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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 6, 2006 4:07 PM. The previous post in this blog was Ray of hope. The next post in this blog is Blood and guts at Soil and Water. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, February 6, 2006

From disappointment to disgrace

Hard to believe, but the coach of the Seattle Seahawks stood up in front a large crowd in the Emerald City today and blamed the referees for his team's loss. KGW is quoting him as follows: "We knew it was going to be tough going against the Pittsburgh Steelers, I didn't know we were going to have to play the guys in the striped shirts as well."

What a bum. Even if it's true, you don't say that. A textbook example of poor sportsmanship. But then again, what did we expect given the ownership of that organization -- the "bankrupt" billionaire? I hope we never see them in the Super Bowl, ever again.

Comments (39)

There comes a point where the obvious has to be stated. The story all over ESPN.com, Fox Sports and elsewehere is how atrocious the officating was.

When two teams are fairly evenly matched it si simply too much to have to overcome horrenous call after horrendous call. (and all but teh most partisan Steeler fans are in agreement that at least 3 calls went blatantly againt the Hawks and several close calls all went gainst them as well, no one has yet mentioned even a close call that went against the Steelers, let alone any as bad as the Jackson TD or the holding call)

In the NFL one bad call can have magnified importance. In Baseball for example one bad ball or strike call is relatively minor. When teh Seahawks go from 1st and goal on the 2 to 1st and 20 on the 40 you basically wipe out the entire drive that started on their own 3 and consumed several minutes.

And I know the argument, you have to overcome adversity and it is still 1st down. But lets be real, the Steelers D is arguably the toughest in the league and the Hawks needed to be flawless against it, going to 1st and 20 vs them is death.

No matter how bad it was, for the coach to do what this guy just did is 100% wrong. Especially given his own lousy, lousy performance over the last two minutes of both halves. Low class all the way.

Even if it's true, you don't say that.

Well it is true - and your post demonstrates you have no tolorance for truth!

You would have shown some class if you were to stand with the coach instead of using his words as a cheap blog topic.

Agreed. Fans and sportswriters should complain about officiating all they want, but players and coaches never should. In the post-game interviews I heard I thought the players handled questions re the officiating extremely well. It's a shame Holmgren felt the need to pander to the hometown crowd, but it hardly warrants the "I hope we never see them in the Super Bowl, ever again" sentiment. After all Jack, you were "Pulling for Pittsburgh" in spite of the comments certain Steelers made about the officiating after their game against Indy.

I totally agree, Jack. Is he aware he looks like a sour-grapes whiner?

I didn't care for a couple of the calls, but Seattle lost because of dropped passes, not refs.

Lack of class, Holmgren.

Don't get me wrong; I am not a Northwest regional loyalist and to the extent that I cared, was for the Steelers. But do sportswriters actually have the freedom to criticize referees, or is it like the "objective" Oregon State Bar vis a vis the West Hills Crowd?

You would have shown some class if you were to stand with the coach

We are very near the end of civilization.

it hardly warrants the "I hope we never see them in the Super Bowl, ever again" sentiment

Between Allen and this guy, I think it does. They creep me out.

yeah, the Seahawks seem to overlook the fact that Jerami stevens fumbled and the refs called it a "no catch"

a helmet to helmet shot on Hines Ward on the sidelines that wasn't called

a blatant block in the back on Roethlisberger on the 75 yard INT return....

yet, the Steelers didn't look like incompetent high schoolers in their two minute drill, the steelers rebounded from their mistakes, and the steelers didn't get suckered into a back breaking trick play when my DOG knows that the Steelers always run a trick play involving Randle-El.

Where does all the vitrol for Paul Allen come from??

Let's see... miserable Blazer team for more than a decade... default on the mortgage on the Rose Garden, to the detriment of my pension... ghetto-ization of broadcast radio... utter absence from the Portland philanthropic scene... quite a guy.

Uh Mike, when Stevens made the "catch and fumble" the ball went rolled of bounds, so if the refs had called it as a fumble the Hawks would have had 1st down aorund the Pittsburgh 20 instead of having to punt.

Try again, there is simply not a call you can find that benefited Seattle.

When ESPN has a poll where 70% of the people say the refs were the biggest factor in the game the league has a serious credibility problem. The officiating throughout the playoffs was horrible and yesterday was the inevitable result.

Don't forget Ticketmaster. Mr. Allen's involvement with that organization alone more than justifies the ire expressed thus far.

Thanks for reminding me. One more pin for the voodoo doll.

"Try again, there is simply not a call you can find that benefited Seattle."

Well, Hasselbeck's fumble got corrected. That's one call that went Seattle's way.

I agree that Seattle got bad calls but their defense and Pittsburgh limping offense kept them in it for most of the game - until Randle El hurled the prettiest pass of the night (in a full run no less). Seattle just didn't get it done. A better team would have. Plain and simple. As bad as the calls were, Seattle shot themselves in the foot over and over with dropped passes, missed field goals and awful clock management.

"...miserable Blazer team for more than a decade..."

As far as I'm concerned the fact that the Seahawks made it to the Super Bowl AFTER Bill Whitsett was fired speaks volumes. Had Whitsett not put his personal power above the team's interest back in '97 and hired Chuck Daly, who wanted to coach Portland, there would be two or three more championship banners hanging in the Rose Garden today.

I have more of an axe to grind than you do with Paul Allen. I bought stock in Charter Communications before the accounting scandal! And they want me to buy season tix? HA HA HA HA

um, eric, first, that is only one call. Second, when the whistle blows, players stop running...hence, no steelers to stop it from rolling out of bounds. Third, when the officials botched the call, they didn't know it was going to run out of bounds--they still made a bad call.

not to mention the fact that an early turnover by Seattle may have swung momentum in Pittsburgh's favor...which is a distinct possibility as Seattle showed they get rattled in a tough spot.

the point is, champions overcome bad officiating (like the Steelers did against Indy). Seattle didn't do so.

Seattle could talk if the refs had actually robbed them. As it was, Pittsburgh made the plays, Seattle didn't.

And no, sportswriters don't have the freedom to criticize referees, though sports journalism is still more rigorous than the so-called "hard news" these days. Note the fact that we talk about this or James Frey rather than the AG basically parroting the Reich today. So in that sense it is like the Bar: a necessary diversion to preserve the illusion of a level playing field. And likewise, when you criticize the ref, you get fined for threatening to blow the whole enterprise. That's why it's never a good idea to criticize the ref unless the ref is impotent (US central government) or you're ready to dethrone him for his corruption.

Mike, give it up, on that play no one quit and the ball rolled directly out of bounds with no Steeler anywhere near it to recover.

You can make the case that bad calls happen and that the Hawks didn't do enough to overcome them, but no credible case can be made that the bad calls didn't go against the Hawks

eric: I agree with you. there were bad calls against Seattle. But see my point about the indy game above.

Okay. I watched the whole thing.

I went into it hoping Seattle would win, largely because I like to see teams which have never won it win, rather than repeat winners. Ergo, a bit of a bias against the Steelers.

However, I don't normally follow pro football. I'm a college football fan normally. (Virgina Tech, 'cause I like their mascot.) So, to that extent, I really don't have a jones for Seattle, either.

What I saw was a pretty good game. Seattle was legitimately outplayed. The Steelers defense in the last half of the 4th quarter means they could have won without the extra touchdown...the challenged touchdown. I, by the way, disagreed with the judges decision, but feel that it was legitimate. Had it been otherwise, the result would have been the same.

That's just my bias opinion. Subsequent events do not make the Seattle franchise look good.

Partisan quibbling aside, it was a lousy game to watch, mostly because of the refereeing. I don't care much for football and don't know much about it, especially about which pro team wins, but it really looked as if they were making up the rules as they went along. That's not very entertaining. And the commercials? Don't get me started.

If Vanderjagt makes his FG and the Colts win the game in OT everyone in Pittsburgh is talking about how the Polamula int call cost them the game. The Steelers got very lucky.

The "Champions overcome it" stuff drives me nuts, sure Seattle played badly, but the Steelers played even worse. Instead of saying the Hawks didn't play good enough to overcome the bad calls why don't we say "The Steelers played horrible, but thanks to some bad calls got away with it"

My point is that the officiating in the NFL is seriously broken and arguably just in the playoffs cost TB a win, NE a win, almost cost the Steelers a win and now cost Seattle the SB. When is the league going to fix it? For starters having refs who aren't eligible for medicare is a decent idea.

And you can say I'm just a sour grapes Seattle fan, but it isn't just us, go read the polls on ESPN, everyone outside of Penn. and West Virginia is calling it this way.

And like I said it wasn't just one game, the most consistent theme of the playoffs was atrious officiating. Back to Jack's original point, maybe for coaches to quit biting their tongues and spouting the party line is what it takes to get the problem addressed.

How many times have you seen the halfback option pass go astray? That thing was a beauty, and when you do things like that you deserve to win. That was execution for the ages, and that's good, because we'll see it for the rest of our lives on the highlight films.
They also contained Alexander - the league rushing leader.

My comedian friend in Florida just called: Bettis and Hines were down in Disneyworld today. It's over.

I can not believe some of the posts here:

"They also contained Alexander - the league rushing leader"

95 yards for Alexander is containment??? Please

"Seattle was legitimately outplayed"

Not statistically.

http://www.superbowl.com/gamecenter/live/NFL_20060205_SEA@PIT

One play did not make or break the game for Seattle, but the refs definitely did impact the final outcome of the game.

And two weeks earlier Joey Porter makes the claim that the refs wanted Indy to win, thus no vitriol from Jack.

You can not have it both ways.

I disagreed with Paul Allen's (and management) tactics here in Oregon when trying to renegotiate interest rates on the Rose Garden, but the same thing happened (i.e. the same investors) were hung out by the Civic Stadium remodel.

People castigate Bob Whitsitt on a regular basis, but I think Steve Patterson is slimy, and his ongoing fued with The Oregonain is stupid.

Bob tried to save jobs, Patterson fires 100 people. Bob spent a lot of money, but to Paul Allen, it was immaterial. The guy has lost like $12 billion in the last seven years, not just on the Blazers.

We should be thankful for the most part with what Paul Allen has done for the Blazers. Look, we could just as easily have an owner like Donald Stern of the Clippers (an accused sexual harasser and cheapskate), the Milwaukie Bucks, or the Atlanta Hawks. Paul wants to win, and in the past has spent money trying to make it happen.

Mark Cuban has turned around the Dallas Mavericks, but we still have more championships than them.

Could the Blazers do things differently, YES, but for the most part, Paul Allen, the Seahawks and The Blazers are not public enemy number one in Portland. I think Tom Potter is a bigger problem, with all his out of country trips, lack of direction, and lack of backing baseball.

We should be thankful for the most part with what Paul Allen has done for the Blazers.

You're over the word limit, but I'll leave that one up. It's that funny.

Yes, 95 yards for Alexander is containment. They contained him from getting 100 yards. Seriously, that’s a nice number but I didn’t feel the running game was dealing on the Steelers. I do remember one 20-yarder by Alexander, but I don’t remember those grinding first downs. I had the feeling Seattle had to pass to win, compared to say the work of John Riggins in the Super Bowl with the Redskins.
I’ll close with one final impression: Remember how much pressure Pittsburgh put on Manning? He even complained about the protection – and this is a team that protected him well all year. Well, it stands to figure that a team that generates that kind of pressure, would generate some holding calls, too.

So troubled was I by this 95-yard stat, that I went to Sports Illustrated's site to see what they said. The article was called "Low impact
Alexander held in check in possible Seattle farewell"
I'm going back to my impression: The Steelers contained him.

1. Clearly a block in the back on Seattle's INT return. Sure, Big Ben set it up by running right in front of the guy, but so what? Every defensive lineman tries to make it look like he's being held on every play. If it's a penalty, call it. The refs took away 7-14 points from Seattle, but they also handed Seattle 7 points on that play. Big Ben should've thrown a fade into the corner of the end zone. What was he thinking?

2. That said, the refs sucked, and a it hurt Seattle more than it hurt Pitt.

3. I think it's hilarious that the clock runs when a player goes out of bounds for much of the game, but it stops for the same action right before halftime and in the fourth quarter. The NFL: speeding up the game by doing something totally inconsistent and insane. To speed up baseball, tell the players not to take 10 seconds between pitches. To speed up basketball, reduce the number of timeouts and enforce the delay of game rules. They don't need to mess with the clock. Isn't anyone else disturbed by this?

4. What is it with 2-minute offenses in the Super Bowl? Seattle's supposedly Montana-ish West Coast Offense choked at the end of the game (and maybe right before halftime, though the refs had a say in that). Remember last year? The Eagles were down two scores in the 4th quarter, and they went on a long, "full-huddle" drive that ate a huge chunk of time before they scored, leaving no time to complete a comeback.

Sorry, bad officiating (if it was) are just like course hazards in golf. If Holmgren was so convinced, then challenge them on the field.

I just don't see Cowher getting up (if he lost) and griping about the reason for losing is having the cheapest owner in the league (yes, that is Rooney who lost a lot of guys to free agency) and not being able to drop a tom of money on guys like Hasselbeck (the next Trent Dilfer) and Alexander (once he gets past his contract year, he'll perform like he did in the playoffs - invisible.)

"Sorry, bad officiating (if it was) are just like course hazards in golf."

Except that hazards in golf present the same obstacle to everyone, while bad officiating sometimes predominantly impacts one team. On Sunday the Seahawks effectively had to deal with a course hazard that was not there for the Steelers. That said, the Steelers won, and deserved to win, because they made big plays like converting on 3rd and 28 before their first TD, Willie Parker's run, and the trick play.

"ghetto-ization of broadcast radio" -- jack, you're outstanding... and to think nobody has even commented on that... nice work to slide that little one in

... and P.S. -- were you speaking of that jammin' FM station of his or the blazer broadcasts? could be said about both these days...

The only call that I think should have not been called as it was was the holding call on Seattle that negated the long pass down to the Pittsburgh one yard line. Otherwise, everything seemed good--Jackson definitely used his arm to get separation (and to change direction) in the end zone, and from what I saw Roethlisberger got the tip of the ball over the goal line. However, even if that call goes against Pittsburgh, they've got one more try from the one inch line, and that's almost a guaranteed Bettis TD.

As someone who was mildly for Seattle but basically wanted a good game, I was mad that the play to the one was called back. Madden sure seemed adamant that it was a bad call. If Seattle had punched it in, they would have gone ahead and we would have had a great finish. As a fan I wanted that.
But also as a fan I wanted Holmgren to remove his head from his play sheet, kick the field goal, with 50 seconds left, and at least have an onside kick with a possible long touchdown, 2-point conversion and overtime.
That would have been cool. The difference is, the refs threw the flag not knowing the outcome of the play to the one, and – you have to believe – not really caring. Holmgren on the other hand is paid to extend the game, give his team every opportunity and all that, so he hurt football fans even more by not doing his job. That’s it for me – It’s time to catch Pro Bowl fever.

The quote from the KGW article offers no context.

I actually saw video of that quote, and Holmgren started his very next sentence with, "BUT SERIOUSLY..." as if he was making light of the officiating.

I can't believe an entire blog post would be dedicated to one misunderstood, out-of-context quote.

My life was involved inside pro sports braodcasting for a long time before I saw the evidence proving the game scores are rigged. It's a gambling industry thing.

So I don't fault others for not seeing it yet. But this hint might help: Pro athletes means do what you are paid to do. And that ain't athleticism.

We stupidly watch the game, drink the beer, eat the chips, and then think taxes should fund lifelong health care for citizens. I don't watch sports anymore, I play them.

It puts the life AND long in lifelong.

... and uh, I'm better than you are because I PLAY sports and you only watch them...

First off.... In the name of honesty, I am a Steelers fan. If the Steelers had lost the superbowl, I would not be as quick to complain, for fear of being called a whiner.

I have been watching football for over 30 years. Without exaggeration, I think this year was the year that akes the prize for the worst officiating ever. Not just the Superbowl, but all year long. There are clearly a lot of issues that need to be dealt with. I think full-time refs may be the answer.

The fact is that none of us have a crystal ball. None of us know for sure how the game would have turned out even if the officiating was perfect. Oh sure, we can do the math and add and subtract the "what if" points, but that is assuming that every other play of the game would have been the same, except for the ones where there were bad calls by the officials. Big assumption. Who knows what the next plays would have been if those calls went the other way? NONE OF US!

However, let's focus the attention on where it should be -- on the officials. The fact that they screwed up doesn't mean that Steelers fans should be vilified. Should I stop being a fan because the refs are bad? What would you like a team to do on the field? Should they say... Thanks ref, but the call was a bad one so we are going to spot the other team some points?

Both teams played a hard game. Mistakes and bad plays were made on both sides. The Steelers pretty much let the Seahawks walk all over them inthe first half. The Seahawks had some bad play calls and poor time management.

One of the golden rules in all of sports, whatever level, is "Don't turn the game over to the officials". Teams can't do anything about that. All they can do is play their hearts out which is what both teams did in the superbowl. The fans and the players aren't at fault, the officials are. As a Steelers fan, I am ticked off that this victory isn't what it could be. The refs in this game have cheapened the thrill of victory. I can sympathize with the Seahawks and their fans. If it was the other way around, I would be screaming even louder than they.

But the truth is, we have the outcome of the game as it was played and as it was officiated. None of us, as talented as we claim we are, can say what would have happened if the refs hadn't blown it. So let's give credit where it's due -- to the players on BOTH sides of the ball -- and point our anger and frustration where it belongs -- at the worst officials in NFL history.

I love Bill Cowher. I love Mike Holmgren. The game's officiating was terrible. I don't understand why it is ok for Hasselbeck to have a bad game in the final two minutes of each half, but the refs "did a fine job." The refs were terrible.

I would have called Big Ben's TD good - this is an arguement of 1/2 inch. This is not a bad call - it is a judgement call. TD.

On the first pass interference, the defender had his hands extended, too. His push wasn't as hard - NO P.I. - Touchdown Seattle.

The fumble that was called an incomplete - is an example of another example of a "blown" call. (Plus, it rolled out-of-bounds for a Seattle 12 yard Y.A.C. gain.)

Absolutely 100% - there was no holding when Seattle got the ball to the one. But that play was called back, too.

Illegal chop block on Hasselbeck when he made a tackle, with no conference and a waving off of the flag??? Come on.

The people commenting on this "victory" are not only Seattle fans. It is former NFL players, who know that those calls were MAJOR influences in the game.

I wanted Cowher to win one, but he is more than capable of winning one without a one-sided officiated game.

The officials had a bad game - just like Seattle did ending each half. Seattle should not have been in that situation, though.

Look at who is critical of officiating. Holmgren - for one, I have never heard this complaint befor, and he knew he would get fined.

I am not a Seattle fan (I don't hate them, either) - but I'm a huge football fan - and the officiating absolutely sucked.


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Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria DermoČ—t - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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