The Hot Column

Wayland Radin

This year’s Super Bowl had its share of controversy and highlight-
reel plays, and yet it left viewers
ultimately unsatisfied. Even the much-vaunted commercials were a flop; only the escalation of the “Razor Wars” drew any attention
from the people I watched the game with, and then only because of the stupidity of it all.
The game itself was marred by dubious officiating, but in the end the Seahawks themselves are to blame. Sure, Darrell Jackson’s touchdown catch probably should not have been reversed for such a trivial infraction, but at the same time that would have left the final score 21-14 as it was the touchdown
reversal that created the opportunity for the field goal that the Seahawks were forced to settle
for. Instead, Seattle’s complete defensive breakdown on a couple of plays sealed their fate more concretely
than did the officiating, no matter how one looks at it.
In fact, all three Steeler touchdowns
came on botched defensive
plays. Roethlisberger’s controversial
touchdown came after a third and long that saw the Seahawk secondary fail to cover the Steeler’s receiver near the goal line. Willie Parker ripped off his 75-yard touchdown run – which was the longest in Super Bowl history
– thanks to a good block by his guard, but more importantly a missed tackle by the corner and an awful pursuit angle taken by the safety. Had either of these two made the plays they were supposed to, Parker’s run would have been an unspectacular 5- or 6-yard gain. Wide receiver Antwaan Randle El’s touchdown pass to Hines Ward was, as TV analyst Michael Irvin put it, “the best Steelers pass of the game,” and even then Ward should have been covered by safety Etric Pruitt who misread the play.
Outside of these three plays, less than 1 percent of the three-hour-and-36-minute game, the Seahawks out-gained, out-defended,
and generally out-played the Steelers. However, they managed only 10 points and therefore lost this unremarkable game.