It's a good thing Seattle's playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday because that means Seahawks fans can finally put Super Bowl XL behind them. In a game where referee Bill Leavy got flag-happy, the Seahawks were called for several questionable penalties in a 21-10 loss to Pittsburgh.
Super Bowl XL: Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 10 -- The Seahawks joined the NFL in 1976, but it wasn't until February 2006 that the team made its first Super Bowl appearance, an appearance that's still a sore subject in Seattle. The questionable calls started in the first quarter on Seattle's third possession when wide receiver Darrell Jackson was called for offensive interference after making a 16-yard touchdown catch.
That wasn't the most questionable call though, the big one came in the fourth quarter when offensive lineman Sean Locklear was called for a holding penalty after Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw an 18-yard pass to Jerramy Stevens who was tackled at the Pittsburgh 1-yard line. Because of the penalty though, the Seahawks didn't get the ball with a first-and-goal at the Steelers one, they got it at the Steelers 29-yard line facing a first-and-20. The Seahawks were trailing 14-10 at the time of the penalty.
Leavy eventually admitted he made the wrong call, but he waited four years before he let the truth come out, "It was a tough thing for me. I kicked two calls in the fourth quarter and I impacted the game and as an official, you never want to do that," Leavy said in August 2010, via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "It left me with a lot of sleepless nights. I think about it constantly. I'll go to my grave wishing that I'd been better. I know that I did my best at that time, but it wasn't good enough."
If you're near a Seahawks fan on Sunday and they go into a panic attack after the first flag is thrown on Seattle, now you'll know why.
Why you might remember this Super Bowl: Besides the officiating, this Super Bowl is best remembered for being the final game of Jerome Bettis' career. In front of a hometown crowd in Detroit, the Bus carried the ball 14 times for 43 yards. Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward took home the Super Bowl MVP award after a five-catch, 123-yard, one touchdown performance.