|No argument: Steelers glad Holmgren no longer disputing Super Bowl|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 03 October 2007 13:11|
Some teammates couldn't help but wonder: Is Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren still complaining about the officiating during Pittsburgh's 21-10 victory in the Super Bowl two seasons ago?
``I guess they are still taking it pretty hard up there,'' Roethlisberger said. ``But it does seem like a while ago.''
Not that long ago, though, that some Steelers don't recall how Holmgren argued for weeks that four questionable calls were a deciding factor in Pittsburgh's only Super Bowl title since the 1979 season.
``We knew it was going to be tough going against the Pittsburgh Steelers. I didn't know we were going to have to play the guys in the striped shirts, too,'' Holmgren said the day after the game.
To some Steelers, Holmgren protested a little too loudly and a little too long for their liking; two months later at the league meetings, he remained upset. To them, his comments were aimed at diminishing Pittsburgh's remarkable monthlong road trip to became the lowest-seeded team to win the Super Bowl.
Among the calls Holmgren disputed were an offensive pass interference penalty that took away a touchdown from receiver Darrell Jackson; Sean Locklear's holding call that prevented Seattle from having a first-and-goal at the 1 with a chance to go ahead in the fourth quarter; and a blocking below-the-waist penalty on quarterback Matt Hasselbeck after he threw an interception.
Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue said at the time his staff drafted a letter informing Holmgren he would be fined. Weighing the coach's contributions to the league, Tagliabue ordered the letter never be sent.
The teams meet again Sunday in Pittsburgh for the first time since that Super Bowl, and most of the Steelers are willing to forgive and forget Holmgren's arguing.
Most of them.
``It doesn't bother me,'' nose tackle Casey Hampton said. ``We've got a ring. They can be mad all they want to, we still got the ring. At the end of the day when you look at the record books, it's not going to say nothing about them crying. It says `Steelers, Super Bowl champs,' and that's all that matters.''
To Holmgren, Sunday's game between two teams with 3-1 records has nothing to with what happened in that Super Bowl. He also doesn't expect that game, as difficult as it was to lose, to remain a hard-feelings issue.
``I will bump into people on the street and they'll talk about it and I'll say, `Listen, it really is time to move,' `` Holmgren said in a conference call with Pittsburgh reporters. ``We played a game. Pittsburgh won. Getting to the Super Bowl is special and, hopefully, we can get back there again some day, but it really is time to move on.''
With the Steelers in position to go into their bye week with a 4-1 record, they planned to move on regardless if the old arguments were rekindled or not.
Many of the key players from that game already are gone, among them, Steelers linebacker Joey Porter, who created the biggest stir of Super Bowl week by taking umbrage at former Seattle tight end Jerramy Stevens' boast that Seattle would spoil Jerome Bettis' farewell game.
``It's in the past,'' Steelers running back Willie Parker said. ``I'm pretty sure they are a little salty about the Super Bowl, but that game was two years ago. This game is a regular-season game, though it's a big game.''
Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel isn't giving back his Super Bowl ring, disputed calls or not, but he understands Seattle's frustration.
``A Super Bowl's hard to get to and lose,'' he said. ``If we'd lost, I'd probably still be holding onto it, too.''
Steelers All-Pro guard Alan Faneca found Holmgren's arguing to be more entertaining than irritating, and still does.
``I didn't really care because we won,'' Faneca said. ``Yeah, I remember kind of chuckling. I think two years, maybe he's let go. Maybe.''