NEW ORLEANS – In championship games, there are pivotal moments that are decided by officials down the stretch. Clearly, the officiating crew in Super Bowl XLVII didn’t get that memo.
With 1:50 left and the Niners trailing the Baltimore Ravens 34-29 in Super Bowl XLVII, Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick would throw a endzone-fade route to wide receiver Michael Crabtree on fourth down and five from the Ravens five-yard line, who would be clearly held and obstructed by Ravens defensive back Jimmy Smith from making a play.
The pass would end up going incomplete in the corner of the endzone, but not before Niners head coach Jim Harbuagh and many Niners supporters would express their collective outrage at the blatantly missed non-call.
If there was a moment, in which the NFL could validate bringing back the regular officials and not let a post-season game—let alone one of the most thrilling Super Bowls in recent memory be remembered—this moment would be considered Exhibit A.
Forget the 34-minute power outage that would delay the game, nor the near record-setting comeback that the Niners almost completed, this Super Bowl will not go down as Ray Lewis’ swan song, nor the elevation of Joe Flacco into the rarified company of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger into the pantheon of elite NFL quarterbacks.
Instead, this game will go down as one of the most egregiously called games in history, thanks to the virtual mugging and man-handling of Crabtree witnessed by every NFL fan worldwide.
Obviously, if you’re a Ravens fan, you would feel differently about the non-holding call on Smith, but to every football fan outside of the greater Baltimore area, the non-call on Smith is a travesty of justice that ranks alongside the questionable—and still debatable—pass interference call in the 2002 BCS Championship Game between the Miami Hurricanes and Ohio State Buckeyes.
Even the nightmarishly officiated Seattle Seahawks-Pittsburgh Steelers debacle in Super Bowl XL, looks pale in comparison to the inept Jerome Boger-led cadre of zebras, which in itself is truly pathetic.
For once, Roger Goodell cannot be blamed for anything.
They say that life comes full circle in the NFL, and to think that not even one year ago, it was the Ravens who was on the short end of the proverbial stick, thanks to a dropped pass by Lee Evans against the New England Patriots, now fast-forward one year later, and now it is the Ravens who are the benefactors of what can be called football’s version of karma.
Perhaps the “Beyonce Blackout” was a sign from above that snubbing former Ravens owner Art Modell from Canton was a way of exacting a proverbial form of payback, but the football team from the gritty, crime-infested metropolis known as “Charm City” lived up to it’s moniker as the Ravens showed that had a charmed life on the gridiron.
Robert D. Cobb is the Founder/CEO/Senior Editor-In-Chief Of The Inscriber : Digital Magazine, for questions, comments and concerns email me at [email protected] and follow the Inscriber : Digital Magazine on Twitter at @TheInscriber