Monday, November 17, 2008

Vegas is on the Line

My condolences if you had money on the Steelers last night. What should have been, at least, a 7-point win for Pittsburgh over San Diego, instead ended 11-10 in favor of the Steelers after referee Scott Green reversed Troy Polamalu's last-second touchdown, throwing an Roethlisberger-sized bucket of water on gamblers everywhere who thought Pittsburgh, giving five, had covered the spread. 

Green and his crew inexplicably negated Polamalu's touchdown because they eventually ruled San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers had thrown the ball forward to LaDainian Tomlinson. Tomlinson lateraled the ball to Chris Chambers, who then threw the ball backwards to a teammate before Polamalu grabbed it and ran it back for a touchdown. 

After the referees called both teams back on the field to kick the extra point, the play was put under review. Green reversed the call on the field and said the touchdown did not count.

Why? Green said he and his crew misunderstood whether Rivers' initial pass or Tomlinson's lateral was in question.
The first pass [Rivers to Tomlison] was the one that was illegal, but it only kills the play if it hits the ground," Green said. "That was incorrect to have killed it at that point. The ruling should have let the play go on. That's just the way that it played out. We believe the second pass (by Tomlinson) was legal.
Later, Green was asked why, since the first pass by Rivers did not hit the ground, the officials decided after huddling that the play should have ended there, essentially swapping in one mistaken interpretation of the rules for a different one.
We didn't kill it on the field. After (the) discussion we decided ... there was some confusion over which pass we were talking about and it was decided that it was the second pass [Tomlinson to Chambers] that was illegal that did hit the ground and therefore we killed the play there.
Translation: "We screwed this up as bad as monkeys making an egg-white omelette."  

Green later apologized for what he called an "errant" call. That should make everything alright with the gamblers of the world, don't you think? What's a couple of bucks between friends? 

UPDATED to recognize Green's second mind-boggling explanation. I still can't wrap my head around this fix, um, ruling. 

Just watch for yourself, please. 

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