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 Interesting article about Pats Vs. Steelers game 
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Post Interesting article about Pats Vs. Steelers game

NFL admits to 52-second mistake in game Sunday
Tuesday, September 27, 2005

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The New England Patriots defeated the Steelers Sunday at Heinz Field with one second left in the game after officials inadvertently let 52 seconds back on the clock in the fourth quarter.

Steelers officials, publicly and privately, say it did not affect the eventual outcome. Adam Vinatieri's 43-yard field goal with one second left won it for the Patriots, 23-20.

Mike Pereira, director of NFL officiating, said in a statement that referee Bill Carollo's crew, "which oversees the official game clock operated in the press box, failed to recognize that the clock was improperly reset."

The 52 seconds was mistakenly added to the game clock by a press box clock operator who was filling in for Lou Rossi, who was sick Sunday. The Steelers and the NFL refused to identify the clock operator, who is hired by the league. ESPN identified him as Leo Pularski.

What happened and why referee Bill Carollo's crew did not spot the mistake is unexplained. Referees have been known to stop the game for 10 minutes to check instant replay to put five seconds back on the clock. The line judge is in charge of clock management for the officials, in Sunday's case Byron Boston.

The whole issue came as a surprise to the Steelers, who were unaware of it yesterday until alerted by reporters, who received e-mails from fans watching the game on KDKA-TV.

Television tape of the game showed the following, which Pereira corroborated yesterday:

At 14:51 of the fourth quarter, the Steelers ran a reverse from Willie Parker to Cedrick Wilson, who was tackled at the Steelers' 30 for no gain. The clock continued to run as the Steelers huddled and called the next play. As quarterback Ben Roethlisberger stood under center, there was 14:09 left. When he took the snap it was 14:01.

An official threw a penalty flag and the clock stopped with 13:59 left. But as Carollo announced a false start on guard Kendall Simmons, the clock inexplicably jumped back to 14:51.

"Following the enforcement of the penalty and before the ball was snapped for the next play, the game clock was improperly reset to 14:51 again, instead of remaining at 13:59," Pereira said.

No one in an official capacity at Heinz Field seemed to notice. Carollo called for the clock to resume and Roethlisberger took his next snap at 14:37.

Someone in the league office in New York did notice, however, because a call was placed to John Grier, an officials supervisor in the press box.

"They asked him to check with the statistician, which he did," said Chuck "Ace" Heberling, in the press box Sunday as the NFL's observer. "According to the stat sheet, everything was fine."

But the official play by play of the game, distributed in the press box later, showed the reverse to Wilson started at 14:51 and then the snap on the Simmons penalty also occurred at 14:51, an impossibility.

"When we checked with the statistician, everything seemed all right," Heberling said. "We don't get a printout until after the game."

Heberling said he joined the officiating crew at their hotel Sunday night and when they reviewed a TV tape of the game they spotted the error.

While the clock operator made the blunder, the buck -- and, sometimes, the clock -- stops with Carollo as the referee in charge of the game.

The Steelers had little official comment about the mistake other than to quote coach Bill Cowher as saying it would not have changed the outcome. The Steelers tied the score on Ben Roethlisberger's 4-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward with 1:21 left. After the kickoff, the Patriots mounted their winning drive with 1:14 left.

Could they have moved into position to win it had they been given 22 seconds instead of 74? They practically did. Tom Brady completed two passes to put the Patriots on the Steelers' 31 with 57 seconds left. Even removing the extra 52 seconds, that still would have left Vinatieri five seconds to kick a 49-yard field goal to win it.

Oops :oops:

Detroit vs. Everybody
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right....

September 27th, 2005, 10:27 am
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