Super Bowl XL: Mike Pereira Says Leavy Didn't Err
In an article published on FoxSports yesterday, written by Mike Pereira, the former NFL Vice President of Officiating, Pereira dispels Bill Leavy's claims that he "kicked" two calls in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XL in Detroit, MI.
Leavy created a firestorm this week when he claimed in Seattle that he missed two controversial fourth quarter calls in the Super Bowl. Leavy, who was being utilized as a referee at the Seahawks training camp, "confessed" to the Seattle media that he's lost sleep over the calls.
According to Leavy, "It was a tough thing for me," Leavy said Friday. "I kicked two calls in the fourth quarter, and I impacted the game, and as an official you never want to do that."
Leavy failed to specify the calls in question.
In his article, Pereira writes: "I have to admit that I was bit surprised when I read that Leavy addressed the calls with the media."
Further, Pereira states "First, he didn't "kick" two calls in the fourth quarter. He was clearly incorrect when he called Matt Hasselbeck for a low block after the interception when Hasselbeck attempted to go low through a blocker in an attempt to make the tackle."
"Leavy piled on himself by saying that his holding call on Sean Locklear was incorrect. That is not true. It was a hold and should have been called. If anything, you could have made a case that the Steelers were offside and, if the play had been officiated correctly, the penalties would have offset and the down replayed. In any case, the reception would not have been allowed to stand."
"Did Leavy's calls and the officiating, in general, have an impact in that game? Sure they did. Officiating has an impact in every game that is played, whether calls are made or not made, whether they are correct or incorrect.
Did Leavy's calls determine the winner of Super Bowl XL? Absolutely not! In truth, there were missed calls that went against both teams."
Indeed. Lost in the outcry from Super Bowl XL are the myriad of calls that went against the Steelers that the media and fans ignored while latching onto the idea that Seattle was robbed.
For instance, Jerramy Stevens caught a pass, took nearly three steps before being leveled and fumbling the ball. The referees incorrectly called the fumble an incomplete pass.
Matt Hasselbeck also fumbled the ball, but the turnover was overruled as the referees indicated Larry Foote touched him prior to that, negating the fumble.
That's two turnovers that didn't go Pittsburgh's way that should have.
And much was made of the holding calls against Seattle. What was not accurately reported were the non-holding calls in the Super Bowl that should have been.
According to Football Outsiders, an objective 3rd party site, Sean Locklear committed 10 holds during the game but was flagged for only two. Left tackle Walter Jones should have been called for six more holds, but was not. In a review of all tackles in the Super Bowl, Football Outsiders concluded that Seattle committed 16 holds they weren't flagged for as compared to eight by the Steelers.
The referees missed other calls as well—a block in the back on Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger after throwing an interception in the fourth quarter that would have spotted the ball deep in Seattle's territory, likely preventing their ensuing touchdown. Or the block in the back by Sean Locklear on the Ike Taylor interception of Hasselbeck in the 4th quarter.
You're right Mike. Missed calls, and bad ones, hurt both teams. Unfortunately, the perception exists that only bad calls affected the Seahawks. Nothing could be further from the truth.
More from Pereira: "Let's all put aside our allegiances and go back four years and look at the game objectively. If we do, we will see that the Seahawks did not play well and neither, actually, did the Steelers.
The officials also did not have a great game. In the end, however, the team that deserved to win won. That, in my opinion, is the bottom line."
If you have an objective eye, you can view many of the "controversial" calls on this video:
Thank you Mike for setting things straight.
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