Allow me to weigh my thoughts on the controversial final play of yesterday's Super Bowl. For those who missed the game (if you didn't watch the Super Bowl, why are you reading a sports blog, anyway?), the game ended as Kurt Warner was hit in the middle of throwing the football. The ball came loose and was ruled a fumble, which the Steelers recovered. End of game.
The thing is, a similar play occurred earlier in the game. Warner had his arm moving forward as the ball came loose, and while the initial ruling was a fumble, it was reviewed and overturned. It was an incomplete pass.
In this scenario, the play looked awfully similar. Warner was hit, but his arm was clearly moving forward. There was no need for a replay here, as anyone with a TV and two eyes could see it for himself. Yet the play was ruled a fumble on the field. The ref contends that Warner jostled the ball before moving his arm forward, indicating that he did not in fact have complete control of the ball.
Well, that's Sam Hooey. I don't care what the ref claims to have seen; this play needs to be reviewed. Would it have been overturned? I have no idea. But it was definitely a close play, and if I were refereeing the contest, I know I would not have ruled it a fumble. It certainly looked like a pass attempt to the naked eye.
But let's say the call was correct. It still warranted a review. Every play this close deserves a review, especially when it's potentially the last play of the game, and even more so when the game is the Super Bowl.
I'm absolutely stymied that this went down. It makes absolutely no sense that this would not be reviewed. This is the SUPER BOWL! This single play sealed the deal for the Steelers and sent the Cardinals home. This single play has the magnitude of the entire game riding on it, and it was ridiculously close!
Hell, most writers after the game agreed it should have been overturned, let alone contended it was a close call! Even if the call was indeed correct, why not review it?
It's not guaranteed that the Cardinals would have scored on the next (and certainly final) play, but you had to like their chances. The Steelers incurred a 15-yard penalty on the play, meaning the Cards would have had the ball on the 29-yard line.
With Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and Steve Breaston, the Cardinals have the best receiving corps in the NFL, and they have the luxury of having Kurt Warner throwing the ball to them! Thirty yards is no Hail Mary, especially with these players.
And the refs denied them the chance. No, I take that back: The refs denied them the chance of having this chance. They didn't call for a booth review. On a call that was so close, most felt it should have been overturned. On the final play of the Super Bowl.