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Official's mistake costs Steelers fantasy owners

Troy Polamalu's fumble recovery and touchdown return was wrongly called back.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - If you own the Steelers defense/special team in your fantasy league and lost by eight points or less are you smiling today?

Probably not.

It's not just gamblers who are unhappy with NFL officiating. There are fantasy players everywhere who got screwed when the officiating crew in the San Diego- Pittsburgh game incorrectly ruled that Troy Polamalu apparent fumble recovery and subsequent touchdown return was called back.

Let's reset the situation.

Pittsburgh had just taken an 11-10 lead with a 32-yard Jeff Reed field goal. Following the kickoff, San Diego had just five seconds on the clock to go 79 yards.

Instead of throwing a "Hail Mary" pass and hoping for either a miracle touchdown or a pass interference penalty to keep the game alive for one more play, Philip Rivers tossed a short pass to LaDainian Tomlinson and hoped he could take it the distance, or "ad-lib" something special. "LT" lateraled the ball to Chris Chambers who attempted to lateral back to Rivers, but Polamalu stepped in the way, picked up the errant toss and jogged into the end zone for an apparent touchdown. He and the Steelers defense/special teams would have been credited with a fumble recovery (usually two points) and fumble return for a TD (usually six points).

Instead, the replay booth called down and asked for a review. The play was reversed and the ball was "declared dead" at the San Diego 26 yard line.

So instead of eight points, the defense received a big fat zero.

The vice president of officiating for the NFL, Mike Pereira, was on a radio show on Monday morning and admitted the play should have been ruled a touchdown.

So those of you who lost by eight points or less - at least you have a moral victory. Just think of all the money bet on Pittsburgh (said to be 65% of the $100 million bet on the game) who lost their Pittsburgh minus five points wager.
Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at

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