AFTERNOON UPDATE: NATIONAL PUNDITS
CLAIM "WORST OF ALL TIME..." MORE BELOW...
PITTSBURGH WINS, 21-10, AMID CONTROVERSY
I was off by a factor of 2/3, but I got it right. The Pittsburgh
Steelers defeated the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 21-10. It was by
no means pretty. Ben Roethlisberger threw 2 interceptions and the
Seahawks terribly mismanaged their final drive. Yes, there were some
"mistakes" by the officials. No, I don't think it would have changed
the net outcome.
Willie Parker broke a record 75-yard run but was disappointing
otherwise; Jerome Bettis, who retired on the spot after the win, was
the more consistent of the night. MVP Himes Ward
the leading receiver, with 5 catches for 123 yards and one TD, thrown
by WR Antwaan Randle-El in an expected "trick play." The special teams
for Seattle messed up numerous times, with K Josh Brown going 1/3 and P
Tom Rouen seemingly unable to keep its punts outside the end zone.
There is a significant amount of controversy brewing in the sports-talk
world. Sports talk fans from Seattle to Buffalo are complaining that
the game was apparently fixed. It's really unusual for sports fans to
suggest that the NFL is rigged, but after a few "mis-calls," that's
exactly what's happening. The funny thing is that I have never even
hesitated to suggest it in the past, but not this time. I didn't think
that the officiating was all that bad; however, the game may have been
a little closer but I think that it still would have come out as a
Pittsburgh win. AGAIN, I'M NOT A STEELERS FAN, JUST TO REITERATE THAT.
The calls in question were the issue of a pass interference call that
called back a would-be touchdown and an ill-timed holding penalty on
another similar play, the next play leading to an interception return.
Also under question was a questionable horsecollaring penalty on QB
Matt Hasselbeck when he stopped an interception return. Some also
questioned a goal-line rushing TD by Ben Roethlisberger, but
fourth-and-inches would have been a given TD pretty much anyway. Then
there was the issue of "down but not down by contact" would-be fumble
Hasselbeck, a completely ridiculous made-up rule that was fortunately
This is getting ridiculous. Almost every national story (save NFL.com
and their partner, CBS Sportsline) is dealing with how horribly
incompetent or biased the officiating in that game was. Sports
Illustrated's Andrew Perloff identified the game as the "worst
Super Bowl of all time." Fans across the nation are angry. I have
NEVER, and I mean NEVER, seen such a backlash. I've known for years
that the NFL was biased, if not outright rigged. Most of the time,
though, people don't take that seriously. Now many are.
Now, for my 2 cents: there are calls for officials to become full-time.
What's that going to do? Nothing but make the refs' pockets fatter,
that's what, and that won't do anything to fix the product. My
suggestion: dump this union and hire replacements like back in 2001.
They conducted themselves with such professionalism and competence, as
opposed to the morons officiating in this league. Besides, the NFL is
four months per year, at most five hours per week. THAT'S PART-TIME BY
This also brings up the question of the NFL's staying power. There is
an upcoming conflict with the NFLPA. If the players are deserting and a
sizable chunk of fans backlash against Tagliabue and desert, say, for
the CFL, college, the arena leagues or other sports, this could spell
trouble for the most popular sport in America. Not that I think it'll
be all that significant, but it's very much possible.
- The Rolling Stones put on a very entertaining and lively show.
Apparently those dropouts in Mick Jagger's voice were the work of NFL
editors. (It sure beats having to bleep out nearly half of the words of
a lyricist that some Detroiters recommended perform in place of the
Stones: EMINEM. I can't believe anyone could take that suggestion
seriously.) It was a great idea to have a Motown tribute right before
- The commericals, once again, disappointed. Someone call
Anheuser-Busch, tell them that we're sick of the Bud Light ads. ENOUGH
IS ENOUGH ALREADY! There were a few in the entire batch that made me
laugh, but over all, a disappointing batch much like last year. Way too
many movie ads.
- I don't know whether it was partly a satellite problem or the
network, but the last game ever aired on ABC looked like the first game
ever aired on public access. There were quite a few technical glitches
and cameras going black, cameras cutting to cheerleaders right after
big plays. Who are you, OLN?
- Shame, shame, shame on the NFL. I say that because this is the one
game of the season that they offer live audio play-by-play of the
game-- for FREE. AND without commercials, thanks to the BBC. You're
taking me down here!... Honestly, though, it actually reaffirms the
legitimacy of my free NFL page in the first place, as the local
broadcasts were still subscription-only as they have been all year. I
primarily used Westwood One/Jones Radio syndicated feeds. For that, I'm
quite relieved. On that note, I have discontinued the Free NFL Radio
page for the
2005-06 year. I'm not carrying it from year to year because the sources
change from year to year and trying to save all my sources would be
impractical (and dangerous since the NFL could hunt them and shut them
down). But IT WILL BE BACK in 2006.
FULLERVISION ENTERPRISES, UNLTD.
SUPER BOWL XL FULLERVISION STYLE
DATE/TIME: Sunday, February 5, 2006, 6:15 PM
LOCATION: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
ABC Television Network
WKBW-TV 7 [DT 38] Buffalo, WHAM-TV 13 [DT 58] Rochester, WSYR-TV 9
Syracuse, WUTR-TV 20 Utica, WWTI-TV 50 [DT 21] Watertown, WJET-TV 24
[DT 58] Erie, WENY-TV 36 [DT 55] Elmira, WIVT-TV 34 Binghamton, WATM-TV
23 State College PA, WTEN-TV 10 Albany
The game will be broadcast in high-definition where available.
Westwood One/CBS Radio Network
Italics indicate 50 kW broadcast
WGR-AM 550 Buffalo, WJTN-AM 1240 Jamestown, WHAM-AM 1180 Rochester, WACK-AM
1420 Finger Lakes/Newark, WHEN-AM 620 Syracuse, WIXT / WRNY / WADR /
WUTQ-AM Utica,WELM-AM 1310 Elmira, WOFX-AM 980 Albany, WPIE-AM 1160
Ithaca, WPSE-AM 1450 Erie, WESB-AM 1490 Bradford, WFAN-AM 660 New York City, WTAM-AM 1100
Cleveland, WSCR-AM 670 Chicago
via Fullervision's Free NFL Radio Page
OFFICIAL WEB SITE:
The Pittsburgh Steelers
A tough, gritty, blue-collar team that's been built behind a running
game powered by its two stars, aging powerhouse Jerome Bettis and young
upstart Willie Parker, an efficient but not spectacular passing attack
led by QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Antwaan Randle-El, and WR Hines Ward,
and a bone-crushing 3/4 defense boasting Joey Porter and Troy Polamalu
the kingpins. The Steelers were last in the AFC bracket coming in but
had a few chips fall in their favor as the teams ahead of them
faltered. The Steelers are perennial playoff contenders with Bill
Cowher, the longest-tenured coach still in the league, at the helm.
Pittsburgh is entering its sixth world championship and ranks tied for
second in all-time Super Bowl appearances (Denver also has made 6 while
Dallas has played in 8). Pittsburgh is third in all-time Super Bowl
wins with four, trailing only to the 5 held by Dallas and San Francisco.
The Seattle Seahawks
It doesn't get any more incognito than this. No stellar defensive
stars. A below-average special teams. Their starting wide receiver,
Joe Jurevicius, stands out because he's Caucasian. That's right, a
white guy playing a skill position in the NFL. But when your schedule
includes Houston, Tennessee, Arizona twice, and San Francisco twice,
you can simply be above average and still have a phenomenal season. Ask
Shaun Alexander, who had a banner year rushing, or Matt Hasselbeck, who
had a decent year at quarterback. [Or Indianapolis, who had a similar
schedule but fell apart.] The Seahawks are a good team in a bad
division. (Heck, even their first playoff win was against Washington,
who boasts Mark Brunell, one of the most rusted QBs in the NFL, at the
helm.) The one thing that Seattle has working for them is that coach
Mike Holmgren has won the Super Bowl and Bill Cowher has not. This is
Seattle's first ever Super Bowl appearance.
The Sunday morning line: Pittsburgh was a 4-point favorite with a
47-point over under. (Score format: Steelers 25½, Seahawks
Money line: Pittsburgh -195, Seattle +165.
Odds details: Click
Seattle is going to need a miracle to stay in this game. The only other
time this year that Seattle faced a 3/4 was Dallas, and the offense was
stuffed. Pittsburgh is a whole lot better than Dallas. The Steelers
should be able to attack the inside of the Seahawks' defense with power
running and short passing plays.
Pittsburgh 31, Seattle 14.
And no, I'm not a Steelers fan in particular, but I was very close in
my prediction last year (I predicted 26-23 NE when the score was 24-21