Seahawks Blog

Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

September 12, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Bill Leavy to referee Seahawks at Steelers Sunday

Posted by Danny O'Neil

The same referee who officiated Seattle's controversial Super Bowl loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers has been assigned to Sunday's game when Seattle plays at Pittsburgh.

Referee Bill Leavy has been assigned to officiate Seattle's Week 2 game, which is at Pittsburgh. Leavy was the referee at Super Bowl XL, which included several controversial penalties.

Leavy admitted last year, in talking to Seattle-area reporters during training camp, that mistakes had been made.

"I kicked two calls in the fourth quarter, and I impacted the game," Leavy said to reporters last August. "And as an official, you never want to do that."

Specifically, those two calls were a penalty against tackle Sean Locklear for offensive holding, which nullified a pass to tight end Jerramy Stevens that would have put Seattle at the 1-yard line. The second came after an interception, and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was penalized for an illegal low block on a play in which he actually made the tackle.

The NFL office assigns the officials to each game, and it's worth noting that in the three seasons Mike Holmgren coached the Seahawks after the Super Bowl, Leavy was never assigned a Seahawks game. Leavy has worked one Seahawks game since the Super Bowl.

It will be a different officiating crew on Sunday. That Super Bowl officiating crew was composed of top members from the league's various officiating crews.

The reality is that if the league avoided assigning every referee to any team that had an issue with a decision from that official, it would be impossible to officiate all games.

It has been more than five years since that Super Bowl game, the Seahawks have changed coaches twice and the Steelers have changed once. Only two players remain on the Seahawks roster from that Super Bowl team: cornerback Marcus Trufant and linebacker Leroy Hill.

This is the second time Seattle will play Pittsburgh since the Super Bowl. The Seahawks lost 21-0 at Pittsburgh on Oct. 7, 2007.

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