FanPost

Memo From Pittsburgh Steelers' Fan

Please allow me to troll fro my home SB Nation site and offer four thoughts after yesterday's game.  First, the outcome of "the call" was in reality an injustice to the Dolphins.  There is an old saying that if 20 guys in a bar in Spearfish, North Dakota all think the same thing, then it is true.  Any reasonable person, not Steelers or Dolphins fans, will tell you that what resulted was wrong.  Sometimes the NFL, in its effort to go to great lengths to defines things, loses common sense somewhere in the effort.  It happened to Detroit earlier when a receiver caught a game-winning touchdown pass against Chicago, and because he didn't order a pizza before dropping the ball, was ruled incomplete.  We (Steelers) went through a very similar situation to yesterday five years ago in a playoff game against the Colts.  Every guy in every bar, every little old lady knitting a scarf, knew that Troy Polamalu intercepted Peyton Manning; yet the referee (Pete Morelli) overruled the play after the whole process was "over-thought."  Same thing yesterday.  Too much thinking, not enough common sense.

Second, your wrath should not be directed as much at Referee Steratore as with Linesman Bergman.  There is where the problem began.  Bergman should have never signaled touchdown and never blew a whistle.  Let the play finish.  Find out who recovered the ball.  For all we know, Pittsburgh may have recovered (though it seems unlikely) and the fumble becomes moot.  If some Steelers claim that they stopped trying after hearing the whistle, which is a claim that cannot be refuted, even if unbelieved, letting the play finish would have proven it one way or the other.  If Miami ends up with the ball, then make Pittsburgh challenge the ball breaking the plane.  The rule is, when in doubt, let the play finish, then get it checked through replay.  Bergman jumped to a touchdown conclusion way too soon.  That done, Steratore really had no other option but to follow the rule as he is instructed.

Third, every NFL referee should have one team blackballed from its list of options to officiate.  You can't do that with every official, since a crew of seven would have seven teams it could not officiate, but at least the referee should be prohibited from working the team of its hometown or favorite team growing up as a fan.  I do not believe any bias came into play yesterday.  The human optimist in me thinks the mistakes were honest.  That said, why even open the door for doubt?  Ask each referee who their favorite team is, where they live or grew up, and strike that team from ever being officiated by that referee.  There are enough to go around; this is a viable remedy.

Fourth and final, I am disturbed by a great deal of dialog indicating that the "refs gave the game," or somehow that "call" was game, set and match.  It was not.  Far from it.  First, Miami had an opportunity with more than two minutes to move into field goal range and more probable, Pittsburgh had all three of its timeout remaining plus the two-minute warning.  If the Steelers hold Miami to three-and-out from the 20-yard line (by no means a foregone conclusion, but they did end up doing just that to Miami at the end) and use their timeouts, they get the ball back around their 40 with more than two minutes and the two-minute warning still at their disposal.  All they needed was to get into field-goal range.  Yes, this scenario was a much higher hill to climb than what they ended up with, but please do not ignore the decent chances of success.  The Steelers just lost a game against Baltimore, very similar to yesterday, where the odds were much greater (Baltimore need a touchdown, not a field goal, and got it).

So, you all have every right to rant and vent your frustrations.  You were wronged by the NFL out-thinking itself .  If the reverse happens to the Steelers, I would feel the same way.  But to say that call "ended the game" is extremely immature.  There was still plenty of game left and an opportunity for a pretty good defense and quarterback to overcome the call had it gone against Pittsburgh.  Fair enough?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.

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