Seattle Seahawks – 24
Pittsburgh Steelers – 17
Words can’t describe the way I feel right now. When the time comes and I leave this world, I can do so knowing that my beloved Seahawks are Super Bowl Champions.
It’s just an amazing feeling. I know I have to work in five hours, but I’m just so wound up right now that I can’t go to sleep. This is a culmination of all those years pulling for a team that was mediocre at best, dreadful at worst. Even in the big game, nobody wanted to give the Seahawks any respect. Kudos in particular go to MVP Matt Hasselbeck, whose TD passes to Jerramy Stevens and Darrell Jackson wrapped up the game long before the Steelers knew what hit them.
Hats off to Pittsburgh, though. They played hard the whole game – they just got off to a sluggish start and had a hard time recovering their momentum after falling behind 17-3 at halftime. They’re definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with in the league for many years to come. A shame that Jerome Bettis, for whom this Super Bowl was a homecoming, wasn’t able to win a ring before he retired. Even the greatest players play an entire career without winning the big one, though, and today’s loss by no means diminishes any of the accomplishments he’s had over the years.
As soon as I get a little spare money, you can be sure I’m going to invest in a Super Bowl Champion T-shirt, as well as the year-in-review DVD that Sports Illustrated will no doubt release in commemoration of their victory tonight. This is a memory I’m never going to want to let go.
No, I’m not delusional. That’s what the final score would’ve been if the referees knew how to call a fucking game. Consider the following:
– An egregiously bad offensive pass interference call against Darrell Jackson in the first quarter, reversing what would’ve been a touchdown and 7 points on the board for Seattle. From that point on, I knew who the refs were rooting for.
– Ben Roethlisberger’s impression of Vinny Testaverde, poking the ball in front of the goal line from his abdomen while lying flat on the ground. While watching the replay, ask yourself one question: how could the ball have crossed the goal line when it was tucked in Ben’s stomach if his helmet landed on the line?
– The Jerramy Stevens reception at the 1-yard line that was called back for a holding penalty – which wasn’t even called until the play was long over. Almost as if the refs were thinking, “Crap, Seattle’s going to retake the lead – we’d better put a stop to this!”
– The unnecessary roughness penalty called against Hasselbeck during an interception return that was caused when Hasselbeck was pushed into the downfield blocker, tacking another 15 yards onto the play and setting the stage for that zany Reverse/Flea Flicker/End Around/Bootleg pass that Randle El threw.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying the Seahawks played flawlessly. They dropped quite a few more passes than they should have. The clock management was atrocious (I almost thought the Steelers called that timeout towards the end of the first half out of pity for the totally confused Seahawks.) Josh Brown missed a couple of FG tries that would’ve at least closed up the score and made it so that Seattle wouldn’t have had to score 11 points in two minutes if they wanted to catch up. The Steelers themselves had some big plays, like the Willie Parker run and that 3rd & 28 pass by Roethlisberger where he knew exactly how far he could go before crossing the line of scrimmage.
But no Steeler fan is going to be able to look at me with a straight face and tell me that they weren’t the grateful recipients of some very friendly officiating. I was prepared to congratulate the Steelers for their victory if they had gotten it fair and square. Instead, Super Bowl XL will forever go down in the history books as the game where Bill Leavy made more of an impact on the game than any player on the field. He should’ve gotten the MVP trophy simply for providing the Steelers the 25-point differential that decided the game. And let’s be candid: The NFL wanted the Steelers to win that game. There was no way in hell that they were going to let some out-of-nowhere team that’s a thousand miles away from its closest NFL neighbor and burned all the bandwagoners the year before beat a storied franchise that’s been in the league since its inception, has one of the league’s most recognizable coaches, and has had all of its various storylines rammed down everyone’s throats in the two weeks leading up to the game. (By the way, did you know that this game gave Jerome Bettis a chance to go back to his hometown of Detroit? Or that Troy Polamalu has really long hair, walks on water, and is the best defensive player in the history of the sport? Or that this was their first trip to the big game in ten excrutiatingly long years? Or that Joey Porter is freaking insane?)
So Steeler fans, you’ve got two options: either the refs blew the game big time, or Super Bowl XL was rigged. Either way, that trophy you guys are going to be lording over us for the next year means shit. How about next season, you do it without the officials carrying you through the game?