NFL  > Pittsburgh Steelers  > THE CALL ON THE VIKINGS THAT EVERYONE IS COMPLAINING ABOUT THAT TOOK AWAY THE TD IS EXPLAINED
October 28, 2009, 06:18 PM
Ran up on this nice litte read. I have heard alot and seen alot about the call in the Steelers Vikings game so here it is explained out . It was a good call /

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Of all the complaints about officiating, I think the most maddening is how people who hate the Pittsburgh Steelers -- so, a really, really large contingent -- like to label them the "Stealers" and proclaim they always get the calls. This past weekend was a great example, as the Steelers took down the Vikings fair-and-square, but some people just can't seem to grasp the concept.

First of all, there are tons of complaints about the tripping call which negated a Vikings touchdown -- and was soon followed by a Steelers' defensive touchdown. Honestly, I'm not quite sure what the fuss is about. Tripping is defined as (Rule 3-40) "the use of the leg in obstructing any opponent." In rule 12-1-5, it clearly states that anyone can block an opponent as long as he's not tripping him. I keep seeing the word "phantom" used in conjunction with this call, but click here to watch the highlight (about the 2:20 mark) and keep the rule in mind. Try to be unbiased, consider the rule and see what you see.

I really hate it when people say something along the lines of "the officials should let the players decide the game." They did! If Jeff Dugan could have blocked his man successfully instead of diving at toward the opponent's lower-half and whipping his legs up, the Vikings would have scored a touchdown. Instead, he committed a penalty and got caught. No touchdown. A rule was broken and a price was paid. That's elementary.

Can anyone seriously make the argument that Dugan did not use his legs to obstruct the opponent he was trying to block? If so, please feel free to post your argument in the comments section. I would love to see it.

Speaking of Dugan, him plowing over the official during the kickoff return was neither funny nor acceptable. Look, the officials are part of the field and they take on a certain risk when being out on the field. In fact, umpires (the ones who line up in the vicinity of the inside linebackers and watch the line play) may start wearing helmets next season. Regardless of the risk and the fact that people are miffed with the guys from time to time, they are still human beings -- ones who aren't wearing pads like the players. If Dugan didn't see the official, man, he really should have. He appeared to be running toward him for several steps and his helmet was facing the official. If he did -- and it's very suspicious, considering he was just flagged for tripping four plays earlier -- then he should be suspended. To blatantly run over a guy with a clear motive is easily grounds for punishment. I'd like to believe Dugan was trying to find someone to block and accidentally plowed over Richard Reels (the back judge), but we'll never know for sure. They are both lucky Reels wasn't seriously injured.

In case anyone is curious, it is obviously illegal to contact an official intentionally during any part of the game, but there's no way to prove intent on this play, thus, they couldn't have called any sort of penalty on Dugan for the contact.

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