Mike Pereira, it seems, is a huge Steelers homer. The former NFL head of officiating was referee Bill Leavy’s boss in February 2006. A time Leavy would like to forget based on his recent comments in which he apologized to the city of Seattle and the Seahawks for blowing “two calls in the fourth quarter” of Super Bowl XL and “impact[ing] the game as an official.”
Leavy added: “It left me with a lot of sleepless nights and I think about it constantly. I’ll go to my grave wishing that I’d been better.” And as he stared forlornly into the distance, the violins played softly and the Pacific Northwest collectively had a good cry.
And the story that refuses to die more than four years later hangs on for a few more days. Pereira writes at FoxSports.com that Leavy’s perceived incompetence had nothing to do with the outcome of that game.
“Did Leavy’s calls determine the winner of Super Bowl XL? Absolutely not!” Pereira wrote. “In truth, there were missed calls that went against both teams. Let’s all put aside our allegiances and go back four years and look at the game objectively. If we do, we will see that the Seahawks did not play well and neither, actually, did the Steelers.”
I have no doubt that this will placate Seahawks supporters and now we can all move on with our lives. Just in case it doesn’t, there’s this: as MDS points out on PFT, two things stand out from Pereira’s perspective: “Bill is one of the best referees we have in the NFL … the team that deserved to win won.”