During Bill Leavy's first visit to Seattle with the Seahawks since Super Bowl XL, he admitted that he made two bad calls during the fourth quarter. Mr. Leavy, however, never said that these calls changed the outcome of the game, as some people have since implied.
Mike Pereira, who is now retired from the NFL, was the Vice President of officiating at the time of Super Bowl XL. He is now an analyst for FOX Sports and wrote in a column on their website, "Did Leavy's calls determine the winner of Super Bowl XL? Absolutely not! In truth, there were missed calls that went against both teams."
Everyone knows the officials weren't perfect in that game; they aren't perfect in any game. In fact, the officiating was below average during that particular February evening in Detroit.
Many fans argue that the game was officiated unfairly in Pittsburgh's favor.
"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," Pereira wrote, "The officials also did not have a great game. In the end, however, the team that deserved to win won."
One of the calls that Leavy was almost certainly referring to when he said, "I kicked two calls in the fourth quarter and I impacted the game," was a holding call against Sean Locklear.
When referring to that call, Pereira wrote, "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."
Addressing Bill Leavy's impact on the game, Mike Pereira wrote, "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."
It's time to put this argument to rest. Super Bowl XL was not the first big game that had questionable officiating. Bad calls have been a part of the game since the infancy of the league. Sometimes, teams are forced to overcome incorrect or missed calls in order to win the game.
I think we can all agree that Super Bowl XL was not officiated perfectly, but that doesn't mean the Seattle Seahawks should have been the winners.
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