Blog Entry

Where was flag on Santonio Holmes' celebration?

Posted on: February 2, 2009 1:13 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2009 4:37 pm

I have the pleasure of sitting near a TV running endless SportsCenter loops.

If you think that's an ideal work environment, trust me, it ain't after the fourth highlight clip narrated by Chris Berman enters your right ear. 

However, it has brought something to my attention regarding Super Bowl XLIII. Santonio Holmes' catch, in all its best-ever glory , was capped with a clear violation of NFL rules.

He used the ball as a prop in his LeBron-homage celebration.

In a game littered with yellow flags, that's a no-brainer. That's ref 101.

Ask Joe Horn, Chad Johnson or pretty much any receiver not named Hines Ward.

No flag. No 15 yards enforced on the kickoff. No big deal?

Fifteen yards shaved off a kickoff often isn't often a big deal. But when there's 35 seconds on the clock, your team has two timeouts and when your quarterback has to march the offense down the length of the field, 15 yards is a big deal.

Fifteen yards changes the kickoff coverage, it adds life to the kickoff return team and it, well, it's simply part of the rules.

A big gaffe in a game where the refs seemed to have their whistle senses finely tuned. Maybe the action was obstructed because it was in the back of the endzone. But it's now part of the standard Super Bowl b-roll. I'd imagine Arizona fans treat it as a clear slap in the face.

Whether it would changed the outcome of the game anybody knows, but I agree with them.

Category: NFL

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: February 3, 2009 12:00 pm

Where was flag on Santonio Holmes' celebration?

It's the superbowl, I agree it was in violation, but come on, he had just basically won the world championship for his team and you're mad he celebrated a little bit. It would have been wrong for the refs to call that penalty based on the magnitude of the game. Any other regular season game, sure flag him, but come on, how can you not celebrate after scoring a touchdown like that!

and this is coming from someone who was rooting for the Cardinals

Since: Feb 25, 2008
Posted on: February 3, 2009 1:13 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jan 21, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2009 10:31 pm

Where was flag on Santonio Holmes' celebration?

When will people stop blaming the refs whenever the Steelers win?  Calls go both ways all the time.  The holding play in the endzone that resulted in a safety is a prime example.  Granted, it was definately a hold, and the flag deserved to be thrown.  But imagine if that would have been the Cardinals being called for a safety??  Everyone would have been screaming that the fix is in, and the all-mighty Steelers got lucky again. 

What if Anquan Boldin caught the go ahead TD with 35 seconds left, and then was flagged for using the ball as a prop?  I don't care if that is a penalty or not, you don't let a stupid flag like that help decide the super bowl.  Let them play the game. 

To me, the most amazing part of the game was that James Harrison was held, as he has been all year, and the refs actually called it.  Three times to be exact.

The fact is the Steelers won fair and square.  Be a man and accept defeat like Kurt Warner and Larry Fitz did.  Nothing is more pathetic than to place blame on the refs. 

Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: February 2, 2009 9:21 pm

Where was flag on Santonio Holmes' celebration?

youve gotta be kidding actually think that the refs would call that flag because a guy celebrated what was probably the game winning touchdown with 35 seconds left to go?? no ref in the land will throw that flag no matter who it is that caught the ball.  The celebration was neither excessive or unwarranted.

Since: Mar 12, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2009 9:04 pm

Where was flag on Santonio Holmes' celebration?

Wow, Sircheeks, you're really not yourself these days.

LaMar Woodley blatently threw a block in the back on Harrison's touchdown return, but it was never called.That's the best you could come up with?  I saw Woodley hit a defender in the shoulder as the defender tried to duck the block.  I also saw Larry Fitz go out of bounds, sprint 40 yards down the sideline before jumping from outside the field to try to make the tackle.  Don't know how legal that is...

It's a shame there's so much bias in the league.I'll assume this is another "The refs love the Steelers remark."  These are the same refs who made the holding call in the end zone to give the Cardinals that safety.  If they wanted the Steelers to win, the refs would've let that go and allowed the first down.  Trust me, the Steelers have had their share of bad calls against them over the years (Joe Nedney, anyone?).  I guess saying that the refs love the Steelers is the trendy thing to do now.

Since: Jun 30, 2008
Posted on: February 2, 2009 8:06 pm

Where was flag on Santonio Holmes' celebration?

There were a lot of non-calls that went the Steelers' way due to the "gravity of the moment."

LaMar Woodley blatently threw a block in the back on Harrison's touchdown return, but it was never called. Those illegal contact penalties on wide receivers and defensive backs are ALWAYS suspect.


If the rules are in place, they need to be followed regardless of how big the stage is or how popular the player is.


I hope Braylon Edwards or a different wide receiver tries that Santonio Holmes "LeBron chalk celebration" again. I completely agree - if that were T.O. in the exact same situation, he would have been flagged so fast his head would spin.

He wouldn't be a hero, and we'd have a totally different discussion now.


It's a shame there's so much bias in the league.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: February 2, 2009 7:09 pm

Where was flag on Santonio Holmes' celebration?

I agree with the celebration penelty, although I didnt even notice/think of it at the time, I too was busy trying to see if it was an actual catch.  I was rooting for the Cards, am not a huge fan, but liked them better in this game.  I agree witht he officiating, it was seemingly pro Steelers.  The Cards did commit most of their penalties, but the roughing the passer was a one that should have not been called, kind of think of it as a tie that goes to the defense?  The kicking penalty was pretty tickey tack, I bet those go uncalled often. 

The big issues are of course the non-call on Harrison for the beat down he did, as well as the "maybe they did, maybe they didnt" review/non-review of the final fumble.  An official should have announced that it was reviewed and determined to be a fumble, again that one could have gone either way.

It was a great game, and one of the best super bowls I have ever seen, despite some iffy officiating.  In the end though, I dont think officiating determined or influenced the outcome really

Since: Mar 12, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2009 6:44 pm

Where was flag on Santonio Holmes' celebration?

So you're telling me that you'd have felt better with the result of the game had the Steelers been assessed a 15-yard penalty for excessive celebration with 30 seconds left in the Super Bowl?  I can't imagine how many articles would have been written claiming that the refs need to stop overshadowing the game and just let the players decide the outcome themselves.  People would say that the refs can't intervene when a player has just lived out everyone's childhood fantasy of scoring the game-winning touchdown in the Super Bowl.

As far as the calls went overall, I agree that the Cards probably got the raw end of that roughing the quarterback penalty and that the last play could have been reviewed (assuming it wasn't in the booth, which is still unclear), but what other calls were even debatable?  Yeah the Cards' penalty yards were high, but they grabbed the facemask, held the defender, and everything else that they were called for.

For those calling for Harrison to get ejected:  How many NFL players have you seen ejected from a game?  If it happens, which is rare, it is because someone punched their opponent (closed fist) or struck a referee.  Harrison did neither.  He hit the player repeatedly to the point of unnecessary roughness and was called for exactly that.

If you were rooting for the underdog to win or just generally dislike the Steelers, please just say so.  You don't need to continually try to diminish their accomplishments by saying the refs handed it to them.

Since: Jul 20, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2009 6:42 pm

Where was flag on Santonio Holmes' celebration?

It wasn't a penalty. He didn't break the rules with the celebration. Besides, you're making it bigger than it is.

Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: February 2, 2009 5:44 pm

Where was flag on Santonio Holmes' celebration?

If I'm a Cardinals fan, the one-sided officiating is definately worth complaining about.  From the bogus "roughing the passer" penalty to the even more bogus "unnecessary roughing" penalty on the punt.  It appeared to me that the Steelers were on a power play all night, having a 12 -11 man advantage (11 players and 1 ref).  It's tough to overcome a bad penalty or 2, but a game filled with backbreaking, drive continuing penalties is almost too much to overcome.  Harrison should have been booted for his actions.  That could have had a huge impact on the game as well.  Just my opinion.  And my wife's.  And everyone I know that saw the game that isnt a Steelers fan.  Hmmmm....

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