Quit whining

Today's coverage of yesterday's Steelers-Colts game might have left the unsuspecting reader with the impression that the Steelers lost the game. Certainly, they're whining about it as if they lost.

Steelers' linebacker Joey Porter said, of a decision by the referee to overturn an interception by Troy Polamalu:

"I know they wanted Indy to win the game; the whole world loves Peyton Manning, but come on, man, don't take the game away from us like that."

Two articles in my local newspaper contain several similar accusations of bias or incompetence. What stuns me is that during the game, the refereeing was - if anything - biased against the Colts. A typical example was, early in the first quarter, a Colts defensive player was flagged for "facemasking" (grabbing an opponent's facemask), despite the fact that it was the Steelers' receiver he was tackling who was doing the facemasking.

The game stats show the truth. Nine flags thrown against Indianapolis for a total of sixty-seven yards in penalties, two flags thrown against Pittsburgh for eight yards in penalties. Gee, that's some biased-towards-Indianapolis refereeing.

The Polamalu interception? I understood the explanation for it being overturned, even if many pundits around the country didn't. Polamalu caught the ball as he went to the ground. The rules require that he controls the ball until he gets back to his feet. If at any time he loses the ball, it's incomplete. He lost the ball before he could get back up.

See? It's that simple. And if a Brit that's been living here in the US for only a few years can get it, why are all these Yanks so mystified? Even the NFL themselves don't seem to understand why the call was made. Yep, the NFL broke with tradition and publicly criticised the decision of one of its referees. That's how much the whole world wanted the Colts to win.

And, y'know ...

It's all a moot point anyway because the decision made no difference to the game and the Steelers won anyway!

I could understand all this bellyaching if the Colts had won, but they didn't. They lost. Quit whining.

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