make a mistake, it gets splashed on TV and Youtube and millions of jagoffs scream and whine about it on blogs like these.

Sounds like an okay tradeoff.

Posted by: Johnny Treehorn | November 17, 2008 12:56 PM

Seems to me the score should have been changed back to 17-10, I watched the game and when I walked away, I thought the game was over at 17-10 and the play looked legal to me, even the replay looked fine. I tend to agree with the comments from others, it makes one wonder about the 'fix'.

Posted by: Dave | November 17, 2008 12:58 PM

A lot of gamblers made money on that call. I know I did.

Posted by: It goes both ways. | November 17, 2008 12:59 PM

I'm with Jeff and JRG; you puts your money down and you takes your chances. If a blown call equals a blown bet, perhaps you should have blown your wad on something else.

Posted by: Matt | November 17, 2008 1:01 PM

Problem is, most NFL refs are old guys who dont have 20/20 vision, dont have a mind that can make accurate instant recall. The sport doesn't need more than two, in this day & age of technology. Head sets on 2 refs, and the game could more accurately and timely, be called from the upstairs booth.

Posted by: Still Ers | November 17, 2008 1:04 PM

The fact is, they (NFL, Advertisers, Owners, etc.) know that you're a bunch of dim-witted neanderthals with a short attention span. You can tell by the commercials they show during the games, btw... You'll forget this and watch next week's games. You'll buy your 'officially licensed' NFL crap and your doritos and Miller Lite and move on, and everyone knows it.

The real question is: Who cares?

Posted by: notafan | November 17, 2008 1:08 PM

Somebody upstream said "Who cares whether or not people who gambled on a game lost money because a team didn't cover the spread for whatever reason."

In the first place, legal wagering is an immense part of the NFL financial juggernaut. In the second, you either buy integrity of outcomes or you don't. Third, Occam's razor. What was the conceivable point of taking the points off the scoreboard?

Posted by: michhael | November 17, 2008 1:14 PM

All I can say is "I HATE REFEREES"!!! Put a black and white striped shirt on the Pope and I would boo him and want to dump my beer over his head. It takes a special kind of A-hole to run around with a whistle and a yellow hankie trying to negate feats of extreme athleticism because of some technicality. At least now poor Ed Hocule has some company. At this rate, now ref will grade out high enough to work the Superbowl.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 17, 2008 1:18 PM

To Ray Scistt(what a great name)....There is no need for all that racist Jiggaboo and Sambo crap. That's one thing about the net you fools can say stuff you would never say to someones face. Call me Sambo and I'll slap the s**t out of you......Now back to football, these officials are humans and can make mistakes. Give em a break.

Posted by: Todd Burgess | November 17, 2008 1:21 PM

"What was the conceivable point of taking the points off the scoreboard?"

Perhaps you don't watch many NFL games, but the refs are instructed to enforce the rules as they see them, regardless of how silly the situation gets. I've seen teams hauled back onto the field after heading to the locker room because the refs figured there should be another 0:01 on the clock ... just so the teams could take a knee and return to the field. I saw a game where the fans had to be cleared from the field and the extra point kicked after a game-ending TD - even though the XP made no difference in the outcome.

The only difference here is that the refs completely misapplied the appropriate rule and overthought themselves into a poor decision. Other than that, they behaved in exactly the way I would expect them to.

Posted by: Johnny Treehorn | November 17, 2008 1:22 PM

I'm not a Steelers fan but that team sure does get some bad calls against them. A few years back when they played the Colts in a playoff game I was amazed at the multipe bad calls against them. The Refs tried everything they could to hand the Colts the game and if the Colts would have won that game I would have been ashamed to claim that game as a win.

Good game Steelers!

Posted by: Colts 2009 | November 17, 2008 1:31 PM

We've seen an NBA referee arrested. Is it really hard to believe this could happen in the NFL? I watched the game and you got the feeling that something wasn't right with all the ticky tack penalties being called. The only touchdown S.D. scored was with the benefit of several questionable penalties. The explanation by referee Green for the call on the last play makes no sense. How was the first pass illegal? Was Rivers over the line? Was Tomlinson an ineligible receiver? The second "pass" was without question a lateral. Why was there any question about the play at all? Those that argue that the outcome wasn't changed or that no one could have predicted the final play and therefore there could not be any conspiracy miss the point. The score was held down throughout the game by all the penalties called against the Steelers. When the final play unexpectedly resulted in the Steelers winning by either 7 or 8 points, an even more bizarre officiating call occured. There is a need to investigate this officiating crew.
By the way, is it a rule that the extra point needs to be kicked in these circumstances?

Posted by: tshamble | November 17, 2008 1:36 PM

It's getting to the point where I'm not willing to watch any sport any more -- esp. the pro sports. It used to be there would be one majorly blown call once a week or once a month (more likely). Now, it's totally possible for there to be 2-3 egregious calls A GAME. Calls that change the outcome. The games loose meaning when the officials can't get it right and the kicker is that sitting 1200 miles away from some of these games, we can see the correct call often IN REAL TIME and yet with the aid of instant replay and everything else, the refs can't get it right. You watch a replay and it's totally obvious what happened, and they call it opposite nearly every time. Instant replay is only getting about 20-25% of the replays right it seems. It's out of hand. When refs start getting fired for hugely blown calls by "the big four" then I would imagine a lot of this will end up going away when the ref knows his job is on the line instead of knowing he's going to be protected at all costs by the league office.


Posted by: Dude-In-A-Mood | November 17, 2008 1:37 PM

It matters to real fans when Vegas starts messing around with refs. It matters when points are shaved because it determines outcomes and injures players when refs are in the bag. This sort of thing needs to be seriously investigated.

Posted by: Andy | November 17, 2008 1:39 PM

Before that play, everyone who bet PIT had resigned themselves to losing. A play as freaky as the botched lateral TD is no less rare than a screwed up interpretation by the officials during an NFL game. This wasn't a 60 yard field goal or even a hail Mary pass to the endzone. This is a defensive score on a kickoff. Replay that scenario millions of times and you will get the eventual "betting" result you got on Sunday.

Posted by: Who Cares? | November 17, 2008 1:42 PM

Don't worry gamblers, I'm sure the mob will give you a refund.

Posted by: jbb | November 17, 2008 1:43 PM

Johnny Treehorn:

I watch lots of NFL games. This particular bad call required a special convocation to overturn a correct call. What put the idea into their pointy little heads to do that? I'm not accusing anybody of anything, but going out of your way in ex post facto plenary session to remove six points is strange even for officious failed jocks that wish they could play. Unless the spread mattered, in which case, as Jonathon Safran Foer said, Everything is Illuminated.

Posted by: michhael | November 17, 2008 1:45 PM

Blown call. There was no illegal forward pass, on either lateral, and there were no flags on the play in the first place, meaning the initial call, at least in this case, was the correct one. And who ever heard of using replay to CALL a penalty? That's disturbing.

The other thing to note is why did they require the XP at 0:00? It made no difference in the outcome, so if it doesn't, then why bother? That's a rule that needs changing.

Posted by: Tannim | November 17, 2008 1:46 PM

Well i hope the steelers like getting cheated, It happened to the Bengals when the cheating Steelers hit Carlson Palmer and too him out of the game. Cincinnati should of won that game but the cheating Steelers too care of that.
Steelers suck and Cheat!!!!!!!

Posted by: same thing happened | November 17, 2008 1:47 PM

Polamalu deserved the touchdown at the end of the game, especially after his 'immaculate interception' in the first quarter.

Posted by: otay | November 17, 2008 1:48 PM

Same thing are just a Bungling cry baby wishing he had a real team!

Posted by: Otay | November 17, 2008 1:51 PM

I agree gamblers take their chances. I think this was more about the fact Hines and Troy both called the refs and the NFL out a few weeks ago for riduculous fines on legal blocks that weren't flagged. There is aways a backlash from referees after they get called out. I don't understan why no one can call out the NFL. Bill Cowher dealt with it for years. Call it whining, whatever you want. Troy Polamalu was robbed of a recovered fumble and a touchdown. He is really the only one who paid a price in that game. And Troy had a great game despite the officals.

Posted by: FMB | November 17, 2008 1:53 PM

Whenever you google the words Steelers + Refs + cheating, you get Superbowl 40. They should be called the Stealers.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 17, 2008 1:56 PM

Like interceptions and fumbles, blown calls by the officiating crew are part of the game. I think the author over emphasizes the impact to gamblers vs. the rest of the fan base, particularly regarding public confidence in the competent officiating of NFL Games.

The lesson for gamblers to take away is simple: "Life isn't always fair. Boo-hoo. Don't gamble more than you can afford to lose."

Posted by: Barry in WV | November 17, 2008 1:58 PM

Boo. Hoo.

Posted by: Michael | November 17, 2008 2:00 PM

Hey, Anonymous you would't happen to be ashamed of your home team, possibly Bungles, Skid Marks?

Posted by: Otay | November 17, 2008 2:02 PM

Steelers fan: "Waaaaaa......waaaaaaa" Colts fan:......."Come on boys, lets play better".......Refs fan: "What's the spread?".....Sports fan: "NFL sucks!"

Posted by: JoJo | November 17, 2008 2:03 PM

look at SuperBowl XL for some real nice officiating. and screw the bettors, who cares if they lose?

Posted by: kbbcoop | November 17, 2008 2:03 PM

Has the NFL become the WWE - after this game and what happened it looks like it has

Posted by: Anonymous | November 17, 2008 2:07 PM

Shouldn't be betting anyway

Posted by: Who cares | November 17, 2008 2:08 PM

Talk about cry babies! Who cares...shouldn't be betting anyway. Shouldn't you girls be responding to a Martha Stewart article. Man!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 17, 2008 2:11 PM

Any Steelers fan who EVER says the refs are against them is a whiny little douche who doesn't realize how big of a gift they were given in that superbowl against the seahawks.

Posted by: Dan | November 17, 2008 2:15 PM

Gift! We beat them 21-10! Put a dress on you!

Posted by: Otay | November 17, 2008 2:18 PM

5 Super Bowl rings! You must be a Cleveland fan. Skid Marks!

Posted by: Otay | November 17, 2008 2:20 PM

I taped the game and watched the play 5 times. Pass was good, laterals were correct except for the botch which allowed the defensive touchdown. I, like so many of you, cannot figure the call.
Further, I think 50% of the penalties were correct. Even though "Heinz" got upset, he was holding on a play, and the touchdown that was called back, there was also holding. I'm a 40-year Steeler fan, and there were some errors that rightfully got called. Shows they were all out there trying their best not to lose.
Steelers=Win Referees=0

I'm more concerned about the Steeler's lack of end zone trips. I think the offensive play calling is ineffective..Let's get back to what gets the job done!

Posted by: Thunderbolt Kid | November 17, 2008 2:23 PM

The sqealers are the most pathetic cheating team in the NFL, ironic that their fans would complain...

Posted by: Skeeter | November 17, 2008 2:24 PM

Hear hear Thunderbolt Kid! I thought I was reading a blog from Seventeen Magazine.

Posted by: Otay | November 17, 2008 2:27 PM

Takes one to know one! I know you are, but what am I? Sqealers, Stealers, I love the bums that hate the Steelers.

Posted by: Otay | November 17, 2008 2:33 PM

Most of the comments are missing the point. The integrity of the game is at stake. When the officiating crew ends up with a lopsided number of penalties (13-2), which kept the penalized team from scoring repeatedly, and then blatantly takes points off the board from that same team when they do score, an investigation is warranted.

Posted by: John (again) | November 17, 2008 2:49 PM

For the refs to admit that they made the wrong call right after they made the call is just a bit suspicious to me.

Posted by: otay | November 17, 2008 2:54 PM

Well, if you think the game was rigged, I mean if you actually, actually believe that, then you are just silly. If you gambled on it, or any game or anything else for that matter, you're stupid.
Officials do make mistakes, sometimes horrible ones. But as it has already been said, that's as much a part of the game as a guy holding and it not being seen. You don't like it, it ain't supposed to happen, but you deal with it and just try to win anyway.
My coach used to teach that if you play hard enough to get a good lead, it won't matter if the other team, or the officials for that matter, make mistakes or outright cheat. Get over it.

Posted by: Bustamente | November 17, 2008 2:58 PM

"When the officiating crew ends up with a lopsided number of penalties (13-2) ... an investigation is warranted."

Somebody upthread mentioned the NBA ref scandal. Donaghy wasn't investigated because people saw a pattern of suspicious calls, it was because somebody ratted him out and there was a money/paper trail that found its way to the league offices. As of 4pm yesterday, nobody had one scrap of evidence or suspicion regarding this ref crew, and the disparity of penalties (and one wacky call) is nowhere near "probable cause" for an investigation.

Sometimes one team commits more penalties than the other. Maybe the fans should investigate the lack of discipline exhibited by the Steeler players who committed the fouls.

Posted by: Johnny Treehorn | November 17, 2008 3:07 PM

Wow! Gamblers risked their money and lost! Do I feel sorry for them? Well, maybe a little, after all the call was bogus.

However, what is really disturbing is that those extra 7 points may have an effect on the NFL tiebreaking procedures; they can affect who gets a bye in the first round, who gets home field advantage, and who has to play the dominant wild card team. The process for choosing a division's champion, and the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th seeds for home field advantage, and the determination of what teams get the 2 wild cards from each conference sometimes come down to the following:

5. Strength of victory.

7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.

8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.

9. Best net points in common games.

10. Best net points in all games.

11. Best net touchdowns in all games.

That is where those seven points will matter if Pittsburgh does not win their division outright, and is forced into a tiebreaker or competes as a wild card contender.

As of now the Pittsburgh Steelers are leading their division, but the Baltimore Ravens are only one game behind in inter-divisional standings and one game behind in their overall win/loss standing. In the event of a tie, or a bid for one of the two conference's wild cards there will be a big to do about those 7 points if the club loses a playoff berth if rulings 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, or 11 are the deciding factors.

Although, the Washington Post reporter’s angle on the story was evident in the title, “Bad Call? You Bet,” he/she never mentions the consequences the call will have on the tie breaking procedures in the story, which is a sign that he/she is just out to enrage readers with sensationalism, a common practice in avant-garde journalism, or the reporter does not have a clue about football.

In my humble opinion, the effect on the tie breaking procedures is enough to inspire rage in Steelers fans. Therefore, I feel compelled to remit some words of wisdom to the editor; if you’re trying to enrage readers with sensationalism, there are more Steelers fans than there are those who bet in Vegas, or abroad, on Steelers games, so it might be more profitable to aim for a larger audience.

The rest of the process, rules 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6, can be found at:

Posted by: gettyleigh | November 17, 2008 3:20 PM

First, bad call on the chargers game.

Second, the redskins didn't deserve to win that game the way they let Marion barber run on them and the way the offense choked when it counted, but that touchback call was atrocious. How the ref couldn't have called it right after review was beyond inane. Read the rule book, ref.

"football..whats that.. Oh I forgot its a bunch of overpaid whinners and snivlers crying about not making enough money.... lets get to NASCAR...thats a sport... where if you want more money u win more races.. football is a joke for the mentally challanged."

BWAHAHA! I completely feel better about my life. In one short paragraph I count 15+ grammatical/spelling errors. And he's calling football fans "mentally challAnged." NASCAR is a joke. The pit crews have more talent than the drivers.

Here's a great trick to try before submitting your next post, if you hit alt+F4 it'll put a virus on the next person's computer that tries to respond to your post. It's classic!

Posted by: poor sport | November 17, 2008 3:38 PM

People, whether you like it or not, sports betting is a multi multi billion dollar organization. When ever there is money there is conspiracy and lasts nights game proves it. What a shame. I hope the league and the officiating crew sleep well…. and I guess they will since they just filled their pockets with blood money. I think the new commissioner for the NFL should be Jerry Springer. You at least know the show is not a conspiracy and that the guy on the show is a loser and that he is cheating on his girlfriends friend, sister, mom, or etc and that somebody is going to get in a fight within the first five minutes.

Posted by: What a Scam | November 17, 2008 3:57 PM

I wrote an article about this. Check it out:

Posted by: Andrew Kahn | November 17, 2008 4:08 PM

This game was fixed. First off, you have a sharp move towards the Chargers because of late Charger money (the line in Vegas at game time was 4.5, not 5, after it had been at 5.5 most of the week). Then, you have the most absurd imbalance in penalties I've ever seen (13 to 1 or 2? Are you serious?) THEN -- the officials flat out "misinterpret" (yeah, right) the rule so SD can win against the spread.

And spare me the bit about gamblers -- that pales next to OFFICIALS ON THE TAKE!! The only way the NFL maintains integrity is to fire these crooked officials and call for an FBI investigation. Or settle for a league of Tim Donaghys.

Posted by: gbooksdc | November 17, 2008 4:13 PM

and for the record, I bet on PIT as a part of a $100 two-team parlay at a legal sports book in a Nevada casino (I'm on vacation). I'm not going to lose sleep over $360 (what I would have won) but the thought that NFL officials are on the take like Tim Donaghy goes to the integrity of the game. They need an impartial investgation.

Posted by: gbooksdc | November 17, 2008 4:22 PM

u people r idiots

Posted by: Anonymous | November 17, 2008 4:32 PM

Shouldn't ALL NFL referees know all the rules by now, for god sake!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 17, 2008 5:27 PM

Shouldn't ALL NFL Referees kkno all the rules by now!!!

Posted by: albert | November 17, 2008 5:30 PM

ALL NFL Refs knows the odds their refereeing!!!

Posted by: albert | November 17, 2008 5:35 PM

What about all the fantasy football players who got hosed by that play, huh? Waaaah...waaaah!!

Posted by: unome | November 17, 2008 6:35 PM

The play that sticks in my mind from the Steelers-Chargers game is the call on Willie Colon for illegal formation because his helmet wasn't lined up at the waist of the center (even though the replay showed it was). In my 35 years of watching football, I have never ever seen that particular call. And when you add in the 13-1 (or 2) ratio, the call that was reversed twice and then apologized for in the space of five minutes, it does suggest that the officials, for whatever reason, had it in for the Steelers. I think it was Troy's pansy comments that did it; Goodell himself took the time to publically answer those charges, which shows the league must have been p*ssed that the total gayness of the sport was called out by someone named Troy with a female voice and hair past his breasts.

Posted by: bill | November 17, 2008 7:05 PM

The NFL knew the Pats were cheating for 2 years before they were "caught". Why is anyone surprised that a Ref "misinterpreted" one of the most basic rules in football when bookies might take a 66million bath. Why do you think holding was called on the first touchdown? the refs had to make sure pit didn't beat the spread.

Posted by: screenplay | November 17, 2008 7:44 PM

The play was ruled a touchdown on the field.
The booth reviewed the call, and after review, the play stands; touchdown, Pittsburgh Steelers.
The ref can't overrule both the call on the field and the instant replay official, can he? Well, Scott Glen did, and Vegas won.
Referee Scott Glen should be investigated, because he was either forced or bribed to make those last six point go away.

Posted by: Justin | November 17, 2008 8:34 PM

I repeat......Steelers fans: "Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.......Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah !! Give the refs a cardboard cookie and some warm hosewater for their most excellent skills !

Posted by: JoJo | November 18, 2008 10:29 AM

Tottally wrong

Posted by: Les | November 18, 2008 4:40 PM

I need your gay cock.

Posted by: Todd Burgess | November 22, 2008 1:58 PM

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