View Full Version : Ben's Fumble

10-24-2010, 07:01 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, and I can't seem to find any sports writers saying this right now, but isn't it completely irrelevant who recovered the fumble since the play was ruled dead as soon a touchdown was signaled?

10-24-2010, 07:02 PM
"I hope Ben Rothlisberger rapes that refs wife."

Best comment I've seen so far on the Miami message boards. LMAO.

10-24-2010, 07:05 PM
You're right, but writers don't care, even people in Pittsburgh are saying the Steelers shouldn't have won..

But think about it... What if the play wasn't ruled dead, and the Steelers actually ended up with the ball in the endzone... Miller saw Ben and Legurski with the balll and thought it was a touchdown off of a fumble. But many Steelers say they stopped fighting for the ball when they heard touchdown. I bet Miami would have wanted it called dead if the game was 22-27. 22-23 gave them a chance to win, the miami offense just blew it.

10-24-2010, 07:07 PM
It's bothering me that everyone is saying "Miami clearly recovered!" The ref screwed up, but who recovered is completely irrelevant due to the ref's mistake.

10-24-2010, 07:15 PM
It's bothering me that everyone is saying "Miami clearly recovered!" The ref screwed up, but who recovered is completely irrelevant due to the ref's mistake.
And you cant say it looked like the dolphins recovered it cause you just dont know

10-24-2010, 07:18 PM
It's bothering me that everyone is saying "Miami clearly recovered!" The ref screwed up, but who recovered is completely irrelevant due to the ref's mistake.


The thing is that when the play is challenged, the ref said they looked at if it was a fumble and who recovered it, but because of the situation and the play being called a touchdown before the scrum was over, many Steeler players stopped wrestling for the ball. The ref knew this, and to judge whether Miami had the ball at the end of the scrum or not would be unfair to the Steelers who were led on by the refs that it was a touchdown.

The ref who blew the whistle early and that it was a touchdown is at fault, no one screwed over the Dolphins on purpose.

The arguement will be, when the ball was first fumbled, 2 dolphins jumped onthe ball before Legurski and Pouncy got there, so you'd think they got it first.

10-24-2010, 07:21 PM
"I hope Ben Rothlisberger rapes that refs wife."

Best comment I've seen so far on the Miami message boards. LMAO.I saw that too! :D

It's bothering me that everyone is saying "Miami clearly recovered!" The ref screwed up, but who recovered is completely irrelevant due to the ref's mistake.They should be quiet. I agree. Ben let it go when he heard TD.

10-24-2010, 07:28 PM
Correct....Touchdown...The plays over!

10-24-2010, 07:38 PM
I saw that too! :D

They should be quiet. I agree. Ben let it go when he heard TD.

Welcome to the board, Lugia though I don't know what to make of your post. lol

Why is this even an issue? I mean, I thought it was clear as day.

The play was ruled a touchdown on the field. The instant a TD is ruled, the ball is dead. The recovery is moot. Plain and simple.

The problem is, this has become a HUGE issue about a DEAD BALL. Why? Because it's a hot topic about a controversial team with controversial players... Face it, Steelers fans... We've become "that guy" in the NFL. And it's great. Because all the hate is over media hyperbole. Harrison has yet to draw a flag hitting someone. The Steelers are 5-1 and still in 1st place of the AFC North. And Ben is back with a vengeance. The Steelers are in the limelight.

So why not run a story about one of the most shared opinions of the Steelers outside of Steeler Nation : "The referees help the Stealers win all the time."

Starting to make sense now? Media aside, logic and reason, in.

When you realize it was a dead ball the instant it was ruled a TD, this is when you will realize the outcome of the fumble is irrelevant.

Let people go ape-sh|t over it all they want. They're whining about the outcome because they have been quickly conditioned into believing maybe it should have been Miami's ball.

Know though that how this play went down will be discussed at the next owner's meeting.

Right call. 4th and Goal. Steelers ball. :tt03:

10-24-2010, 07:47 PM
I saw that too! :D

They should be quiet. I agree. Ben let it go when he heard TD.

Lol...no, Ben let it go before it was called a TD.

The refs blew the whistle when they thought it was a TD though (before the "fumble" recovery).

The refs biggest mistake was the explanation of the review and the call. As others have pointed out, the ref blew the whistle (too early IMO, but he still blew it), when he thought Ben had a TD. That means that anything that happens after that ("fumble" recovery) is null and void. They should have just been reviewing if it was a TD or not.

10-25-2010, 12:16 AM

The replay system was never designed to handle TWO ISSUES. Specifically it does not take into account the fact that CALLS THAT REFEREES MAKE AFFECT FUTURE PLAY.

If there was no replay - no question how this play resolves. Play called TD. Even though its the wrong call - that's the luck involved in the game.

The opposite would be that the refs make no calls on the field. Wait until every play comes to a finite conclusion. Even if the play appears dead - don't blow the whistle as you may be wrong and may prematurely call the play over. Obviously this would be ridiculous but in this case, this would be the only way to get the play right.

The third option is what we have - refs should call what they think they see. Sometimes its right and sometimes its wrong. Today, once the refs called a TD - it automatically altered everything. You can't say that the Dolphins recovered or the Steelers recovered - once the signal for TD went up - it changed how players played and how much effort they put - because signaling the TD meant the play was dead. Its like blowing the whistle. Anything that happens after that is moot. Even if it is clear that the Dolphins recovered the ball - its moot because the raising of the hands by the ref alters how players play.

You can put a new rule in where actions after a whistle is blown or TD is signaled counts, based on replay, - but then don't expect players to stop hitting or gouging or going after the ball after the whistle. Do you really want that?

End of story. Raise the hands for a TD - plays over. Replay can determine if its a TD or not, or fumble or not but it cannot determine who has possession because players play differently after the signal (ie after a whistle)

10-25-2010, 10:59 AM
The bottom line is, THIS CALL DID NOT GO THE STEELERS' WAY! We had a TD called back! Dolphins fans seem to forget this.

10-25-2010, 12:32 PM
Here's a couple of articles from steelers.com on the ruling...

NFL Official explanation of Roethlisberger goal line fumble
Posted 17 hours ago
NFL Head Referee Gene Steratore – Pool Report
(Explanation that he said on the field) – “Naturally the ruling on the field was a touchdown by Pittsburgh. After review it was confirmed in replay that the ball did come loose and it was a fumble prior to the ball breaking the goal line. That’s where we go into the second aspect of that. In order to overturn this and give another team the football, I have to have clear video evidence of the team recovering the fumble. So when a little short segment of what I said out there. That is what I explained. We did have a fumble, but we did not have video evidence and a confirmation on who recovered the football so we changed an aspect of the play by not awarding Pittsburgh the touchdown. Miami is not charged a time out because we changed an aspect of that play, but we could not award the defense in this situation the football because we don’t have video evidence of the defense recovering the ball.”

(On why it was not determined who recovered the fumble) – “It is a pile of bodies in there and you don’t have a clear recovery.”

(On if it is protocol to determine who recovered the fumble regardless of the whistle) – “Anytime that you have a fumble or if would be ruled a touchdown or down by contact or situation where we have ruled a play ended and a team challenges that in fact it was a fumble. Both aspects of that ruling have to be video confirmed in order for us to turn the ball over a) that it was a fumble before down by contact or touchdown in this case and b) a clear recovery by the defense in order to award them the football.”

(On if there was a reason to determine who recovered the fumble in live action as opposed to during the review) – “In live action, the ruling was touchdown.”

(On why it was not determined who recovered the fumble at the time of the play) – “Because the ruling was a touchdown.”

(On if it was not until that it was determined that it was not a touchdown can you go forward with the process of determining who recovered the fumble) – “When you have a challenge, naturally you are challenging the ruling on the field which was a touchdown so when we go into replay, we find out in fact that it was in fact a fumble prior to the ball breaking the plane, but we have to continue with that aspect and find a clear recovery by the defense in order to reward them the ball.”

(On if mentioned on the field anything about two to three camera angles) – “No. I didn’t mention anything about angles ever. No.”

(On if he could not determine who recovered the ball) – “We confirmed that there was a fumble and were not able to confirm a clear recovery by the defense.”


A mystery at the bottom of the pile
By Mike Prisuta -- WDVE-FM
Posted 15 hours ago
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Dolphins linebacker Ikaika Alma-Francis emerged from the mass of humanity in the end zone with the football.

But when did he get it? And how did he get it? And had there been other hands claiming ownership of what was eventually ruled a fumble by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with 2:30 remaining on Sunday afternoon at Sun Life Stadium?

These were topics of great debate in the visitor’s locker room following the Steelers’ 23-22 victory that allowed them to escape from South Florida with a 5-1 record. The source of the debate were the events that unfolded on a third-and-goal from the Dolphins 2-yard line in a game that had 2:37 remaining and the Steelers in a 22-20 hole. On a quarterback draw, Ben Roethlisberger was ruled to have scored a touchdown only to have the play reversed on a challenge by Miami coach Tony Sparano.

“It was a fumble,” wide receiver Hines Ward confirmed. “But then the explanation is nobody got a clear determination of who recovered it. (The Dolphins) just started celebrating because (Roethlisberger) fumbled. There was no clear justification who recovered the ball.

“I know the Miami fans feel like they got slighted, but that’s the rule. Plus, two of our guys said they had it.”

That was more or less the explanation offered up by referee Gene Steratore – no clear indication of recovery – for returning possession to the Steelers at the 1-yard line.

Jeff Reed’s 18-yard field goal on the subsequent fourth-and-1 snap from the Miami 1-yard line provided the slimmest of margins of victory for the Steelers.

Offensive tackle Jonathan Scott said the field goal by Reed shouldn’t have been necessary.

“Yeah, me and (guard) Doug (Legursky) had it,” Scott said. “We definitely had it. My arm went numb getting it. It was a situation where Doug had two hands on it and I had one. The ref said, ‘Let go, it’s a touchdown, let go, it’s a touchdown.’ So we let the ball go.

“It’s conflicting from what the ref said when he was explaining the whole situation because if we had the football it would have been a touchdown. Now, the situation of who gets the touchdown, either me or Doug, you don’t really know.”

Head Linesman Jerry Bergman signaled touchdown as Roethlisberger was crossing the goal line, a call that was overturned by Steratore’s replay review. The official play-by-play sheet explained, as Steratore had on the field, that the “2nd part of review was not able to determine who recovered the ball.”

“Under that pile I was holding onto it with one of their guys and whoever else was under there,” Roethlisberger said. “But I actually had a whole arm around it until the ref was patting me on the back saying ‘touchdown,’ so I let go. I heard ‘touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown,’ so I let go. I didn’t want my arm to get broken.

“I had a piece of it under there. And so, I believe, did Doug Legursky. We were holding onto it, as was their player. I’m not denying that he (was) holding onto it. But we let go so that’s just a matter of how do you tell who recovered the ball? I don’t know how you do it.”

Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey wasn’t certain what had happened or especially interested in getting confirmation of it, one way or another.

“I’m pretty sure we had the ball, Doug and J. Scott,” Pouncey said. “But I don’t care. We won.”


10-25-2010, 01:31 PM
Was there a single camera angle that definitively showed the ball being fumbled short of the goal line? I didn't think there was one and it looked as if "Camera 1" in conjunction with "Camera 2" made is appear as if the ball was fumbled prior to breaking the plane. We all know how camera angles can play tricks on our eyes. How many times have we heard an analyst say "it looks as if the WR had both feet down until you see if trom this angle." In no way am I saying Ben had possession of the ball as he crossed the goal line (I honestly feel he fumbled short) but was the video evidence truly enough to overturn the original call of a Touchdown? Can two cameras combine to form one piece of "indisputable evidence" that is sufficient enough to overturn a call on the field? To me, it seems as though it's a bit of an assumption to call it a fumble. The camera angle from the back of the endzone showed him fumble short but that's an awfully bad angle to overturn a call of that magnitude.

Having said that, I feel the zebras made the right call but their hands were tied. What other way could they possibly have ruled, besides upholding the ruling on the field (TD) because there was just not enough evidence to rule otherwise? Calling a fumble but no clear recovery is the right move. I'm sure this rule will change a few times before the start of next season though.

Lady Steel
10-25-2010, 02:43 PM
Does anyone else think this seems like deja vu? I'm referencing Ben's controversial 1 yard TD run in Super Bowl XL which the Seahawks swear was a few inches short of the goal line, and now this.

Regardless, I agree with Pouncey. I don't care. We won. :tt02:

10-25-2010, 10:51 PM
Why is this even an issue? I mean, I thought it was clear as day.

The play was ruled a touchdown on the field. The instant a TD is ruled, the ball is dead. The recovery is moot. Plain and simple.

I don't think you are right. If the Dolphins were the only ones in the end zone and the ball rolled to one of their feet and they picked it up CLEARLY gaining possession of it and the play was called dead, on the review the fumble can be reversed. If clear evidence that Miami recovered the ball was shown, they would get the ball at that spot. So if they recovered in the endzone, the fins would have it on the 20. The same thing just happened in MNF with the Cowboys reciever called down on the field and the Giants defense CLEARLY picking up the loose ball after the whistle. Challenge showed the ball came out before the knee was down and it was awarded to NY.

The refs got it right with respect to the video challenge, but clearly blew the call on the field, which drastically changed the game. 1st and 10 on the 20 with a lead and 1:50 left on the clock is way different than trying to come from behind in the same position as they ended up.

Ruling on the field: F
Implementing correct replay rules: A
But the Steelers did get lucky the refs blew the live play.

As for who would come out of that pile with the ball, no one will ever know

10-26-2010, 01:09 PM
What I meant was that Ben fumbled it, then he recovered it (in the end zone) and he let it go when he heard touchdown.

Sorry! D: