A major controversy that the Seattle Seahawks were forced to deal with unfortunately cost them the Super Bowl XL title in 2006. They had to play against a superpower in that the Pittsburgh Steelers had a lot of experience in big-risk games. They were experienced, fierce, and they were definitely not going to be an easy competitor to beat.
The controversy arose when the Seahawks seemed to be not only battling against the Steelers, but the officiating crew as well. There were a number of questionable calls, and had they gone the other way or had not been made, the game could have ended quite differently. More than 100,000 people participated in a poll on ESPN’s website days after the game, and over 6o% of the voters agreed that officiating mistakes affected the outcome of the game.
The most upsetting part is that years later, the head referee, Bill Leavy, admitted to making mistakes in his officiating. He said that he had made calls that heavily impacted the game, and that is something an official never wants to do. He commented that he’s had sleepless nights because of it. Well, why did you make such calls, Sir? Have you thought of the many sleepless nights you have caused the Seahawks?
Two questionable calls took place in the fourth quarter when the Seahawks could have had the opportunity to take back the game, but because of the officials’ calls they weren’t able to do so. The NFL has listed the officiating controversy of Super Bowl XL as #8 on the list of the top ten most controversial calls of all time. It is interesting to note that at the time of this controversy the NFL was in total support of the calls made during the game. Some believe the officials’ calls determined the outcome of the game; others argue that the Seahawks’ loss was due to the way they played, which could be true. In any case, it is unfortunate when controversial calls have such an impact on a Super Bowl game, and it obviously means something when mistakes are admitted by the referee himself.
Article Written by: Erin Irish