Posted: 5:37 pm Sunday, October 24th, 2010
By Post Staff
Karlos Dansby and teammate Channing Crowder didn’t hold back Sunday afternoon when asked about not being awarded the football when Ben Roethlisberger fumbled into the end zone late in the Dolphins’ 23-22 loss to Pittsburgh.
The replay official did overturn the touchdown, but did not see clear evidence that Ikaika Alama-Francis recovered the football in the end zone. The Steelers were awarded the ball on the half yard line, and kicked the game-winning field goal on the next play.
“We hit them in the mouth on both sides of the ball. Y’all aint never seen anybody handle Pittsburgh like we did today, and they took that game from us,” Dansby said of the refs. “They took it from us, bottom line. We got an ‘L,’ we should have got a ‘W.’”
First, let’s get the official explanation from head referee Gene Steratore:
“Naturally the ruling on the field was a touchdown by Pittsburgh. After review it was confirmed in replay that the ball did come loose and it was a fumble prior to breaking the goal line. … In order to overturn this and give another team the football, I have to have clear video evidence of the team recovering the fumble. We did have a fumble, but we did not have video evidence and a confirmation on who recovered the football, so we changed an aspect of the play by not awarding Pittsburgh the touchdown. … We could not award the defense in this situation the football because we don’t have video evidence of the defense recovering the ball. … It was a pile of bodies in there and you don’t have a clear recovery.”
Now let’s get back to the first-hand accounts and reactions of the Dolphins’ players.
Ike Alama-Francis, who claims he recovered the fumble in the end zone:
“I was the first person on the ball, had the possession of the ball. I thought it was ours. I held the ball, and I wasn’t going to let that thing go, because I knew I had possession. … When we were down in the pile, he was calling, ‘White Ball! White Ball!’ … It’s just a bad feeling to lose like that.”
“What’d I see? I saw Ben Roethlisberger fumble the ball on the half yard line, and Ike Francis pick it up. But it doesn’t matter what I think.”
“The refs upstairs said they have to have conclusive evidence who landed on the ball. I don’t know how conclusive it has to be. I don’t know if you gotta jump up and do a backflip with a ball.”
“He jumped on it first and he got up with it. I don’t think he jumped on it and 16 people snatched it from him and it came back around to him like a hot potato. He jumped on the ball and he got up with the ball. I don’t know any other evidence.”
“Upstairs they said they didn’t know who had the ball. But they’re on the fourth, fifth, sixth floor and it’s seven refs on the field saying they saw 59 with it.”
“We started hugging. We thought we won. I got to check the rulebook, cause he said check the rulebook. The guys upstairs have to have clear evidence of who landed on the ball. I guess they didn’t have their glasses on.”
“We shouldn’t have to put it in the ref’s hands, which as we see they can make some bad calls sometimes.”
What did you say to the ref walking off the field?
“I was criticizing the call pretty heavily. … The ref called a wonderful game.”
“(The refs) took the ball from Ike. They took the ball from him. I talked to the back judge, I said, ‘Man, you know we had the ball.’ He said. ‘Yeah, 59 had the ball. It’s out of our hands, it’s out of our control.’”
“Give me an explanation. Why didn’t we win this game? Give me an explanation why we don’t got the ball right now on the 20 yard line. He said it’s out of their control.”
“We handled them guys, up and down the field, all day. The ball just didn’t bounce our way today. Sad, very sad. Actually, the ball did bounce our way. They took it from us.”
Defensive lineman Tony McDaniel:
“There should be a board that fines refs for making decisions like that.”
Safety Yeremiah Bell:
“You can check the replay. We came up with the football at the end. The refs would tell you we came up with the football but they called what they called .”