As if the NFL officiating wasn’t enough for Pittsburgh Steelers fans to complain about, there is a growing conspiracy surrounding a 4th quarter play which many thought should have been reviewed by the league offices, but wasn’t.
Every Steelers fans favorite person, Al Riveron, has the authority to contact the field and have a play challenged. On a 4th down play in the 4th quarter, which resulted in a Joe Haden defensive pass interference call, it looked as if Stephon Tuitt got a piece of Drew Brees’ pass, which would nullify any pass interference with the ball tipped.
According to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the NFL didn’t feel the need to stop the game to even take a look.
Alberto Riveron reviewed the apprentice tipped pass on the Joe Haden pass interference call on fourth and 2 late in the game. He determined the ball was not tipped according to a source.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) December 24, 2018
More on the Riveron decision: it was determined that there was no need to stop the game to review the play.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) December 24, 2018
At the very least play should have been stopped to review the tip. What was the hurry? The idea is to get the call right. No need to make a determination so quickly. That’s not a good look for the league.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) December 24, 2018
Thanks to Steelers Depot’s twitter feed, they were able to slow down, and zoom in, on the play. Take a look...what do you think?
Tip or no tip by Tuitt? Slowed and zoomed. #Steelers #Saints pic.twitter.com/eLlGFFFZ4y— Steelers Depot (@Steelersdepot) December 24, 2018
Regardless of what we think, Stephon Tuitt took to social media after the game to voice his frustration. Clearly, he felt, figuratively and literally, he got a piece of the pass.
Can’t do anything about it now but damn. https://t.co/ltKV1Th8z4— stephon tuitt (@DOCnation_7) December 24, 2018
Call it crying over spilled milk, or a conspiracy theory, but the one aspect of this game which is far too real is how the officiating is a narrative after the game. Most fans understand if their team isn’t good enough to win, but when the officials are key players in the defeat it is tough to wrap their heads around.
It seems as if this is an all too often occurrence in the NFL, and with the Steelers. While many will complain about the officiating, plenty will reference the need to overcome bad calls as the difference between contenders and pretenders. In this case, the Steelers certainly look more like pretenders than contenders heading into Week 17.