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Sunday, September 20, 2009
Seahawks reunited with Super Bowl XL ref

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


SAN FRANCISCO -- The media flip card at Candlestick Park features a name familiar to Seahawks fans: Bill Leavy.

The veteran referee is working a Seahawks game for the first time since Mike Holmgren complained bitterly about calls that went against Seattle during the team's loss to Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XL after the 2005 season.

This appears to be part of an NFL trend discussed here after Week 1.

For years, the league appeared to shield referees from working games involving teams that suffered from controversial calls, even when those calls were correct.

Walt Coleman still hasn't worked a Raiders game since invoking the tuck rule during the Patriots' playoff victory over Oakland on Jan. 19, 2002. Before last season, Ed Hochuli hadn't worked a Broncos game since Oct. 8, 2000. Before last week, referee Jeff Triplette hadn't worked an Eagles game since Oct. 23, 2001. Those games featured high-profile officiating decisions that worked against the teams involved.

Leavy's crew called controversial penalties against Darrell Jackson, Sean Locklear and Matt Hasselbeck during Super Bowl XL.

"We knew it was going to be tough going up against the Pittsburgh Steelers," coach Mike Holmgren told fans during a postgame rally. "I didn't know we were going to have to play the guys in the striped shirts as well."

Holmgren's departure from the Seahawks after last season might have cleared the way for this unwanted reunion. I have a hard time envisioning the league assigning Leavy to a game featuring Holmgren as one of the coaches.