January 12, 2003

"You don't make that call in overtime and in a playoff game." : How about doing what it takes to win the game, and not blaming the refs when you fail?

posted by kirkaracha to football at 01:04 AM - 17 comments

Another close playoff game ends in another "controversial" call. The Steelers had their chances to win, blew their chances, and try to get bailed out by blaming the refs. The running-into-the-kicker call was borderline, but the fact is the Steelers made contact with the kicker. The but-we-called-a-timeout "controversy" is b.s. because they didn't call the timeout in time, and even if they had, so what? The Titans would still have the ball and the chance to kick a highly probable field goal. How about making a first down and kicking a game-winning field goal when you've got first-and-10 on their 40 with a minute left in regulation? How about playing defense and not allowing back-to-back pass plays of 20 and 30 yards in overtime? p.s. The Steelers played it too cute by trying to call time out just as the ball was being snapped. Maybe it's legal, but it sure is chippy.

posted by kirkaracha at 01:05 AM on January 12, 2003

when did the Steelers become such bitches? Cowher sounds like a little kid , Bill get your defense together, and you wouldn't be having these problems, the Steelers passing D was the worst this year, the Patriots showed everyone how to beat the Steelers in week one, and any team that could pass half way decent beat them, whatever, Go Jets!!!!!!!!!!

posted by jbou at 01:48 AM on January 12, 2003

I didn't hear Cowher bitching when the Steelers went to the AFC championship for the 96 season after scoring the winning touchdown over the Colts with a pass caught by a receiver who had stepped out of bounds, therefore making him ineligible. No, I'm not bitter. It's all Karma. They desreved to lose do to past injustices. And because their defense is terrible. And because Cleveland made them look stupid last weekend. And because Cowher is vastly overrated. And because Randle-El and Ward are the only gifted players on the team. And because Maddox has that same doe-eyed innocence that made me hate Kurt Warner. And because Kordell Stewart is growing another head out of his right cheek, maybe even one that can identify open receivers. And because Bettis is a washout. No, I'm not bitter. It's about time that the bad officiating came around to bite them in the ass. They truly deserve it.

posted by ttrendel at 04:24 AM on January 12, 2003

They got cute with the first time out, and tried to do it again on the second time out. It didn't work because they waited until the snap was beginning. Sucks to be them. There is no controversy in my eyes. What I want to know is if the guy running the fireworks got his walking papers after setting them off during the "practise" field goal in overtime. That could have EASILY come back to bite them in the ass, karma-wise.

posted by grum@work at 10:46 AM on January 12, 2003

I was really hoping that it would bite them in the ass karma-wise, that would have been really funny. I was sort of rooting for the steelers but after Cowher's behavior I'm glad they lost. One thing I haven't been able to figure out is this - they were kicking on 2nd down (I believe it was 2nd, maybe 3rd). So even if it wasn't running into the kicker, didn't they get another shot anyway? Or is the rule for that that you only get a 2nd chance if it's a botched snap, but once foot hits ball it's a change of possession? Does someone know the rule for sure? Grrr... time can't pass quickly enough. Bucs game is over but the Jets ahven't started, and I'm stucking watching Deion and the rest of the CBS idiot bobbleheads... start the game already!

posted by Bernreuther at 03:10 PM on January 12, 2003

The moment the ball crosses the line of scrimmage after a kick, that's the end of your possession. So if it was blocked BEHIND the line of scrimmage, I believe the kicking team can fall on it and still get another chance if they have a down left.

posted by grum@work at 07:34 PM on January 12, 2003

Personally (with no stake in the game at all) I agree with Cowher, the zebras shouldn't make that call. The contact was so incidental, and after the boot was away...that I believe the Steelers should not have lost like that. Jesus Christ those guys were absolutely killing each out there and a guy rolls under a kicker and gets called for a foul. Blah. But the overtime rules are also to blame - too much riding on a goddamned flip of the coin. As for calling a time-out right before the snap - that's just gamesmanship. The point of that time out is to freeze the kicker. The closer that happens to the snap the more likely it is to work. Need evidence? He missed the next attempt didn't he?

posted by vito90 at 07:36 PM on January 12, 2003

But the overtime rules are also to blame - too much riding on a goddamned flip of the coin. Glad to see someone finally point the finger in the right direction. For all my problems with the call in the OSU/UM game, UM had a chance to make the call null and void. Pittsburgh had no such chance, which sucks for them.

posted by tieguy at 09:03 PM on January 12, 2003

Aren't we all ignoring the obvious? The Steelers are setting a record that may never be broken. They've gone at least two years without winning a Super Bowl without losing a playoff game. Amazing.

posted by yerfatma at 08:26 AM on January 13, 2003

Cowher's real beef should be the overtime coin flip rule. The team that gets the ball in OT should be decided by something that took place in the first four quarters, such as the most yards gained on offense. Lacking that, it should be the team with home-field advantage, so the other team knows going into the game that a regulation tie leaves them at a disadvantage.

posted by rcade at 08:50 AM on January 13, 2003

too much riding on a goddamned flip of the coin I disagree. Why shouldn't you have to play defense during overtime? The Steelers gave up consecutive pass plays of 20-30 yards in overtime, which got the Titans within easy-field-goal range. Sudden death is the price you pay for not being able to win during regulation time.

posted by kirkaracha at 08:53 AM on January 13, 2003

Why not have overtime winners be the first to get six points, regardless of the method? It may be silly, but it would be a way to (a) mollify those who see a single kick as being a cheap way to win; (b) still make it possible to end the game quickly; and (c) have something that resembles the previous four quarters. For now, the NFL overtime format is fine. Sixty minutes for a team to prove itself superior is more than fair. The point is to settle the matter and sudden-death does that. Chart the OT games "decided" by the coin-toss and you'll find that the defense probably didn't play well in those situations -- giving up chunk plays, committing stupid penalties, unable to make stops on third down and long. Those factors are usually present if a offense drives 60+ yards in two or three minutes to get in position for a field goal. That's not supposed to be easy, if your team is in a "do or die" scenario. (One thing I'm curious about is how often does a team get the ball at kickoff, after halftime or at overtime and score on that first drive.) As for the penalty on Washington, it would be good of him to block the kick if he's going to run into the kicker. Otherwise, it's not a "no harm, no foul" dealie -- he's going to get called for it.

posted by jackhererra at 09:53 AM on January 13, 2003

kirkaracha: we'll compare notes next time since you made the same point i did, only that you did it an hour earlier and took up much less screen space.

posted by jackhererra at 09:57 AM on January 13, 2003

Bill Cowher has been crying for years. This is the same coach that nearly came off the sideline to tackle a kick returner on MNF a few years back. I wish I could remember the specific game, but no matter. Cowher has no class, and neither does his team. The Steelers have been crying about last year's AFC Championship game since last year, and its not like they got hosed on any game-deciding calls in that one. Bottom line is that Cowher and the Steelers are crybabies. As for the overtime debate, the college format puts too much emphasis on offense, whereas sudden death requires your defense to actually play. Seeing as "defense wins championships", I think it's the right method to decide playoff games. Spend that two cents however you see fit.

posted by Conquistador at 03:34 PM on January 14, 2003

As for the overtime debate, the college format puts too much emphasis on offense, whereas sudden death requires your defense to actually play. Either way, your defense still has to play. The current format just gives a huge advantage to the winner of the coin flip (unless your coach is Dave Campo). Just because you know your team will get the ball back doesn't mean your defense is just going to mail it in. They still have to stop the other team from scoring (ideally) or hold them to a field goal and give their own offense a chance to win. From listening to ESPN radio today John Clayton thinks the competition committee will try to get the rule changed but it only takes 8 votes to maintain the status quo.

posted by vito90 at 03:55 PM on January 14, 2003

The degree of contact is beside the point. Contact was made with the kicker. That's a penalty. End of story. Steelers lost.

posted by monkeyman at 10:20 AM on January 15, 2003

So is holding. Holding happens on every single play. Would you advocate calling holding on every single play? In basketball, making contact with a player in possession of the ball is a foul. But this contact happens on every single play. Would you advocate calling a foul on every single play? Very often there is contact with a kicker that goes uncalled. So obviously the degree of contact can be an issue. There is a term in use called "incidental" contact. What happened to using good judgement?

posted by vito90 at 10:32 AM on January 15, 2003

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