Super Bowl 43: A Tribute to Replay
The star of Super Bowl 43 was not James Harrison or Santonio Holmes or Big Ben or Kurt Warner or Larry Fitzgerald.
Instant replay stole this show. Two of Pittsburgh’s three touchdowns were upheld upon review, and another Steeler TD was wiped out by technology.
It’s amazing how much we’ve come to depend on instant replay, even though it isn’t always conclusive. This game, for instance.
The standard, I think, has slipped from conclusive to “pretty sure.”
Remember the Seinfeld episode where Kramer has been arrested for serial killing? Jerry and George go to the police station to visit and tell the cops, “He didn’t do it. We’re pretty sure.”
Same with replay. The wiped-out Steeler touchdown, in which at first a scrambling Ben Roethlisberger was given a touchdown? The evidence seemed to show Big Ben didn’t get in, but there were no replays that were absolute.
James Harrison’s 100-yard interception return for a touchdown, which has to be the greatest play to ever a first half in any ballgame anywhere? The refs called it a TD, and replays seemed to go either way, so review let it stand.
Even Holmes’ epic game-winning catch with 35 seconds left was not totally in the clear. It looks like both his feet were down. I think they were. But you can’t really tell, which is why the touchdown should have stood and did.
The problem with replay review is that it becomes a crutch. We want every play reviewed. Officials tend to relax and not make a good, strong affirmative call, waiting instead for the camera to decide things.
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