The Post Super Bowl Email Chain
On 4th and Goal, down by 5 points, San Francisco went for the win on a Colin Kaepernick attempted pass. While his pass was ultimately incomplete, there is unquestionably a ton of controversy on the call due to what appears to be an obvious holding penalty on Michael Crabtree by Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith. What are your thoughts on the call? Putting your personal bias aside, would you make the hold call there with the game on the line?
Blake Dorfman: Throwing the flag on that play would have basically decided the outcome of the Super Bowl based on a brief jersey grab that, quite honestly, did not prevent Crabtree from catching the ball. Imagine the play was completely clean… Does he make the catch? Probably not. From someone who dislikes both teams, I say there would be much more controversy and outrage right now if the flag was thrown.
Rohit Ghosh: Forget that call, SF deserved to lose. Ngata was out, 4th and goal, and they passed it 3 plays in a row? Run the damn thing in! About that P.I. no-call, if I were a Niner fan, I’d be pissed. If I were a Baltimore fan, and they do make that call, I’d be even more pissed. If I were a ref in that moment, I probably wouldn’t have thrown a flag.
Anurag Shyamala: If I were a Niners fan, sure, I’d be pissed. But let’s be honest, Crabtree was too far away from the ball to make the catch. As a ref, I probably would not have thrown a flag. Additionally, I’d just like to make it clear to all the Niners fans out there, that Jersey grab did not cost the Niners the Super Bowl – if Niners fans are looking for something to complain about, they should complain about the interception that CK threw (historically, the 49ers’ first Super Bowl interception in the six times they’ve been there) or even further back, look to LaMichael James’s fumble (the first turnover of the game, which lead to the Ravens’ second touchdown). Moreover, I’d be celebrating how lucky the Niners were with that post-halftime power outage.
Akash Pandey: Kindly remove me from this email chain. Don’t plan on thinking about or talking about that game for at least a little while…
Colin Kennedy: Certainly a tough call given the situation, like in basketball, ref’s really don’t want to take the game out of the player’s hands and I think the ref made the right call in that situation. Was it holding? Yes. Did Crabtree try to push off the corner? Yes. Should the Niners have run in that scenario? Most definitely.
Not sure if you have read the great article from Bill Simmons on the “PED Question” and it’s correlation to Ray Lewis and his ultra-quick recovery from his injury, but his question is valid in this circumstance. Do you believe that Lewis used performance enhancers to get on the playing field 10 weeks after the injury? If so, does this taint the outcome in the game? Would you assume that others in the game had or were currently using PEDs, and if so, does that affect your view of this very physical Super Bowl?
BD: I don’t believe Ray-Ray used PEDs to recover. I believe that because he believes, God healed him. As so many of us believe, God rewards faithful athletes with victory and less injuries. Therefore, Lewis’ ever-humble ways and admirable Christian behavior (six kids with four women, attention-whoring, etc…), along with a healthy dose of prayer, healed him and won him the Super Bowl.
RG: I don’t think he used anything, but even if he did, I wouldn’t care. I don’t know what most of these players are doing, and as long as I see a product on the field I like, I don’t give a damn what they do. I know I’m in the minority with that opinion, but if I were a profesisonal athlete and I could take a little something to help me recover and get back to my sport quicker, I know I wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to do so. Ravens won the game, not some deer spray.
RB: I don’t think this is even an important conversation because, for one, it’s the NFL and the majority of the players are probably using PEDs anyway, and also it’s not even like Ray Lewis made a difference after he came back. He literally might have been the worst starting LB in the league in coverage (or at least one of the worst), and he wasn’t that great at stopping the run either. The Ravens didn’t win on Sunday because Ray Lewis was on the field, they won because of Flacco, Jacoby Jones, and other players who actually had big impacts on the game (the refs? sorry, bitter Niners’ fan here). So go ahead and use your deer antler spray, Ray, because the Ravens would have won that game with or without it.
AS: I doubt he used PEDs. Even if he had, it would not have changed the outcome of this game, as he was barely the focus of the actual plays. Ray Lewis was a figurehead. He was just the motivation the team needed to win the game, nothing more. As a question of whether the team was using PEDs, I doubt that as well. I feel like there are a select few teams in the NFL that use a lot of physical contact as a playing strategy (ie the Ravens; the Steelers) and in their cases, the strategy definitely helps.
CK: In this day in age, I question everyone in every sport. It’s too easy to get away with it. Given his unnatural recovery time (10 weeks what would normally take upwards of 6 months), and given his age, I can’t help to believe he used some form of performance enhancers. From what I’ve read about this deer antler spray, it doesn’t seem like that would give him the recovery or boost in his game. I’m worried that this entire century will be tarnished by illegal usage of PEDs, and to me this past Super Bowl is already a question mark.