Fifty-four months is a long time.
Four and a half years to be exact. This, almost to the day, is when Super Bowl XL took place in Detroit, Mich. This game was not the most aesthetically pleasing football game you'll ever see, but it was the Super Bowl and it involved one of the NFL's most successful franchises, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
On that night, the Steelers bested the Seattle Seahawks, 21-10.
Presumably, both teams (and its' fan bases) move on, right? I mean, the teams are in different conferences, opposite coasts, and have only met in one regular season game since they departed Ford Field that night. Why is a sloppy game like this featured pretty prominently in sports media in August 2010, four and a half years after it happened?
Surely, it has something to do with the great Jerome Bettis, who ended his career that night by winning his first Super Bowl in his hometown. Something big has to be going on with The Bus.
Or maybe, the two teams are overwhelming favorites to once again represent their conferences in six months in Arlington.
Or maybe it has something to do with a referee who decided to make an "admission" to make himself feel better.
Over the weekend, Bill Leavy, a referee in Super Bowl XL, said that he "kicked" two calls in the fourth quarter and that he "impacted the game."
Before I address his comments, is there anyone who can tell me exactly what Leavy's statement accomplishes?
Can we now go back to early-February 2006 for an hour and replay the fourth quarter, minus Leavy's "kicked" calls?
Is this supposed to make Seahawks fans feel better about the loss?
I'll answer my own question: it doesn't do a thing for anybody except Bill Leavy and people who love to hate the Steelers. Now they all have their own sense of validation.
Since the second that game ended, some fans have said that the refs were on Pittsburgh's side, that the refs were on the Steelers' payroll, and so on.
Were there bad calls in that game? Definitely. To this day, I'm still not sure if Ben Roethlisberger crossed the plane in the second quarter or not. The call on Matt Hasselbeck in the fourth quarter after his interception was questionable at best.
On the contrary, some of the maligned calls were correct, most notably Darrell Jackson's push-off that nullified a touchdown in the first quarter.
Here's the thing: bad calls happen all the time. Seahawks fans complain about this game a lot, but it's beyond time to move on. The Steelers have had their fair share of bad calls in the playoffs (the 2006 Divisional round game at Indy and the 2008 Wild Card game against the Jags come to mind), but I don't hear their fans complain about those calls nearly as much.
Now that training camps have started, distractions need to be kept to a minimum. The Steelers have already gone through an extremely hectic off season, so I'm sure this is the last thing they wanted to hear. The same goes for the Seahawks.
Although this is more of an annoyance than anything, it's still something that players will be asked about way too many times over the next few days.
I don't know if Leavy thought this would ease some hard feelings that he undoubtedly gets from the Northwest. Perhaps, he really thought he was doing the right thing. The reality is that he had nothing to apologize for, considering how the 'Hawks played that day, and even if he did, it's far too late.
Perhaps he should take the advice of Steelers tackle Max Starks.
"He should go ahead and retire if he feels so bad about it," Starks said. "Just do us all a favor and not referee anymore."