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Gene Steratore
Rob Carr- Getty Images
Gene Steratore
Rob Carr- Getty Images

It was the match-up of the 2013 NFL season the San Francisco 49ers clashing with the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field for the NFC Championship. On paper it seemed that way, unfortunately that didn’t happen even with the a game decided in the closing seconds.

The reason being Gene Steratore and his officaiting crew. Donte Whitner became victim again of another call for targeting the head or neck area of a receiver against Luke Wilson and there are two reasons why the call didn’t have any validity. Wilson got hit by Eric Reid who make a play on the ball changing the path of the tight end and Whitner was already in the process of lowering his shoulder to dislodge the ball, which he successfully did. As for the hit itself the only point of contact was a glancing blow off the shoulder pad not even close to the head or neck area.

Shortly before the first half ended Russell Wilson threw an incomplete pass on fourth down giving the 49ers the ball and excellent field position with 20 seconds left. Yet,  Carlos Rogers got called for unnecessary roughness a dead ball foul so the turnover counted. The 15 yard penalty resulted in forcing quarterback Colin Kaepernick to run out the clock with a 10-3 lead at halftime. Similar plays happen in nearly every football game and never get called so how come the flag wasn’t picked up after the officiating crew huddled together?

During the second half it didn’t get better for Steratore’s crew either. Former 49er Chris Maragos rolled up under punter Andy Lee and his shoulder went into the plant leg of Lee. By rule that’s roughing the punter, 15 yards and an automatic first down. Somehow running into the punter got called with only a five yard penalty assessed and Harbaugh declined the penalty allowing the Seahawks to have a nice starting spot for their next drive. By not making the correct call it robbed the 49ers a chance to score on back-to-back possessions.

Quite possibly the biggest blunder of the game came on a tremendous play by linebacker Navorro Bowman who is arguably is the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. With the Seahawks facing third and goal Jermaine Kearse caught a pass short of the goal line while while fighting for the goal line Reid pushed Kearse into Bowman who ripped the ball out of his arms clearly recovering the fumble. Since the play itself isn’t reviewable by league rules Seattle managed to keep the ball just short of the end zone.

Even worse is that during the play needed a cart to come out as during the entire play Bowman’s knee got bent awkwardly as more players joined in the pile. Even with the naked eye the play it clearly showed the turnover. Pete Carroll did have the offense go for it on fourth down yet a high handoff to Marshawn Lych got mishandled and even with Ahmad Brooks not picking up the fumble it pushed the recovery spot giving the 49ers better field position.

So what had the appearances of one of the better games in recent playoff memories it is now marred by the incompetency of Steratore and his crew which is a shame.

 

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109 comments
Daniel
Daniel

The league should lie detect these officials and ask them if they were paid to make bad calls by another party, I would bet a pretty penny that they would fail the test!

Tim
Tim

You missed one: The catch by Vernon Davis called incomplete, resulting in a punt. Two plays before the missed roughing the kicker call, Vernon Davis caught a ball for 5 yards, turned around, ran two steps, clearly maintaining possession, and was tackled. The ball came out after he hit the ground, and was not forced out by the ground. Clear catch, but was ruled incomplete. With those 5 yards, it wouldn't have mattered that they missed the roughing the kicker call. 5 yards for running into the kicker would have been a first down. Instead the Niners had to punt, and I believe Lynch scored on the ensuing possession.

Rocker_LJ
Rocker_LJ

No matter which team you were rooting for, the average fan knows when a bad call is made and yes you'll take the win, but when fans sit there and say there weren't bad calls or it didn't cost one team the game, that's ludicrous!

Dean
Dean

I agree totally with your artcile. I'm a Niner fan through and through, but if these bad calls had gone against Seattle, I wouldn't be happy with a Niner victory. True fans of the game wouldn't be, knowing that one of the best showdowns in years left room for doubt as to the winner, because of an unusual amount of OBVIOUSLY bad officiating.

princess
princess

It's a horrible situation when bad officiating determine the outcome of a tuff Championship game! The 49ers were robbed from winning this game! This was a totally sick situation where officiating was lopesided. This situation needs to be reviewed by NFL because it was UNFAIR to fans who trully love the 49ers, when we know they were capable of winning that game! We pray that bad errors Stop and officiating gets professional.

Mitch lerch
Mitch lerch

Why do the refs have it out for the niners. This has to stop. Year after year this happens. Its to hard for the niners to beat the other teams players, the crouds and the officials. The league is so stacked against the niners its obvious. How could any human being disagree with me. You can't. They really don't even try to. They just call us whiners. If anything call us victims of a corrupt league were cheaters get rewarded and players who play the game the right way are penalized. Even seahawk fans that were watching the game with where speechless. I had to leave the room after the bowman fumble recovery fiasco. The man risked his body to get that ball and the refs took it away. He's getting carted off the field and seahawk fans are throwing food at him. Absolutely pathetic human beings. If anybody choked, its the NFL.

Greg
Greg

The funny thing is, I've been told year after year by 49ers fans that the Seahawks suck because we haven't won a Super Bowl, and to stop whining about the refs in the Super Bowl game where we got screwed (I'm told we lost because we suck, not because of the refs)... now they are all whining about the refs.

Dick
Dick

Bowman is part of the defensive back field and as such gathered in a loose ball in the air.The only question to me was did he maintain possesion as he hit the ground,which to me should have been reviewable under present rules. Adding to that is the question of the league rules that are supposed to protect the valnerable.I would say that at that time bowman was diffinately exposed and a pileing on call should have been called.

Jeremy
Jeremy

And another one when Kaepernick fumbled and then kicked the ball towards his teammates when it looked like seattle was going to recover the ball. Or the hit on the sidelines of Jermain Kearse. Kaepernick blew this game not the officials.

Jeremy
Jeremy

Wow - I am simply amazed at the level of delusion by the author. To claim that the officiating was In Favor of the seahawks and the reason the seahawks one is cause for commitment to an I stitution of some sort. The one obvious missed call (Bowman) ended up in S.F. favor consideri g they didnt have to start from the two yard line. From the beggining of the game Seattle lookex like the better team. They made some stupid mistakes that gave san fran the lead but really the better team won this game.

Alan
Alan

Two more - the Davis catch, where he caught the ball, took two steps and was tackled and as he hits the ground the ball comes loose - clearly a catch - and just after the Whitner call the head to head contact against James on the punt return with an associated face mask. Not arguing outcome, but what is up that there are so many pairs of officials eyes and they can't see what I can see on the tv in real time. The announcers said the head of the crew had done three college basketball games the previous week - maybe he should have been training as hard as the athletes were.

Elaine Brock
Elaine Brock

The 49ers had the seahawks on the ropes. They were stunned and scared. There is absolutely no doubt that the 49ers would be at the superbowl had it not been for those 4 or. 5 crucial officiating blunders that went against them. The seahawks did not play well at all. They did not win, they got a fee pass. They owe the officiating crew their butts. BTW -fans should never be allowed to throw anything onto the field of play. Escort them out with a fine or ban.

Elaine Brock
Elaine Brock

You left one out. The play that resulted in a touchdown for Seattle when clearly there was a false start at the line of scrimmage. The refs threw what looked like a hundred flags, blew the whistles, and the play halted for a split second. Yet, Russ Wilson continued to throw the ball into the endzone. The touchdown was allowed, and there was no explanation given for the flags. The 49ers defense had halted play,so they were robbed once again at the handsof the refs.

Julio
Julio

49ers' LB Bowman's was the worst miss call...the man cause a fumble n recover it, was holding on to the ball while a pile players rolled up on his leg, which ended his season with torn knee, but the officials awarded ball Seahawks. Bowman's a true warrior, I seen guys let the football go while running by themselves because they pulled a "hammy"....Bowman > #Respect.

mikey1900
mikey1900

Why does this article only mention the bad calls that went against the 49ers? There were a number of non-calls and bad calls that ended up in 49ers points as well. It works both ways.

Jk
Jk

So did the refs turn the ball over too? Did they tell Carlos Rodgers to blow the coverage on the 4th and 7 on the TD? Did the refs have anything to do with the Lynch 40yrd run? Ya there was bad calls but try looking at the other things the 49ers could have done. There was about three dropped passes that would have made a difference too. If you have to try to blame the refs for the game the team didn't do enough to win and I guarantee the niners are not blaming the refs.

Bobby
Bobby

And the personal foul on the sideline hitting Jeremy Lane wasn't called either on that roughing the kicker play. If both were call correct it would be offsetting correct? So that play would not have mattered. Get over yourselves. Don't leave it to the refs, everyone learns that from a young age. Good luck next year with you mediocre team.

drizzle
drizzle

When Kaep intentionally kicked the fumbled football away from the Seahawks, should have been a penalty. When Bennett was held during Kaep's 58 yard run should have been a penalty. Those two huge missed penalties lead to points for the 49ers. And overall the Hawks still had more penalties for more yards. Stop your whining!

James
James

The author of this piece, knows of which he speaks!

Joe
Joe

Such bs 49ers got fucked

Quatrina Truitt Johnson
Quatrina Truitt Johnson

human or not, mistakes or not, referees need to be held accountable for bad calls. REGARDLESS OF THE GAME. Personally, I just want good teams to play in the superbowl. what this looked like to me as a non niners or seahawks fan, was an onslaught of bad calls that resulted in a seahawks win. problem is, (and no i cant stand the broncos either) this appears to be a set up so that the broncos (which were a pretty good team this year) would play a team they could beat so that manning will retire "on top" with a trophy and a ring.

w
w

Dolphins fans know Steratore all to well, he screwed them good a few years back on a very controversial call! Couldn't believe he ran this crew in a game of this magnitude.

Getwellbowman
Getwellbowman

The refs not making correct calls made the game persona. Players had to let there emotions dictate the game not trust there system because justice was not living on that field. When your team has to not only play against the Seahawks but also there fans and the officials it leads to turnovers and bad plays cause players start trying to compensate for not having any order facilitated by the refs.

Charles
Charles

The She-Hawks were the most penalised team in the entire league. -fact. i know and i watch football. as well as my father and my brother and very close friends. my father and brother are Pittsburgh fans, my close friend is a Denver fan. they all agree we got dicked out of that game. and im not sweating any She-Hawk fans calling us ''whiners.'' if the shoe was on the other foot they would be feeling the same. i dont ''know,'' but i fully believe the game would have went an entirely different direction had we gotten the correct call of roughing the kicker. let alone the rest of the B.S. calls. but whats done is done. enjoy your free trip to the super bowl She-Hawks. LET'S GO DENVER!!!

tee
tee

Look, I agree with this, troy aikman agrees with it. But who wrote this??? I can never take anyone serious that can't write an article with proper grammar. There were mistakes on our end too, but we played a hell of a game. Take a moment to get over it, and move on.

Kuhjoe
Kuhjoe

If players and coaches get fine, why cant game officials get fine or suspended for making mistakes on big games!

Gary Espina
Gary Espina

I want to continue and carry on the great all American tradition of watching the NFL's Super Bowl regardless of the teams. But if I notice that the 12th man is wearing stripes on Super Bowl Sunday, no thanks I'll be tuning off...

pIERRE
pIERRE

refs have suck all year they make there own calls not to NFL RULES . Rules are rules or throw them out of the game. If you allow DB to grab and hold in one game then all should be able to do it. Not one game to another change rules NFL has LOST MY RESPECT FOR THE GAME.

Rishabh Khurana
Rishabh Khurana

Did you Seahawk fans not see the replay on that punt by Andy lee? It was the most obvious roughing the kicker I've ever seen, and these refs can't tell which leg is up and which is planted! If the right call would have been made, we would have gotten a first down and fifteen yards to get us to the fifty! And you say the only bad call was the bowman one.... And you say there was no effect

Betty B
Betty B

These Seachicken fans say the Niner fans whine alot - yet they forget THEIR whining when they lost the Superbowl - saying the refs had ALOT of bad calls against them!! Gee, how they forget. To throw food at an opposing team member after being hurt in a play shows NO CLASS at all. My sister-in-law has a friend who lives in Seattle and he says the fans are all like that - no class. . .

J-dawg
J-dawg

Everyone needs to stop bitching. You're a human being, right? You make mistakes, right? I love when refs make questionable calls, then everyone becomes a rule book expert. Wha Wha whaaa. Get a tissue.

jack
jack

I counted at least 5 helmet to helmet hits in the Superbowl, at least 3 flagrant. Not ONE was called. If the Brooks-Brees call had not been made SF would have played Seattle at home. These subjective calls need to be reviewable to determine the actuality of helmet to helmet or not. All of this is all "League of Denial" propaganda as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is not caused primarily by helmet to helmet contact but by the deceleration which all hits entail. and the League knows that.

stevenresnick
stevenresnick

Only obvious call on Bowman? Not even close and it yes it was biased towards the Seahawk. How is an unnecessary roughness call that never gets made get called on Rogers? How does the official not know the rule in regards to roughing the punter nor know which foot is the plant one on a right footed kicker? So along with Bowman there's three calls that weren't correctly made that went the Seahawks way.

DICK
DICK

Wowwww what a homy you are! So in your mind you have no problem with your players diving on top of Bowman was helplessly pinned down by a Seattle player and holding onto what anybuddy watching knew to be an interception.I imagine the Seattle players diving on top of Navarro knew he had posession and was in a bad way. Nice guys!Then howabout the bad calls on your receiver being hit And the no call on sliding into 49er kickers planted foot. These are game changers. Thats what all the negativity toward the game results are about.

stevenresnick
stevenresnick

It was a free play the 49ers jumped offsides that was the penalty it was declined and the touchdown stood

stevenresnick
stevenresnick

Cause Mikey that's where all the bogus calls came from.

willtalk65
willtalk65

All players make or don't make plays and they all affect the outcome of the game. They are supposed to because that is the nature of any contest. The officiating is not supposed to affect the outcome. Do you even have a brain? Officials calls can affect a relatively even game. Teams should not be expected to play so much better than their opposition so as to over come a bunch of bad calls against them. We are not talking horse racing here where you add weight and compete with a handicap in an attempt to equalize the playing field for betting purposes. Your idiotic line of reasoning implies that teams need to play so much better than the opposition to assure that even a bunch of bad calls can not rob them of victory. This is a total bunch of crap that some coach's/players have promoted through talking points to get better performances from their players and get them to assume responsibility for their own mistakes. Good in building character for the individual but should not be an excuse to discount the need for responsible and fair officiating. What about holding the officials and those responsible for their performance accountable. Are they supposed to get a free ride.

princess
princess

It's obviously this person is a Seahawk fan and don't understand lopesided calls. When one is like this one should keep quiet!!

stevenresnick
stevenresnick

Even if Rogers had made the play it would have come back to 4th and 2 as the 49ers were offside. Sorry JK the weak unnecessary roughness call robbed the 49ers of field position which could have resulted in points, the roughing the punter again robbed the 49ers of a first down and even if the drive stalled the Seahawks would had worse field position. These calls had a significant impact on the game so no this isn't a mistake that get overlooked.

stevenresnick
stevenresnick

Wasn't even on the same play so how does that work?

Rocker_LJ
Rocker_LJ

Why is it called whining when rational people discuss what happened during the game?

stevenresnick
stevenresnick

Kicked the fumble away? Hold on Bennett nope.

Charles
Charles

for the second year in a row none the less!!!

Tom Karlo
Tom Karlo

BS. Broncos have been kicking ass all year.

stevenresnick
stevenresnick

It wasn't an interception to begin with as Kearse caught he football cleanly made a move up field therefore when Bowman ripped the football out it was a fumble. The ruling on the field was that it was a fumble recovered by Lynch who had the football after coming out of the pile. It's unfortunate what happened to Bowman it wasn't the pile that caused his injury it was Reid attempting to keep Kearse out of the endzone and pushing him into the knee of Bowman.

Elaine Brock
Elaine Brock

Well thanks for clearing that one up. I could not understand why no one fussed about that one. Clearly, I missed the announcement. Thanks!

drizzle
drizzle

Did you even watch the game? Kaep fumbled in the redzone and kicked the ball which is against the rules. Can't believe a "journalist" would even write about about a subject they don't even understand

Dick
Dick

Navarro Bowman deffinately had posession of the football standing up and when he went to the ground still holding the ball and being touched by Kearse ,had a legel recovery.the piling on was an obvious attenpt to ripe the ballout of his hands and hopefully dup the refs and they were successfullas anybody watching knows. the additional 6 to 700 pounds of weight diving ontop of him may have contributed to his knee problems.

stevenresnick
stevenresnick

I don't know what part of the game you were watching he never kicked the football. I'm assuming you're referring to the fumble recovery by Jonathan Goodwin.