The Play that Changed the Super Bowl

There’s no doubt in my mind that Americans have become impatient, annoying perfectionists. I arrived at my buddy’s house about a half an hour before the game only to discover that something had happened to his antenna (which he just bought the day before) and he couldn’t get reception. He went on the roof, messed around with it and got some reception. It wasn’t crystal clear, but it was just coming from an antenna, so what can you expect, really? Well, his fiancee and future parents in law expected more. “Its horrible!” they all said. I disagreed, but I was overwhelmed. Needless to say, Dave kept working on it for another half an hour, knocking reception out for at least half that time. In the end, the picture was exactly the same as it had been and I missed a lot of really cool pregame stuff.
In addition, I heard complaints all night about what a boring game it had been. How poorly played it had been. You know what? I don’t want to hear it! Prior Super Bowls didn’t have the same kind of expectations, the same weight on someone’s shoulders as the game does now, and the teams are going to be much more evenly matched. Combine the frazzled nerves and the more equitable competition, and you get a sloppier looking game. But I’m fine with that. It’s our fault the game has turned to that, so we shouldn’t complain when we see it happen.
This game in particular was more nerve racking for the players, what with all the old MVPs there. You had 39 years of history staring you in the face. It’s hard to measure up to that. And for the record, I did NOT get to see the MVP introductions or the player introductions. I wasn’t happy about the night, on the whole.
As for the game itself, there was only one play you needed to know about to get the entire scope of the game. The Seahawks were driving in the fourth quarter, momentum is mostly on their side, although after a sack and penalty it was 3rd and 18. Matt Hasselbeck dropped back to throw and found… Ike Taylor. He had been looking for Darrell Jackson streaking for the end zone, but Taylor picked it off.
And that would be storyline number one. The Seahawks didn’t finish a single drive all game, save for one, even though they dominated statistically. The Steelers made only about four big plays all game, and they all affected the game, whereas the Seahawks made a few big plays, but they never really led to anything, because when they got close to scoring, they would fall apart.
Back to the game. Taylor has the ball and is peeling up the sidelines, and he has some blocking out in front of him. Hasselbeck, valiant as he is, comes across the field and goes for Taylor’s legs, bringing him down, and saving a touchdown. A flag comes in, and Hasselbeck is called for an illegal block.
And that would be story number two. The officiating in this game, while not as atrocious as some people may lead you to believe (the offensive pass interference and Roethlisberger’s touchdown were both absolutely correct calls) it was far too noticeable in a game of this magnitude. As an official, you never want to give a team a reason to call you out, and that’s what happened. All of America believes this was a bad game of officiating.
The last story line this play introduced was the Pittsburgh momentum. The momentum ebbed and flowed all game long, and this was the nail in the coffin for the ‘Hawks. It set up the last Steelers touchdown, and that was essentially it. The Steelers won. And this play changed the Super Bowl.