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Monday, February 6, 2006 - Page updated at 12:35 PM


Reader Response: Hawks lose in first Super Bowl

We asked people to share their thoughts on the storied season, the game, the referees, the plays and their Seahawks. Here's what people said:

You made the call

We asked readers to call us and tell us what they thought about Super Bowl XL, and many of you phoned it in. Here's a sampling of your calls.

It's tough to lose a game like this, but it seems so fitting. Seattle wasn't destined to win Super Bowl XL. If you disagree with me, tune in to any channel and watch the Jerome Bettis show, or simply as the referees who blatantly ruined numerous Seattle drives. Jackson pushing off? Locklear holding? Hasselbeck cut blocking the ball carrier? Joey Porter's horse collar tackle. Seattle needs to make one goal. That being to keep this team and coaching staff together... especially Hutchinson and Alexander. On to next year. Go Hawks.
Kyle M., Anchorage, Alaska

I thought only Baltimore was plagued by lousy calls. I have never seen a Super Bowl decided by lousy holding calls, on the line, and a chop block on your quarterback. Give me a break. The NFL sold out to have the Steelers win.
Nino C., Baltimore

As a Seattle fan in Denver, I was excited to see the Seahawks go to the Super Bowl. If it wasn't for the multiple bad calls by the officials, I'm sure the Seahawks would have had a chance to actually win the game. I'm sure each of the officials in the game received a nice fat check from the Steelers. The only good outcome is that the team is young, and has great talent on both sides of the ball. It is only a given that this team will return to the Super Bowl.
Larry N., Denver

I am neither a Steelers or Hawks fan but it appeared to me that the fix was in. How many calls can the refs blow against one team? I was astonished that Madden and company barely mentioned the blown calls and unbelievable mistakes by the refs. How can a quarterback who tackles a player who just intercepted him get a call for a low block? It was a travesty and all I can say to Seattle is that you deserved better.
Perry M., Chicago

The Seahawks weren't good enough to overcome mistakes and terrible officiating. How many penalties did Pittsburgh have? I counted one. Offensive pass interference, phantom holding calls at just the right time. And how about that illegal block on Matt Hasselbeck as he tries to tackle a Steeler defender after an interception? That was one of the most bizarre calls I've ever seen in football. Jerramy Stevens is the team goat. But Josh Brown could have made a big difference if he makes two more field goals. The Seahawks played badly, but they also got jobbed. It's too bad such a poor game ends a fantastic season.
Dennis D., Lake Forest Park

I am not a Seattle or Pittsburgh fan but I think the officiating crew gave the game to the Steelers with several bad or controversial calls. It makes you wonder how legitimate the games really are when the refs can control it like that.
DMR, Spring, Texas

The TV coverage was so pro-Steeler that it was difficult to watch. Jerome Bettis got more camera time than Budweiser and he didn't do squat all night long. Did anyone notice that EVERY ad with a player/coach in the first half with the Super Bowl trophy was a Steeler? There were at least four of them. One Seahawk in the second half, and one with players from both teams, although the majority were Steelers. 7 penalties against the Seahawks. Only 3 against the Steelers, and 2 of those were in the opening half. All this ranting from me and guess what? I'm a not even a Seahawks fan. That should tell you how bad it was when a neutral party is ... off about the TV coverage and officiating. Looked to me like the NFL wanted the Steelers to win.
Rodney R., Lincoln, Neb.

If the Seahawks management keeps this team around, I'm certain there are more Super Bowls in the future. Get well, Ken Hamlin!
Kurt W., Bothell

Jerramy Stevens needs to be cut from the team. Paul Allen needs to not post-date his checks to the referees - the Steelers obviously paid cash. It's really bad when even non-sports fans think the officials were biased.
Ryan, Seattle

First of all I would like to say that the Steelers are a fine team and a great organization. I don't want this comment to sound like a complaint or an excuse, but I do think that the holding penalty on Locklear (while we were on the 30) killed us. It was decided after that. I also think that if Jerramy Stevens would have made a couple of those difficult catches - it would have been a different outcome. The hard part about this game is that I don't truly feel like we were outplayed. I could take that, but this is more frustrating. I sure enjoyed this season and am glad that Seattle fans are finally realizing the potential of this excellent franchise.
Sam, Snohomish

It's a shame that the officials determined the winner of this game. It cheapened the victory for Pittsburgh. I'm sorry Seattle, you guys were robbed by a one-sided officiating crew. Although nothing can be done about the outcome now, if enough media attention focuses on the poor officiating it can at least go down as the most fraudulent super bowl in NFL history.
Mike J., Jacksonville, Fla.

I hope they leave enough room to etch Bill Levy's name on the trophy. I hope that crew never sets foot on a football field again.
Trevor R., Calgary, Alberta

The NFL is no better than the WWF. They chose the winner before the game and made sure that the officiating went Pittsburgh's way. The NFL is fixed.
Tom D., Tucson, Ariz.

Remove the zebras from the game and the real score was 21-17 Seahawks. Several referee decisions at critical times should have been now calls or were subjective against Seahawks. But the Seahawks did not bring "A" game. Pitt looked worse despite capitalizing on gadget plays. Bad clock management also by Seahawks. And Jerramy Stevens is Mr. BOBBLE.
Jon S., Sonora, Calif.

I am a Viking fan. I found the officiating disturbing to say the least. Bring in another group of officials and Seattle might have blown Pittsburgh out of the water. When is the last time you saw a penalty on a QB for making a tackle below the waist.
Dan B., Minneapolis

I am not from Seattle nor am I a Seahawk fan. The game in my humble, objective (I don't care for either Pitt or Seattle) opinion was the worst officiated game in my recollection. Good luck Seattle maybe next year you will have an objective officiating corps.
Steve, Albuquerque, N.M.

Great 2005 season, Seahawks! Go back for it next got a taste of the SB this year and you tried your you know what to do to win it next year! Too bad for the bad referee calls ...but it was definitely the best season and you put Seattle on the chart and earned us respect as a football town. Go Hawks!
Neal & Rose O., Des Moines, Wash.

The Steelers obviously deserved to win today. We could whine about officiating, interceptions, etc...but the Steelers deserved it.
Pete, Seattle

John Madden thought the calls were bad, ESPN called it bad. The Seahawks are the better team, everywhere but the final score. The headlines in the Times should read "Controversial calls ruin Super Bowl."
Kelly H., Snohomish

Am I alone in believing most all pivotal calls went in favor of the Steelers? It even took a challenge to get one against the Hawks right! In spite of it sounding like sour grapes, you can't beat the zebras.
Steve F., San Diego

Another example of the NFL picking the winner prior to kick off, and the media that will let them (the NFL) get away with it. I'll stick to NASCAR from now on!
Bill, Port Orchard

I will have a tough time being a fan of the NFL after that. That game was fixed.
D.L., Lynden

I feel your pain. Did the Seahawks make mistakes? Yes. But I think the NFL officials made more at critical points in the game to put the game out of reach. Let it be known a majority of Cincinnati Bengals fans were rooting for the Seahawks after a similar experience with NFL officiating that ended our playoff hopes and our quarterbacks MVP season. Also we support our local talent, namely Shaun Alexander. I hope to see you back in the playoffs in 2007. Long live Largent & Zorn.
Dale S., Cincinnati

Seattle was the better team today by far. The refs decided to give the game to the Steelers, and they did just that, they stole the game! Good job Seahawks, you guys outplayed the Steelers in every facet of the game!
Megan, Bothell

Steelers stole Super Bowl 40 with full cooperating of the officiating crew! The Seahawks never stood a chance because Cowher bought off the NFL officials with his brown nosing support while Holmgren made no secret of his anger with officiating errors all season, including week suspension of his right to comment after the games. As a football referee myself, I have never seen such a poorly and obviously biased case of officiating. From the so-called push off in the end zone to negate a Seattle touch down, to the call for offensive holding were the perpetrator had his fingers closed in a fist, from the knees down and ball down outside the end zone Steelers' touch down to the lack of pass interference calls and the unsportsmanlike like calls that were not called, it made me embarrassed to admit that I too am a football referee! Perhaps the Super Bowl officiating crew needs to be sent back to call High School games. They have disgraced the officiating profession with their performance tonight. I wonder how much Cowher had to pay their favorite charities to buy the game. No Seattle did not loose the Super Bowl, they were never allowed to fairly participate. It is a sad day when officials not only cause the outcome to change, but to do it in such an obvious manner for the world to see only lowers the faith and trust that is imparted upon football officials by the fans and players. The Steelers did not win Super bowl 40, it was given to them by an officiating crew that was hell bent to make sure that the Seahawks could not have won under any circumstance! Corruption is alive and well in the NFL! Ken Withey Spokane
Ken W., Spokane

I saw this game from Vancouver, BC. The game's referee calling was a joke. Is the NFL honestly legitimate? The whole world saw a game that was won by the referees. Super Bowl 40 was embarrassing to the world of sports. What has happened to the NFL?
Arthur, Vancouver, BC

Seattle played an honorable game in which the world and the NFL was against them from the first snap. It was a clear they needed to win an uphill biased battle and they should return to Seattle proud.
Mark B, Seattle

It was a great season for a great team. There is nothing to be ashamed of. I am proud to be a Twelfth Man. Go Seahawks.
John H., Moses Lake

The officiating was horrible (on both sides) but the offensive pass interference was unacceptable.
A.J., Los Angeles

Who paid off the refs? I never seen such a mis-officiated biased game. C'mon now taking away a given Seahawk TD (D Jack catch in the 1st quarter) and then given Roethlisberger the TD when he obviously cam up short. And on top of that a series of horrible holding calls. I think the NFL should start making the Ref's responsible for missed calls by fining them, especially if the call was still made wrong on a replay.
Mitko, Seattle

The Steelers and the NFL refs won that game. Two bogus calls that cost us the game.
Nhi, San Francisco

The Seahawks momentum was thwarted early by the poorest officiating I have ever seen in a Super Bowl.
Maria L., seattle

Obviously Pittsburgh's 12th man wears white and black stripes.
Rico T., Everett

The refs must have had money on Pittsburgh. It's amazing they took away 2 touchdowns and nothing is done
Scott D., Vancouver

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