After Super Bowl XL referee Bill Leavy's recent soul-baring admission that he blew a few calls in that game, his old boss has stepped forward to disagree.
Mike Pereira, the NFL's Vice President of Officiating from 2004-09 and Leavy's boss at that time, tackled the old/new issue in a column he penned yesterday for Fox Sports:
First, he didn't "kick" two calls in the fourth quarter. He was clearly incorrect when he called Matt Hasselbeck for a low block after the interception when Hasselbeck attempted to go low through a blocker in an attempt to make the tackle. It would only have been a foul if Matt would have made contact with the blocker, but he didn't, so it should not have been called.
Leavy piled on himself by saying that his holding call on Sean Locklear was incorrect. That is not true. It was a hold and should have been called. If anything, you could have made a case that the Steelers were offside and, if the play had been officiated correctly, the penalties would have offset and the down replayed. In any case, the reception would not have been allowed to stand.
This reaction from Pereira is not surprising at all; he's sticking up for one of his own, and that's to be expected. But he said what needed to be said, once and for all, with this statement:
"Did Leavy's calls determine the winner of Super Bowl XL? Absolutely not! 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."
Truer words have never been spoken. And hopefully, this will be the last time we have to hear about this tired old topic.