Saturday, August 7, 2010
Ex-Seahawks weigh in on referee
By Mike Sando
The story featuring referee Bill Leavy's admissions regarding Super Bowl XL has more than 2,700 comments and has been shared on Facebook more than 8,500 times.
The subject has gained traction, in other words.
I'll pass along some comments from former Seahawks Seneca Wallace and Bobby Engram, both with the Cleveland Browns. Thanks to AFC North maestro James Walker for tracking these down."
Greg Johns of seattlepi.com has quotes from other current Seahawks players. I watched the game in person without hearing TV commentary and didn't think officiating affected the outcome of the game. My thought was that Seattle dropped some key passes, probably didn't stick with the running game enough and had trouble against the pass once safety Marquand Manuel suffered an ankle injury during the second quarter. The bad calls hurt, too. I do remember thinking at the time that the pass-interference penalty against Darrell Jackson seemed ticky-tack, even if it were defensible from a technical standpoint.
"On a whole, unless they’re going to come out and say, 'Hey, here’s the trophy and here’s your ring,' it’s not going to make a difference. But if we took care of what we were supposed to take care of in that game … I think a lot of those calls wouldn’t have made a difference. But it’s good that he came out now and admitted that he blew some calls.
"We can only control what we can control. If the refs are going to make bad calls, they're going to make bad calls. We can dispute and argue them all we want. But at the end of the day [Pittsburgh] walked away with the trophy.
"[Mike Holmgren] wasn’t happy at all. He’s a very intense guy. From what I remembered, he was very upset with some of the calls that went on in that game."
"I hope he feels better about himself. He’s human and we all make mistakes. I’m sure he was trying his hardest, but it was difficult for us to overcome some of those missed calls.
"We talked about it until we were blue in the face the first year after. To throw salt in that wound, I live in Pittsburgh and went to Penn State. Even the fans there, they knew. The fans knew me from Penn State, so they treat me a little differently. And when you talked to a majority of them, they say that they hated to see it go down like that. They saw it. Those calls were such momentum-changers. We kept battling and kept battling. But we could only overcome so much, especially when we didn’t play our best football that day.
"But I feel bad for the guy. These refs try hard and I respect what they do. It’s not an easy job. It’s a fast-paced game and a lot of big, strong guys are flying around. It’s just unfortunate that he had a bad game in the Super Bowl."